If your application for disability benefits was denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal. Oftentimes, an application for disability benefits for a cancer diagnosis is denied because of a lack of medical documentation, so it’s important that you submit an appeal with more information than you submitted originally.
It is possible to receive disability benefits for your cancer diagnosis, but if your claim was denied then these three tips will help you focus your efforts to put forth the strongest appeal possible.
Tip #1 - Examine All Side Effects
With a cancer diagnosis, sometimes the treatment is as challenging as the disease itself. If you are undergoing chemotherapy and it is preventing you from working, make sure you outline its impact in your appeal. You might also require surgery for your cancer, and the recovery from surgery could be making it difficult to perform the requirements of your position.
While your cancer by itself might not be enough to meet the criteria listed in the Blue Book to receive disability benefits, the combination of your cancer, side effects from chemotherapy and/or surgery could help you to build your case.
Tip #2 - Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
The residual functional capacity (RFC) is a form that your doctor completes that is a determination of the maximum amount of work you are capable of performing given your condition. If you didn’t include an RFC in your initial application, make sure you have it in your appeal because it outlines exactly what you are capable of while taking into consideration your cancer diagnosis and the impact of treatment and surgery on your ability to work.
You will want to work with your doctor as you fill this form out so that you can make sure your doctor is aware of every side effect when filling out the form.
Tip #3 - Obtain Further Testing
In most cases, about three to five months can pass between submitting your disability benefits claim and getting a response. In that time, your circumstances could have changed in such a way that while you were not eligible before, you are by the time you file an appeal.
If there are any medical exams that you did not complete prior to submitting your initial claim, work with your doctor to make sure that you have as many of them completed so that this information can strengthen your appeal.
For best results, consult with the Blue Book to determine what the SSA will look for with your specific type of cancer and make sure that you have completed all testing as indicated so that the person making a decision will have it all available in your appeal.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
Filing an appeal for disability benefits can be stressful. You must submit your appeal within 60 days of being notified of the SSA’s decision, and you’re already dealing with a lot as a result of your cancer diagnosis. You might consider consulting with a Social Security disability attorney, who can help you with your appeal.
There are many upsides to working with a disability attorney. Not only are they experts who understand the appeal process and what it takes to achieve a favorable outcome, but they can also help you to gather the evidence you need to support your claim.
Though there is no guarantee that working with a disability attorney will guarantee a win for your appeal, there is very little risk because there is no payment required upfront, and you only pay if you win your case.
To learn more about how a disability attorney could help with your case, fill out a free case evaluation form.