Millions of people in the United States are currently fighting a battle against cancer. Cancer takes a toll on people both physically and emotionally, and it can also impact their finances if they are unable to work.

The Social Security Administration may provide Social Security Disability benefits for illnesses to those who have worked for a number of years and paid into the Social Security program, but are now unable to work due to their illness.

Many cancer patients qualify for benefits if their condition is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book under Section 13.00. While some aggressive forms of cancer, such as esophageal or liver cancer, will automatically qualify for benefits just with a diagnosis, other forms of cancer have specific criteria that must be met and will require additional evidence. The SSA will consider where the cancer originated, how the cancer is responding to treatment, and the extent of involvement.

The SSA’s Compassionate Allowance List (CAL) lists more than 50 types of cancers that may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance. In other words, if your condition is clearly severe enough to automatically meet the SSA’s criteria for disability, claim evaluators may decide to expedite your application for benefits. This could allow you to get your disability benefits more quickly. For cancer patients, this generally means that you must have an aggressive or advanced cancer that is inoperable or has distant metastases.

Getting diagnosed with cancer and having to undergo treatment when you are unable to work can be overwhelming. Filing for disability benefits can relieve some of the financial stress on you and your family during this difficult time. An attorney with experience handling SSD benefits can help you with every step of the application process.