Chronic leukemia is often treatable when it is diagnosed early. However, once the cancer has reached the blast phase it is often fatal and it is included in the Social Security Administration’s list of compassionate allowances. Inclusion on the list of compassionate allowances will allow your case to proceed through the eligibility process faster than it otherwise would, but it does not change the criteria for Social Security disability eligibility.
Only Some People With Chronic Leukemia Are Eligible for Social Security Disability
You may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if you meet the requirements in the Listing of Impairments or if you are unable to work because of your cancer.
According to Section 13.06 of the Listing of Impairments, people who suffer from chronic myelogenous leukemia may qualify for benefits in one of two ways. You may be eligible for benefits if one of the following is true:
- You are in the accelerated or blast phase. This will be considered a disability for at least 24 months from the date of diagnosis or relapse or at least 12 months from the date of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant—whichever is later. After that, you will need to establish eligibility by proving that there is residual impairment to a specific body system.
- You are in the chronic phase. This will be considered a disability if you have a progressive disease following initial anticancer therapy or for at least 12 months from the date of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant (after that, eligibility may be established if you can prove that there is residual impairment to a specific body system).
Additionally, you may be eligible for benefits if you can prove that your chronic leukemia is equal in severity to another listing in the Listing of Impairments or if you are unable to work any job because of your medical condition.
Be Prepared to Fight for the Benefits You Deserve
You are already fighting every day to manage your chronic leukemia, to comply with your doctors’ orders, and to live out the rest of your life on your terms. The last thing that you need is another fight for the Social Security disability benefits that you’ve earned.
However, it can be difficult to convince the Social Security Administration that you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers can remove this stress from your shoulders and work hard to get you the fair and just benefits you deserve. We will work with you to file a complete application or to appeal a denial of benefits. Please contact us today via this website or by phone to learn more.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.