Alveolar soft part (ASP) sarcoma is a rare cancer that most often affects children, teenagers and young adults. Though the disease usually progresses slowly, it is often not diagnosed until it has had the chance to spread, which in turn often leaves patients with a poor prognosis.
The condition is known to be severely disabling and is therefore automatically presumed to qualify Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. However, as children receive benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a need-based program, there are financial eligibility criteria, which must also be met in order for your child’s application for disability benefits to be approved.
Symptoms and Treatments of Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
Early signs and symptoms of ASP sarcoma include:
- Diffuse pain or soreness
- The development of painful lumps or swelling in the soft tissues, often beginning in the thighs
- Trouble using legs and/or feet, including limping or loss of coordination
Because ASP sarcoma is often not diagnosed until its latter stages, cancer usually metastasizes, with tumors forming in any area of the body’s soft tissues and sometimes inside of bones. The disease may onset anywhere from infancy to early adulthood and treatments may include:
- Radiation therapy
- Surgical removal of tumors
Patients respond differently to treatments, and while ASP sarcoma often goes into remission, the disease almost always recurs and is also usually terminal.
Applying for SSD with Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
Alveolar soft part sarcoma is among the conditions approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for expedited processing as part of the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program. CAL is designed to significantly shorten the wait for a disability determination for applicants with conditions that are known to be inherently and severely disabling.
While part of the CAL program, ASP sarcoma applications must still contain extensive documentation, including all the appropriate forms and pertinent medical records. Approval for disability benefits is not a guarantee, even with all these considerations. This is because the SSA must still review the application to ensure it meets both the medical and technical requirements for disability eligibility.
The technical requirements are dependent on the age of the applicant. If the application is filed on behalf of a minor child, then SSI requirements apply. For applications filed by individuals over the age of 18, SSDI technical criteria apply instead.
SSI is a need-based program. The financial resources and income of the child and his or her parents are considered when determining eligibility. For SSDI however, the applicant’s eligibility is reviewed for sufficient work credits. Adult disabled children whose disability occurred prior to the age of 22 may satisfy work credit requirements for SSDI benefits by qualifying under the work history of a parent.
Medical eligibility is established by reviewing the application in comparison to a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book. The listings that apply to applications for alveolar soft part sarcoma are as follows:
- Section 113.03 in Part B – for children
- Section 13.04 in Part A – for adults
To meet Section 113.03, a child’s application must simply document:
- The confirmed diagnosis of ASP sarcoma
- The recurrence of the condition after a period of remission
For meeting the listing under Section 13.04, adult applicants must show:
- Diagnosis of ASP sarcoma
- The presence of metastatic tumors
- Recurrence of the disease after a period of remission or following initial treatment
- Persistence of the cancer even after receiving treatment
Getting Assistance with Your Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma Disability Claim
Though claims filed on alveolar soft part sarcoma are typically approved for disability benefits, many still find it beneficial to consult a disability advocate or attorney when filing their application. The application and review processes can be confusing and having the help can make the process run more smoothly and can also ensure there are no unnecessary delays in the processing of your claim as well.