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Can people get SSDI benefits after a cancer diagnosis?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | social security disability |

Many different medical issues could leave someone unable to work and worried about paying their bills. Someone who develops a degenerative condition, like Lou Gehrig’s disease, might worry about future medical expenses and lost earning potential.

Those hurt in car crashes or on-the-job incidents may have physical limitations that will affect the job functions they can perform. When someone is completely unable to work due to a health issue, they can sometimes pay their bills with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

For example, cancer often creates debilitating symptoms, and treatment can be even worse than the actual illness. People often can’t handle even the most basic job responsibilities when undergoing chemotherapy or other cancer treatments, like radiation therapy. Can someone recently diagnosed with cancer potentially qualify for SSDI benefits?

Some people with cancer can get SSDI support

There is no black-and-white answer for whether or not cancer may qualify for SSDI benefits. There is little question that both of the illness itself and the treatment it necessitates could be so debilitating as to prevent someone from working at all.

However, there are two requirements for a condition to qualify for SSDI benefits. The second, often overlooked requirement relates to how long someone will be too ill to work. Many times, cancer treatment only lasts a few months, which may mean that the condition won’t meet the requirements for SSDI coverage.

A condition has to last for at least a year or the rest of someone’s life for SSDI benefits to be available. Proper medical documentation is crucial for establishing how debilitating the cancer is and how long either the cancer itself or the treatment it requires will persist.

As with anyone else seeking SSDI benefits, those with cancer will need adequate medical documentation validating their condition and the symptoms it creates. They may also need medical records clarifying the treatment plan they will undergo, as the duration and impact of that treatment will likely have a major effect on whether or not they qualify.

Seeking legal guidance and applying for SSDI benefits could be a reasonable option for those with cancer or a course of treatment that will last for a year or longer.