Having penile cancer is quite a heavy burden, especially if you are cash-strapped due to your inability to work. It may be little consolation, but consolation nonetheless, to know that the Social Security Administration (SSA) may offer financial benefits to help people in need. The two forms of benefits you could be eligible for include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is ideal for those age 18-65 and under and have been consistently working until diagnosis of penile cancer, or
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is ideal for those earning little household income.
You can be qualified for SSDI benefits if you have enough work history and tax contributions, while those qualified for an SSI will be based on the actual financial need instead of the past employment history.
About Penile Cancer
Penile cancer is a condition involving malignant cancer cells that form into penis tissues. It normally starts in the skin of the penis and spreads to the foreskin, glans and shaft. Some of the most common causes of penile cancer include the following:
- Tobacco use
- Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Multiple sexual partners
- Psoriasis UV treatment
- Age, as penile cancer usually affects those age 60+
Penile cancer treatment varies depending on the size and location of the tumor, the cancer stage and whether it’s a first-time diagnosis or a recurrence. Treatment typically includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Oftentimes, people undergoing these treatment feel weak and are unable to work. It would be best to immediately file a claim for SSD benefits to be able to help with the huge expense involved.
Listing for Penile Cancer in the Blue Book
Those planning to claim SSD benefits can seek guidance from SSA’s guidebook of disabilities, better known as the Blue Book. Almost all cancers are listed in the Blue Books Section 13.00, and penile cancer is referenced under Section 13.26--"Penis-carcinoma with metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes.” You will qualify if your cancer has spread to distant regions or other organs, such as the lungs or the bladder.
To make sure your SSD benefits claim will not be rejected, it is necessary that all required documents be submitted, many of which will come from your attending physician. These can include the following:
- Penile cancer diagnosis and medical record
- Biopsy results
- Results of other tests, such as, X-ray, MRI, CT scan
- Anti-cancer treatment records, etc.
A required and important form that you may need your doctor to help you fill up is the residual functional capacity form (RFC), which will help the SSA determine how your condition physically limits you. You need to also fill up the other required forms accurately to increase your chances of your claim being approved.
Get Legal Representation from an Attorney or Advocate
It is important to note that only 30% of those who apply are approved for SSD benefits and the remaining 70% had to go through the rigors of a lengthy and complicated appeal for their application to be reconsidered. It is best to improve your chances and make the entire process easier for you through the assistance of a legal representation from an SSD attorney. He or she will determine all the requirements you need before applying with penile cancer and make sure you complete and submit your application on time.