Disability can strike at any time. Most of us anticipate a long and successful professional life, but accident or illness can result in a physical or mental impairment that prevents us from working enough hours to support our families and, in extreme cases, from working at all.
If this happens, and your condition is expected to last a year or end in death, you may be eligible for one of the Social Security Administration (SSA) federal disability programs that pays cash benefits to cover the living and medical expenses of disabled individuals.
If you have sinus cancer, the SSA may not only find you disabled, you may also receive your benefits more quickly.
Sinus Cancer Explained
Sinus cancer is classified as one of the cancers of the head and neck. Your sinuses are lined by a layer of mucosa, or mucus-producing cells, any of which can become cancerous.
Sinus cancer can also manifest in other types of cells in your nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, including bone and cartilage cells. Symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion that worsens over time
- Pain around the eyes
- Nosebleeds or pus draining from the nose
- Numbness or pain in parts of the face
- Loss or change in vision
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
Sinus cancer can mimic the symptoms of a severe cold or sinus infection which can result in a delay in diagnosis. Prognosis is poor once the condition reaches an advanced stage, which is one of the reasons why having head and neck cancer can qualify you for a Compassionate Allowance.
Successful applicants with conditions that fall under this umbrella will receive their benefits in a matter of weeks instead of months.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
Anyone who applies for Social Security Disability benefits will have their claim reviewed to confirm that it matches a listing in the Blue Book, which is the SSA catalog of disabling conditions.
Sinus cancer is one of the illnesses included in Section 13.02- Head and Neck Cancer, which verifies that you are considered disabled if you have been diagnosed with sinus cancer that:
- Is inoperable or unresectable
- Has spread to surrounding structures
- Is a small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma
Upon approval of your application, you should start receiving your disability payments relatively quickly.
The Application Process
When you apply for SSA disability benefits, your submittal package must consist of a completed application and medical records that both confirm your diagnosis of sinus cancer and corresponding prognosis. For sinus cancer, such documentation could include:
- Results of physical examinations
- Bloodwork and urinalysis results
- Endoscopy findings
- Imaging diagnostics such as X-rays, CT scan, biopsy, MRI, and/or PET scan.
- Treatment history as well as your response to each treatment
Should you claim be rejected the first time around (which is quite common), seeking the assistance of a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate can increase your chances of a successful appeal.
Although sinus cancer is a Compassionate Allowance condition, the high rejection rate of initial applications even make it advisable that you retain an attorney or advocate to help you prepare and submit the original application.
Statistics confirm that disability applicants who have this type of professional input and support are much more likely to have their claims approved the first time around.
When sinus cancer leaves you unable to earn a living, the time and effort spent in engaging the right support are well worth it in the long run.