Social Security: Options Of Social Security Disability For People With Cancer
Cancer seems to be one of the scariest things to have, more so when it hampers the diseased employment and working ability. Patients fighting cancer can't be put to work, can they? Is it possible for them to get some kind of financial support from the government while they fight this ailment? For most, cancer is a terminal illness. Is it possible that these people live the last bit of their life without grieving and suffering from a basic daily living?
Social Security defined
The government of the United States ensures the economic safety of its citizens by an innovative approach called the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or simply Social Security. If you work in the United States, you are bound to pay FICA taxes until you work. You thus pay into the system. A meagre part of your monthly pay is deducted and funded into providing Social Security to needy people. As you can make out, this system's operation is more or less like an insurance claim.
Who are these needy people? Social Security Benefits are open to elderly and disabled people. But similar to insurance, you will need to pay enough FICA tax before you think of applying for Social Security Benefit. Your Social Security money is proportional to the amount of tax you pay.
Cancer and Social Security Disability Benefits
Getting treated for cancer doesn't come cheap. The massive bills of procedures, tablets, consultations, surgeries, and regular check-ups, bore by these unfortunate people, make it hard for them to make ends meet. To make things worse, they now are also unable to work, which means no paychecks. Forget the treatment, now acquiring a daily living becomes impossible for them. Here is when the benefits of Social Security come into play. The amount you get depends on how long you have worked and how much of the FICA tax you have paid during your work years.
Can you get Social Security Disability for cancer?
Cancers disable a person, ruin his or her life. Apart from the disease itself, the treatment process that a patient of cancer goes through adds to this disability. But sadly, only a handful of Cancers are regarded as worthy of Social Security Benefit. The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows cancers with a terminal illness to enjoy this feature - the individual should not be unable to work for at least a year. To ensure maximum chances of getting through, one must convince the administration of the fact that cancer they harbor within them is debilitating and is limiting their ability to work.
All said, getting a Social Security for cancer that is not advanced or end-stage, might be a difficult task. If your application is turned down, you must not hesitate to re-apply with an even stronger mindset. Consider hiring an attorney to guide you along your path.
What types of cancer qualify for Disability?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has clearly stated as to what forms of cancers qualify to reward you with disability benefits. Following are the ones that are straightaway qualified:
Unresectable Cancers: This is when surgery is done, only to leave some bit of tumor behind.
The aggressive type of Cancer: In this category, we have the notorious liver and esophageal cancers, along with thyroid and pancreatic cancers.
Cancers that have metastasized to various parts of the body: However, if they believe that the metastatic bits may respond well to chemotherapy and radiation, you might have to wait till they get to see the outcome.
Cancers that have recurred even after adequate treatment: Many cancers can reappear after a particular duration of time, for example, colon and lung cancers. Testicular, ovarian, prostatic, and uterine cancers also fall in this category.
So you see, the administration's top priority is to target untreatable and advanced cancers, survival rates in which are minimal. In addition to these, if the treatment happens to cause serious long-term side effects, you may qualify to receive Social Security. The chances of it are not very high, but it is nevertheless possible.
How to apply for Social Security in the case of Cancer patients?
After having a thorough idea about the types of cancers that qualify, the next step is to obtain an opinion from your doctor and get all your documents sorted. With his or her help, prepare a Residual Functional Capacity Form (RFCF).
A good RFCF has all of the following properly described:
Information on the cancer itself.
Nature of treatment that you have been subject to and are undergoing.
Duration of treatment till date, and if future treatments are anticipated
Adverse effects of those treatment procedures.
Ability to live daily life and maintain integrity.
Make sure to make your RFCF really persuasive, by adding important medical records wherever needed. After you have gathered all this, fix an appointment with a disability attorney. They charge you only when you finally get through the procedure and win the case.
Hiring an attorney will increase your chances of winning.
It is also worth noting that now the application process of Social Security also takes place online. Moreover, you might do away without a lawyer, in case you fall under one of those categories listed above.
All you have to do is visit the nearest SSA office and talk to the personnel there, who will guide you. If in doubt about any programs or services, it is recommended to go to a nearby Social Security office location and check with the administration. You may also dial 1-800-772-1213 for telephonic assistance if you cannot go to the office.
The Bottom Line
The qualifications and conditions listed are indeed stringent as well as harsh. For those who can get through and qualify, Social Security proves to be of great help for carrying out day to day living and meeting medical expenses. No doubt, this program has made the last bit of the life of many unfortunate people worth living.
Author Bio: Michael is a seasoned writer who loves to write about issues relating to retirement, Medicare, and Social Security. Holly currently works as a writer for "Social Security Office Near Me", where she writes about Social Security benefits and issues affecting the senior citizen population.