Meet the Requirements of the Compassionate Allowances Listing for Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is one of the 200 conditions included in the Compassionate Allowances listings. These conditions are considered severely disabling enough that they automatically qualify a person as disabled because of the nature of the disease. Not all instances of ovarian cancer will qualify your claim for immediate approval through the compassionate allowances program. To qualify, the cancer must be: inoperable; unresectable (unable to be removed with surgery), or with distant metastases.
Have a Confirmed Disabling Type of Ovarian Cancer
If you do not immediately qualify for the Compassionate Allowances listing you may still qualify as disabled if your cancer meets other conditions. The cancer must manifest either by spreading cells to or beyond the regional lymph nodes (metastases) or as a tumor that extends beyond the pelvis. Another indication of severity is if the tumor is recurrent following initial treatment with chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiotherapy. If the tumor is a germ-cell tumor, it must be progressive or recurrent following initial therapy.
Show Poor or No Response to Treatment
You must have documented treatment of the ovarian cancer and a record of how the cancer responded to treatment. Ovarian cancer is generally treated through chemotherapy, surgical removal of the tumor, hormone therapy, or radiotherapy. The SSA requires a period of time to have passed since the start of treatment to determine if it will have the intended effect. In many cases, treatment such as chemotherapy will produce temporary adverse effects that may contribute to the degree of disability a woman experiences from ovarian cancer. The SSA may not consider residual effects of treatment unless they cause disability for a duration of more than 12 months. The therapy must be found to have been ineffective due to one of the following the: cancer persists; cancer progresses; or cancer goes into remission but later returns.
Meet the Basic Requirements for Disability
For any medical condition to be considered disabling it must prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The condition must be a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death. Your impairment must prevent you from performing the work you did previously before becoming disabled and also prevent you from doing any other type of work for which you are qualified. Furthermore, to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits you must have worked for a certain amount of time as reported to the SSA. Generally, you will need to have earned 40 work credits, 20 of which were earned in the 10 years prior to you having become disabled. A work credit is earned for every $1,160 of wages or self-employment income, up to four credits per year.
File a Social Security Disability Benefits Claim
Once you have determined that you should be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you will need to file an application for SSDI benefits along with an adult disability report. These forms may be completed online through the SSA website or in person at your local Social Security office. When completing these forms it is important to have all of your evidence on hand, including medical records, employment records, medication lists, and contact information for your physicians. The applications are several pages long and require extensive information to complete, but you are also allowed to ask for assistance when filling out your benefit application and paperwork. A friend or family member familiar with your condition may assist you, as well as a caretaker or representative at the SSA office. For extra assistance, a disability attorney can help you file your claim and also assist you if an appeal is necessary once a decision has been made or if your application was rejected.
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