Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

When does a cancer diagnosis qualify you for SSDI benefits?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2021 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Illness

A cancer diagnosis used to be a death sentence. In recent decades, the treatment options available have expanded and improved dramatically. Cancers that once claimed the lives of a majority of sufferers, like childhood leukemia, now have surprisingly high survival rates.

Just because your chances of living through cancer are higher than they were before, that doesn’t mean cancer isn’t still debilitating. Depending on the nature of the cancer that you have and the treatment you must undergo, you could face weeks of hospitalization and a year or more of treatment. When is it possible for someone battling cancer to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?

Your cancer or its necessary treatment must cause severe medical consequences

To qualify for SSDI, an individual needs to have a complete disability. The condition must be significant enough to keep them from working. Cancer on its own may not present such severe symptoms that you couldn’t do your job, but the treatment is often very hard on the human body.

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as bone marrow transplants often push the human body to its limit. If you can show that the symptoms of your cancer or the consequences of your treatment make you unable to work or care for yourself, you might qualify for SSDI.

Your current situation will need to last for a year or longer

Perhaps you need to undergo treatment every other month for the next 18 months. Maybe doctors have already informed you that the cancer will be terminal, although good care might increase your life expectancy and quality of life.

If the condition will persist for the rest of your life or last for at least the next 12 months while still needing the strict standards of a debilitating condition, you could potentially get SSDI benefits to replace your income while battling cancer. Reviewing your medical documentation and discussing your needs with an experienced attorney can give you a better idea about whether applying makes sense for you.