If your friend or loved one is unable to work because of breast cancer, you – as their caregiver – may help them with the disability application process. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two different disability programs.
While breast cancer caught in its early stages is very treatable, the treatments can lead to the inability to work. The treatments can lead to fatigue, nausea, aches and pains, and the inability to stand long periods, walk, lift, or carry. There are two different disability programs, and if the claimant can meet specific medical criteria, then he or she can be approved for disability benefits.
How Your Loved One Can Medically Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
The medical guide used by the SSA to determine if an individual is considered disabled and eligible for benefits, is referred to the Blue Book. There are listings in the Blue Book that apply to cancer, and the listing that will be used to review your loved one’s claim depends on the severity of the cancer and specific kind of cancer with which she has been diagnosed.
Listing 13.10 is for breast cancer. To meet the criteria for this specific listing, you will need to provide hard medical evidence that shows one of the following situations apply to your breast cancer:
- The breast cancer has spread to the supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodes or to 10 or more auxiliary nodes
- Breast cancer will distance metastases
- Recurrent breast cancer, except for a local recurrence that stops with the use of antineoplastic therapy
Medical evidence must be provided to confirm the kind of cancer – small cell, large cell, or aggressive. Your records should indicate if you have hospitalized and the duration or frequency of any hospital stays. You should be sure to include copies of medical reports and detailed pathology findings. Disability Determination Services will check to see if the cancer is inoperable or if it returns after treatment.
Becoming a Designated Payee
Sometimes a disabled individual wants their caregiver to be the designated payee for their disability checks from the SSA. All Social Security payments are sent electronically, so you will need access to the claimant’s bank account.
Disability benefits can help with medical costs, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, and any other costs associated with basic living expenses. Keep your receipts in case the SSA does an inquiry, so you can show that the claimant benefitted from the funds.
How To Get Your Loved One’s Disability Application Underway
To have a successful disability claim for breast cancer, medical documentation is a necessity. As the caregiver of someone with breast cancer, you have options for pursuing their disability claim. You should prepare a detailed list of medical providers with contact information so they can be contacted by Disability Determination Services.
To help you gather the necessary documents for your loved ones claim, you may want to seek the help of a Social Security disability lawyer. An attorney will be help keep the claim on track and allow you to continue providing aid to your loved one. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get connected with a disability attorney that takes cases in your area!