Cancer is the name given to a variety of conditions in which the cells of a person’s body grow abnormally and out of control, invading the person’s tissue and/or organs.

Some cancers develop in the blood and others develop as lumps and tumors – there are over a hundred different types of cancer, forming in and affecting different parts of the body. All cancers can be harmful and potentially life-threatening, but not all tumors are cancerous. Nearly 39% of all people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer during their life – and it can affect anyone, regardless of their race, gender or job.

Cancer Origins, Prevention and Verification

Cancer can affect people for a wide variety of reasons. Cancer can be genetic. In some cases, it is a result of your environment, such as air pollution, toxins in buildings or second-hand smoke. In many cases, the cause cannot really be determined.

Because each type presents different symptoms, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you verify your cancer in a highly specific manner. They will consider several factors to determine whether or not you qualify, such as the origin of the cancer, the stage or progression of the cancer, the anti-cancer therapy approach you use and the effects of post-therapeutic approaches. They will also require medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note or medical record stating the specific type, an operative note, and/or a pathology report. It is also possible you may have to present more test results and medical documentation.

Applying for SSDI: Does Cancer Qualify Me for Disability Benefits?

Cancer is discussed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” listing of disabling conditions, in ​Section 13​ (Cancer) under ​paragraphs 13.01 through 13.29, but many cancers are also included in the SSA’s list of Compassionate Allowances.

Cancer does not necessarily automatically qualify you for disability benefits, because just like any other disease, illness or physical or mental impairment, your cancer has to restrict you by rising to the level of a severe impairment that will prevent you from sustaining work, and it must have affected you (or be expected to affect you) for at least one year, or to result in death. If those conditions are met, you may very well qualify for disability benefits.

That said, just about everyone knows how scary and debilitating a fight with cancer can be. It is possible to qualify for disability benefits, especially if the effects of the cancer, whether alone or combined with other conditions you may have, will limit your ability to sustain work.


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Next Steps

If you or a loved one have cancer and are considering a claim for disability benefits, we recommend you read our articles about the process of applying for SSDI and the way the Social Security Administration uses their Sequential Evaluation Process to determine disability.

This article is presented for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as medical advice. Medical decisions (including whether to start, stop, or modify any treatment plan) are extremely important and should always be made with the advice and counsel of a qualified medical professional.

About Citizens Disability, LLC:

Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call at (800)492-3260.