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Claiming a diagnosis of cancer does not necessarily qualify you for disability benefits. No matter what type of cancer you have, you need to provide medical evidence. The DDS examiner assigned to your case will want to see medical records that confirm diagnosis and symptoms, lab results, biopsy reports, and documentation that states where the cancer began and if it has metastasized.
Approval will depend not only on the type of cancer, but also on the prognosis for recovery. Cases of cancer that have been treated and are not expected to reoccur are less likely to qualify for benefits. Each case is reviewed to determine the person’s ability to return to work, their work history and education, and their residual functional capacity.
Inoperable cancers, cancers that have metastasized beyond the local lymph nodes, and cancers that reoccur after surgery or treatment will most often be grounds for benefit approval. Some types of aggressive cancers allow for immediate approval. This is known as a compassionate allowance. If your form of cancer is found on the compassionate allowance list, you will be given disability benefits on a fast track. Some types of cancer that meet a compassionate allowance listing are primary cancer of the liver, bile ducts or gall bladder, mesothelioma of the pleura, metastatic brain cancer, and oat cell cancer of the lungs.