If you have been turned down for Social Security disability benefits for your breast cancer diagnosis, you have 60 days from the date you receive the decision to appeal it.
It might surprise you to learn that over 60% of initial SSA disability applications are denied initially, and the odds of approval increase with each level of the appeal process.
In order to ensure that your appeal has the greatest chance of success, these three tips will help you organize your evidence and make your case as strong as possible.
Tip #1 - Consider Other Side Effects
When it comes to cancer, the treatment can often cause side effects that are just as harmful as the condition itself, if not more so.
Depending on the stage of your breast cancer and your course of treatment, you might be experiencing side effects that could impact your ability to work.
If chemotherapy is part of your treatment plan, consider how the side effects might be impacting you. If you are sick for days after receiving treatment, then this could help to strengthen your claim.
If you had surgery and your recovery isn’t progressing as planned, this could also help support your appeal.
Sometimes, your appeal can be supported by the side effects of your condition but they must be documented thoroughly.
Tip #2 - Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
One of the most important pieces of evidence in a disability appeal is the residual functional capacity (RFC), which is a determination of the maximum amount of work you are capable of performing giving your condition and all associated side effects.
The RFC is important because the SSA official evaluating your case will not be able to speak to you directly about your specific circumstances.
The SSA utilizes the Blue Book, which is a comprehensive guide to countless medical conditions. Though the Blue Book is comprehensive, every case is unique and the RFC allows you to explain how your condition prevents you from working when you can’t be there yourself to present your case.
Tip #3 - Obtain Further Testing
With so many disability benefits claims submitted to the SSA daily, decisions can take anywhere from three to five months.
In that time period, your condition or the side effects may have worsened so it’s a good idea to take a fresh look at your initial claim and determine whether you could add additional medical examinations and evaluations to support your claim.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
The last thing you need to do when you’re dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis is to worry about filing an appeal for disability benefits.
Fortunately, you might choose to work with a disability attorney who can help ensure you file the appeal in a timely manner while also making sure that your appeal is as complete as possible.
There is no guarantee that working with a disability attorney will guarantee that you win your appeal, but it will greatly improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Having an attorney working on your case will make sure that you have a strong appeal, and there is very little risk because disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you only pay if you win your case.
To learn more about how a disability attorney can help you, fill out a free case evaluation form.