If you have been diagnosed with lymphoma, there may be financial assistance available for you and your family. Under some circumstances, lymphoma clearly qualifies and your claim could be approved in as little as 10 days. For other applicants though, an approval for Social Security disability with lymphoma may be harder to achieve. Even if you must fight to get approved though, winning a disability case means you’ll receive monthly benefits that can help you stay afloat financially when your symptoms and treatment schedule, side effects, or complications stop you from bringing home a regular paycheck.
The Lymphoma Disability Listing
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has established severity level requirements that must be met before any applicant can medically qualify for benefits. These details are outlined in the SSA’s Blue Book, which is a manual that contains dozens of disability listings for “common” medical conditions.
The lymphoma listing appears in Section 13.05. Provided your medical records show at least one of the following, then you meet this listing and are therefore medically eligible for benefits:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that is either resistant to treatment or returns following initial therapy
- Indolent, non-Hodgkin’s that has been treated at least twice in a one-year period
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma that persists or returns within one-year of completing the first round of therapy
- Lymphoma of the mantle cell form
You can additionally qualify under this listing if you have undergone a bone marrow or stem cell treatment. These therapies automatically medically qualify you for a period of no less than 12-months after the completion of the transplant procedure.
Medical Approval without Meeting the Disability Listing
Not all people that get benefits for lymphoma are able to meet or closely match the SSA’s disability listing. Some get approved under a medical vocational allowance (MVA) instead. To achieve this kind of medical approval, you must be able to show that you experience severe functional limitations that stop you from working entirely.
Functional limitations may include things like an inability to prepare food, maintain concentration, clean your home, run errands, or maintain balance, just as a few examples. The SSA examines these limitations to better understand the kinds of physical and mental challenges you face in completing typical job duties. If the SSA finds you cannot reasonably hold a job given the limitations you experience, then you can be approved for disability under an MVA.
Supporting Your Disability Claim with Medical Evidence
Whether you qualify through the Blue Book or an MVA, you’ll need appropriate medical records to support your claim. The SSA must see at least the following:
- Evidence of a definitive diagnosis, like a biopsy or pathology report
- Records of treatment, including the schedule, type, and results
- A longitudinal report from your physician, explaining the diagnosis, progression, and prognosis
Your doctor is your partner in your treatment plan and in applying for disability. He or she can help you understand the SSA medical qualification requirements and the evidence they must see in order to approve your claim.
Applying for Benefits
There are two forms of benefits you could apply for: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is far and way the most commonly used form of disability benefits. So long as you’ve worked at least part-time throughout adulthood, you’ll almost certainly qualify for SSDI.
An application for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program can be completed at the local office or online. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) however, you must complete a personal interview. This may be done over the phone in some cases, by calling 1-800-772-1213. Interviews are more often conducted at the local office though, and typically require no appointment.
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