Individuals with breast cancer may be eligible to receive disability benefits. There are three ways that Social Security approves eligibility for disability benefits. The first way, qualifying for a Compassionate Allowance, was discussed in a past blog [insert link]. The applicant may also be approved for benefits by meeting the requirements of the disability listing for breast cancer in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book. An applicant may also an applicant may prove that the breast cancer is sufficiently limiting to prevent him or her from performing full-time work or any new type of work. In this case, the applicant demonstrates some diminished or nonexistent residual functional capacity (RFC).
In the SSA’s Blue Book containing the listing of impairments, Listing 13.10 contains the criteria for evaluating cases of breast cancer. To qualify for disability benefits, an applicant must have one of the following:
- distant metastases (cancer has spread from the original or primary tumor to distant organs or lymph nodes);
- inflammatory carcinoma;
- metastases to the ipsilateral internal mammary nodes;
- metastases to the supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodes;
- metastases to ten or more axillary nodes;
- recurrent carcinoma; or
- tumor with direct extension to the chest wall or skin.
If the medical evidence does not indicate a condition that meets the requirements of the listing for breast cancer, the SSA may approve eligibility based on a medical-vocational allowance. This occurs in the situation where an applicant’s disability is sufficiently severe that he or she is unable to work and unable to engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). In these cases, the SSA may approve eligibility for disability benefits.
This involves an assessment of how much functional capacity an applicant still has to do some work. This assessment includes an examination of how much an applicant can lift and carry, as well as the length of time the applicant is able to walk, stand, and sit. This results in the assignment of a residual functional capacity (RFC) rating.
The Sullivan Law Office may assist all applicants throughout all steps of the administrative process of determining disability and eligibility for appropriate, related benefits. If you have any questions or concerns about any kind of disability case, including Social Security Disability, long-term disability, short-term disability, state retirement and workers’ compensation, call the Sullivan Law Office today! Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.