Every cancer is scary, but not every cancer is the same. The term cancer refers to more than 200 different diseases that have one thing in common:  they all involve unregulated cell growth. Some cancers have few symptoms and are easily treated. Other cancers cause intense pain and other symptoms that make it hard to engage in everyday life. Other cancers are almost always terminal.

Because there are so many different types of cancers, a diagnosis of cancer is not enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

In order to qualify for benefits for any disability, you must meet certain criteria:

  • You must be diagnosed with a medical condition that makes you physically or mentally incapable of working for pay.
  • Your medical condition must be expected to last at least one year, or result in death.


Before applying for benefits for cancer, discuss your diagnosis with your doctor. Ask your doctor to describe the symptoms you can expect as your cancer progresses. Ask him how long you can expect to be ill and if your treatment will cause additional symptoms. Ask how these symptoms will affect your everyday life. Ask your doctor to prepare a written statement describing how your symptoms will affect your ability to work.

If your cancer will prevent you from working for one year or longer, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Your first step is to complete the application. Make sure you fill the forms out completely. Leaving out information may cause your application to be denied or delayed. You can learn more about preparing a successful SSDI application in our free brochure, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

After you complete the application, a representative from the Social Security Administration (SSA) will contact you about an interview. It is important for you to be honest about your diagnosis, your symptoms, and the affect that your cancer has on your life. After the interview, the SSA will obtain your medical records and any other information they need to make a decision. You will be notified of the decision by mail.

If you are denied benefits, and you honestly believe that you cannot work, you may appeal the decision. Our experienced Omaha cancer disability claims attorneys can let you know if you have a chance of winning your appeal. They can also help you file your application to insure that the paperwork is completed properly. To schedule a free case evaluation with an Omaha disability benefits lawyer, contact Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 today.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska