Bladder cancer is the fourth-most common cancer in men and the ninth-most common cancer in women. More than 72 thousand Americans are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. About 75 percent of those who are diagnosed are men.

Thankfully, nearly half of all bladder cancers are detected early while there are many treatment options and the survival rates are very high. Sometimes, though, bladder cancer reoccurs. Recurrent bladder cancer may be more difficult to treat.

Most people are able to continue working while being treated for bladder cancer. However, working may not be an option if the cancer is advanced or if there is a bad reaction to the treatment. Some people with bladder cancer may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.

There are three ways to qualify for disability due to bladder cancer:

-You can meet the requirements of a Compassionate Allowances listing…or

-You can meet or equal the requirements of a disability listing in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book”…or

- If you can prove that your physical limitations due to your disease are severe enough to prevent you from returning to your past work or do any other work for one year or longer.

The Social Security Administration offers fast-track processing for people with certain severe disabilities. Applicants who qualify for the Compassionate Allowances Program can receive a decision within weeks rather than waiting months. You can qualify for a compassionate allowance if you have medical documentation that your cancer is inoperable, cannot be completely removed, or has spread to other parts of your body.

To qualify for benefits under the second option: meeting the disability listing in the “Blue Book” for bladder cancer—you must provide medical documentation of one of these situations:

-Your cancer has infiltrated beyond the bladder wall…or

-Your cancer has reoccurred after a total cystectomy…or

-Your cancer is inoperable or cannot be removed by surgery…or

-Your cancer has spread to other parts of the body or beyond the regional lymph nodes,

If you do not qualify for disability benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Program or, the “Blue Book” listing, Social Security will assess your ability to work based on your residual functional capacity. This is an evaluation what type of work you are able to perform given your age, education and medical condition. If Social Security determines that you can work, your benefits application will be denied.

If you have been denied Social Security disability benefits, but believe you can’t work due to your medical condition, you have a right to appeal the decision.

We at Cuddigan Law can be your advocate for the appeal. At Cuddigan Law you have a dedicated team of professionals who will fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.


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