When a person in Houston finds out that he or she has been diagnosed with cancer, treatment options and survival are probably the immediate focus. As the individual begins dealing with the disease, however, other concerns may arise. In particular, the patient and his or her family will likely have to deal with substantial medical expenses. Likewise, cancer prevents many people from working, which means lost income in addition to their treatment-related costs.
If cancer prevents a person from working, he or she may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The amount of benefits available depends, in part, on how long the person worked and how much Social Security tax was paid while working. The patient must also meet all other relevant federal regulations to qualify for SSD benefits for illness.
One important point to keep in mind when applying for SSD benefits is that the benefits will usually not start until the sixth full month that the applicant has the disabling disease. Thus, even if a cancer patient applies for SSD benefits as soon as he or she becomes disabled, the individual will not begin to receive benefits until at least five months later. This means that the patient cannot count on benefits to satisfy immediate expenses.
Getting through a potentially debilitating disease like cancer is never easy, and the financial impact of such a diagnosis can make the situation even more daunting. However, SSD benefits can help. If the Social Security Administration does not approve an application the first time, the applicant should not give up because they can appeal that decision. An attorney who specializes in SSD benefits may be able to help people with all of the steps of their application and can answer questions that are specific to their particular situations.
Source: American Cancer Society, “Social Security Disability Income for Cancer Patients,” Accessed on Nov. 29, 2016