Each year, more than one-and-a-half million Americans are diagnosed with invasive cancer. Cancer is not a single disease, but a group of more than 200 medical conditions that involve irregular cell growth. Cancer occurs when cells don’t know when to stop growing and dividing.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.  About 600,000 Americans a year die from the disease. However, better detection and better treatments mean that survival rates are improving.

A diagnosis of cancer affects all your entire life, including your ability to hold a job and earn a living. Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) are available for patients diagnosed with advanced and late stage cancers who are unable to work for one year or longer because of their condition.

The normal SSDI application process can take months. Our Omaha SSDI lawyers know applicants who have waited a year or longer for Social Security benefits. But, not everyone has time to wait.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that those with serious, life-threatening illnesses such as late stage cancer need quick assistance.  They offer a fast-track process for certain applicants through the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program.

Compassionate allowances allow certain applicants to receive expedited claims processing. Instead of waiting months for a decision, these applicants receive benefits in six to eight weeks. In order to qualify for the Compassionate Allowance program, your cancer must be included on the SSA’s list of Compassionate Allowance conditions.

In order to apply for SSDI through the Compassionate Allowance program, you must have medical documentation of your cancer and of your treatment plan. You must fill in all of the paperwork correctly.

Those who don’t qualify for a compassionate allowance may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits for cancer through the normal application process. In order to receive benefits, you need to submit medical records that explain how your cancer or treatment plan affects your ability to work for pay. You will also need to list every job you have held in the past 15 years.  You will be denied benefits if the SSA determines you can still perform one of these jobs.

To learn more about preparing a successful SSDI application request a free copy of our brochure, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case. If you have additional questions or need help with your application, please contact the Omaha Social Security disability attorneys at Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405. Your initial case evaluation is free.

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