A cancer diagnosis is a frightening, life-altering prospect. The moment you get the news, you know your life will be different, and during these uncertain times, you should not have to worry about money. Treatment can be a lengthy process, and both the disease and the side effects from the chemo can be difficult to manage while working.
Many cancer patients reach a point where they are unable to work. Lost income is an added stress to an already difficult situation, but those who are unable to work due to a serious medical condition may have a valid claim to Social Security Disability Income.
Are you eligible for SSDI?
Any California applicant who wishes to obtain SSDI benefits from the Social Security Administration must meet the following two requirements:
- Must have a qualifying medical condition expected to last for a period of at least one year
- Must have an employment history that included paying into Social Security
Cancer patients often find that they are unable to work for the entirety of their treatment cycle, a period that can last a year or longer. It can be a long process to actually obtain benefits, even if you are fully qualified. You would be wise to work with a lawyer to begin the application process as soon as possible.
A denied SSDI claim is not the end
Many first-time SSDI applications come back denied. This is a frustrating roadblock, but it is not the end of the road for you. You have the right to reapply, appeal or request a reconsideration of your claim.
If you are not eligible for SSDI benefits despite having a diagnosis of cancer, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits. This is a different type of support, and eligibility depends upon financial need and a qualifying medical condition.
Support for the process
You may think that there is no need for a lawyer to simply apply for benefits, but this is not always true. Experience in the Social Security system can be a critical component of a successful claim, and in the event that complications arise, a lawyer may prove to be an invaluable ally.
A careful evaluation of your situation will identify the legal options available to you and help you understand how to move forward with your claim for SSDI or SSI benefits after receiving a cancer diagnosis.