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Are SSD benefits available for cancer patients?

Michigan residents with cancer have a lot on their plate. From potentially harsh radiation or chemotherapy treatments, to time away from work, to the everyday worry about their prognosis, there is no shortage of matters to be concerned about for someone suffering from cancer. One benefit that may help ease some of the burden on those who have cancer is the availability of SSD benefits for certain patients.

The Social Security Administration considers a number of factors before determining whether a person will qualify for disability benefits stemming from their cancer diagnosis. Specifically, the agency will consider the origin of the cancer, the extent of the disease's involvement, the frequency, duration and subsequent response to anticancer therapy, as well as the effects of any post-therapeutic residuals on a person.

To make a determination about a person's eligibility for benefits, the SSA requires certain evidence. Specifically, the agency will be looking for medical evidence to verify the extent, type and site of a person's lesion, whether primary, recurrent or metastatic. In the event a person has had an operative procedure, the SSA will need documentation of an operative note and the related pathology report. Fortunately, if this information is not available, the SSA will consider an appropriate summary of a patient's hospitalization or other medical reports.

The agency is aware that some of its cancer listings are applicable only for those types of cancer that prevent a person from doing gainful activity. If a person does not meet the requirements for benefits due to cancer directly, it may be possible for a person to obtain benefits through a recognized impairment of another body system.

If a Michigan resident has cancer and is interested in obtaining SSDI benefits, he or she may find that the assistance of an attorney can help facilitate the application process and ease this particular burden.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Cancer - Adult," accessed Jan. 1, 2016

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