The diagnosis is devastating. Lung cancer is going to impact your daily life as you undergo treatment or palliative care and live with the pain, shortness of breath, coughing, infections, fatigue and other consequences of the disease. You may even be unable to work.
You May Be Eligible for Social Security Disability
Not everyone with a lung cancer diagnosis will qualify for Social Security disability. However, for some people with lung cancer, Social Security disability is an important benefit. If you have lung cancer, you need to know that:
- The Listing of Impairments includes different eligibility rules for different types of lung cancer. According to Section 13.14 of the Listing of Impairments you may qualify for Social Security disability if you have (a) non-small-cell carcinoma that is inoperable, unresectable, recurrent, or metastatic to or beyond the hilar nodes; (b) small-cell (also known as oat cell) carcinoma; (c) carcinoma of the superior sulcus with multimodal anticancer therapy. If you qualify in one of these ways, you will be considered disabled for at least 18 months from the date of your diagnosis and possibly longer.
- You may qualify even if your lung cancer doesn’t fit any of the specific eligibility listings in the listing of impairments. Instead, you may qualify because of your residual functional capacity. Specifically, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider if you have enough capacity to still work given your disability.
- You may qualify for compassionate allowance. Certain lung cancers will allow you to qualify for a compassionate allowance. Specifically, if you have been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer or a severe case of non-small lung cancer, you qualify for a compassionate allowance which can significantly expedite your application and the start of your Social Security disability benefits.
Social Security disability benefits are too important to risk. Accordingly, if you have lung cancer, it is important to file a complete application for benefits together with supporting medical documentation. If you would like help doing this, please start a live chat with us today so that one of our experienced Texas social security disability lawyers can help you.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.