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A woman sits in her home in Los Angeles wondering if her cancer symptoms qualify her for Social Security.


A woman sits in her home in Los Angeles wondering if her cancer symptoms qualify her for Social Security.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a truly devastating experience, causing you to worry about your future and how you will support yourself while fighting this serious illness. In addition to the physical effects of cancer itself, you will have to deal with the major physical toll of cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

While you’re fighting your cancer, it can be hard to work in any profound capacity, which is why many people with cancer wonder about their eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. Read about the types of cancer that qualify you for Los Angeles disability benefits and find out how you can receive payments while you’re fighting your illness.

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Cancers That Are Automatically Eligible

Your first step in receiving your Social Security disability benefits will be to examine what type of cancer you have. Most of the major forms of cancer are eligible for benefits in one way or another, and receiving and documenting an affirmative diagnosis will be integral in getting the disability payments you need to support yourself during this most trying time.

For the most part, any cancer that is in stage IV or is terminal will make you eligible for disability benefits, and there are also specific forms of cancer that should qualify you to receive disability benefits with just a diagnosis. A few of these types of cancer are as follows:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Small cell cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

If you have any of these listed cancers or another of the types mentioned in the Social Security Blue Book, then you should be eligible to apply for benefits.

A young adult woman sits in her home in Los Angeles looking at the cancer medication prescribed to her.More Than Just the Diagnosis

Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis alone will not always be enough for you to start receiving your benefits. Most individuals fighting cancer will receive disability benefits because of their treatment. This is particularly true for cancers that are not listed in the Blue Book.

If your form of cancer doesn’t immediately qualify, you will seek a medical vocational allowance, which takes into account several factors, most importantly your ability to work and go about your daily life, to determine whether or not you will receive disability benefits.

For example, chemotherapy often comes with extreme side effects like prolonged nausea, extreme fatigue, and mental confusion. If these symptoms reduce your capacity to work or eliminate it completely, this is when you would receive benefits based on a medical vocational allowance.

The best way for you to receive your benefits in a timely manner is to request that your oncologist fill out and submit a residual functional capacity (RFC) form. On this RFC form, your treating physician will outline the extent of your cancer and how much the illness and its treatment will affect your quality of life and ability to work.

A typical RFC form related to cancer should include information about the type of treatment you will receive and how long it will last, the lingering effects of your treatment that may interfere with your work capacity, and whether or not you will be punctual and perform your work duties.

Denied Disability Benefits for Cancer?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, don’t give up hope. The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour may be able to help

Sometimes, the claims adjuster may deny your disability claim over a misunderstanding, lack of evidence, or error in filing. That’s where we come in. We have a proven track record of success in helping our clients get the benefits they need and deserve. We understand the challenges that cancer patients face, and we know how to navigate the Social Security Disability system. Our attorneys work with you to gather the necessary medical evidence and build a strong case for your benefits.

An experienced social security attorney in Los Angeles comforts a client looking to gain disability benefits due to their cancer diagnosis.

Still Have Questions About Cancer and Disability Benefits?

After you receive your cancer diagnosis and are planning to apply for Social Security disability, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney from the Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour. We understand the requirements for receiving disability benefits for cancer and help guide you through the process so that you can focus on your treatment.

We’ve been helping disabled individuals in the Greater Los Angeles area, the Inland Empire, and Orange County get the disability benefits they need for years. Call Dr. Bill LaTour and his team today at 877-694-9065 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.