The following article is written by Ram Meyyappan, Social Security Disability Help
Additional Information on Applying for Disability Benefits with Prostate Cancer: Please visit http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/disabling-conditions/prostate-cancer
Prostate Cancer and Social Security Disability
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, a representative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews the Blue Book listings to determine whether or not your disability claim meets the criteria for a condition that has been published in the Blue Book. The Blue Book is a list of all of the conditions that could possibly qualify an individual for Social Security Disability benefits, as well as the criteria that must be met under each listing.
In the case of prostate cancer, the condition is listed under section 13.24 of the SSA’s Blue Book, Prostate Gland Carcinoma. According to the Blue Book, in order to qualify for disability benefits as a result of prostate cancer, your case of cancer must:
· Be progressive or recurrent despite initial hormonal intervention; or
· Have metastasized to other internal organs of the body.
If you can prove through medical documentation that you meet the above-listed criteria, your chances of being awarded disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process will be increased.
If you have small cell cancer of the prostate, then you will qualify for the compassionate allowances program. The compassionate allowances program is designed to speed up the application process for those with severe medical conditions.
SSDI and SSI
When you apply for disability benefits from the SSA, there are two programs that you may qualify for including SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance).
In order to qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough work credits. For most people, this means working at least five of the past ten years. If you are not old enough to have worked a full ten years, you will have to have worked half of the time you have been able to work since age 18. For example, if you are 24, you will have had to have worked three of the past six years in order to have earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.
If you do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, you may be able to qualify for SSI. You do not need work credits in order to qualify for SSI. Instead, SSI is a needs-based program and whether or not you qualify will depend upon your financial information in addition to meeting the disability requirements. In order to financially qualify for SSI benefits as of 2013, you must earn no more than $710 per month as an individual or $1,066 per month as a couple. You must also not have more than $2,000 in assets as an individual or $3,000 in assets as a couple.
For more information on SSDI and SSI visit: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits at your local Social Security office or online at the SSA’s website (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/disability.htm). When you submit your application for benefits, it is crucial that you provide substantial medical evidence to prove that you meet the criteria listed above. This can be done by providing the SSA with copies of your medical records including clinical histories, lab results, and treatment histories. When you submit your application, make sure you are very detailed when providing answers to the questions you are asked. The answers you provide will be used to help determine whether or not you qualify for disability benefits. Written statements from your treating physicians can also help you in your claim for disability benefits. It will take approximately three to six months from the date of your initial application to receive a determination regarding your disability claim.
Appealing a Denial
If the SSA denies your claim for Social Security Disability benefits, you have a right to appeal the decision. You must, however, do so within 60 days of the date of your denial notice.
When filing an appeal, it may be in your best interests to retain the services of a disability attorney. Your attorney can help determine why your initial claim was denied and address any weaknesses in your claim. He or she will then file a Request for Reconsideration. The SSA grants very few reconsideration requests. So if you are denied your initial claim it is likely that you will have to attend a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. This will be your best chance of being approved for benefits.