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Breast cancer and Social Security disability benefits

Cancer is one of those words that we all hate to hear. Yet, it’s prevalent enough that this disease has affected just about everyone in Iowa in one way or another, either directly or indirectly. For those afflicted with some variation of this disease, life can take a dramatic turn, and the things that were once easy and enjoyable suddenly become impossible. This includes the ability to work. Those cancer sufferers who are unable to work may not only feel like they’ve lost their sense of purpose, but also their income. As a result, it can become difficult for them to make ends meet and pay for the medical treatment they need.

Fortunately, these individuals may be able to recover Social Security disability benefits if they can show that they meet the federal requirements necessary to be deemed “disabled.” Breast cancer is one of the forms of cancer that may qualify for SSD benefits. In order to do so, though, a sufferer must show one of five existing conditions.

The first condition is cancer that has advanced, connecting to the skin or chest wall, or cancer that has metastasized to reach the mammary nodes. The second condition also involves advancement of the disease so that it affects either the supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodes, or 10 or more axillary nodes. The third condition that may qualify an individual for SSD benefits is a carcinoma that recurs, and the fourth condition is the existence of a small-cell carcinoma. The fifth and final qualifying condition when it comes to breast cancer is lymphedema that is caused by cancer treatment and that affects an upper extremity.

As you can probably gather, there is a lot of medical evidence that must be considered before a determination can be made as to whether an individual qualifies for disability benefits. Failing to present adequate evidence can result in a denied claim. To ensure that one’s claim is as strong as possible before being considered, or when an appeal is necessary, those facing a disability may want to seek professional guidance before proceeding.