There are many types of skin diseases that qualify for disability, and skin cancer is one of them. Skin cancer is the most common type of Skin Cancer Road Sign cancer in the U.S., and each year, doctors see approximately 76,000 new cases of melanoma. While sun exposure is the primary cause of skin cancer, you can also develop this condition by exposure to UV light from tanning beds, living in environments with intense sunlight, repeated X-ray exposure, and occupational exposure to certain chemicals. Over the last three decades, more people have developed skin cancer than all other types of cancers combined.

If your skin cancer interferes with your ability to work, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. But it’s important to know that only cancer that is severe enough to keep you from performing “any substantial gainful activity” will result in a positive decision about receiving benefits.   

How to Meet the Disability Criteria for Skin Cancer

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has established criteria that must be met in order for a person to receive disability benefits for skin cancer. Based on your specific condition, the SSA will determine if your skin cancer meets a certain severity level. Your condition will likely meet that level if your diagnosis is:

  • Sarcoma or carcinoma. Either cancer type must have spread (metastasized) beyond the area lymph nodes.
  • Melanoma. This cancer came back after the tumor and surrounding skin were removed. 
  • Melanoma. The tumor has spread to a clinically obvious lymph node or to more than three lymph nodes.
  • Melanoma. This cancer has metastasized to a distant site or area skin.  

It’s possible to meet the SSA’s severity criteria, even if your skin cancer has not spread; but, you must be diagnosed with a melanoma that has returned after being surgically removed. The SSA will require medical documentation that states the type of tumor, its location, and specific information about it.

If you have skin cancer, and you believe you meet the SSA’s criteria for receiving benefits, call us today at call 402-933-5405 to discuss your condition.


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