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Cancer patients may qualify for Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability benefits are important benefits available to disabled individuals who have worked and paid into Social Security Disability. Social Security Disability benefits are available to individuals who suffer from disabilities that prevent him them from working. Disabilities may be caused by a physical or mental medical condition, including cancer. Additionally, disabled individuals suffering from cancer may be able to receive expedited processing of their claim for disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration maintains a compassionate allowances list of illnesses that are eligible to receive expedited claims processing such as cancer. In general, to be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits, the disabled individual must have worked for a period of time and paid into the program and meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disability. Self-employed individuals who have paid self-employment taxes may also be eligible. Economic need or having a small income do not impact eligibility for SSD benefits but impact another type of disability benefit referred to as Supplemental Security Income.

While it is important to understand the application process for Social Security Disability benefits, it is also important to appeal a denial of benefits because many initial applications are denied but may be approved on appeal. Disabled individuals who are approved for disability benefits are also eligible for Medicare after a 24-month period. The amount of benefit a disabled individual will receive depends on how long they worked and how much Social Security tax they paid.

If the application for benefits is approved, benefits will begin the sixth full month of disability so it is important to promptly apply when the need arises. Because of the process can be complex and lengthy, it is also helpful to understand it and begin it sooner rather than later once the individual becomes disabled such as following a cancer diagnosis.

Source: Cancer.org, "Social Security Disability Income for Cancer Patients," Accessed Aug. 17, 2017

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