SSDI Disability Benefits for Liver Cancer
Liver cancer is a type of chronic liver disease that may qualify a patient for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). It's important to understand eligibility for liver cancer disability benefits and circumstances that could allow faster approval under the Compassionate Allowances program.
SSDI Eligibility Requirements for Liver CancerLiver cancer falls under Social Security Administration's (SSA) listing of impairments for malignant neoplastic diseases. Although it meets a disability listing, there are other requirements. One is that the disability caused by the cancer has lasted (or has an expectancy to last) at least one year. When applying for SSDI, it's important to show evidence of the condition. Doctor statements and medical records are examples.
The applicant must also have sufficient work credits, which depends on his or her age (workers can earn up to four credits per year). For example, if younger than 24, the individual must have six credits within the last three-year period. If 62 or older, the individual must have 40 credits. Others require a number of credits somewhere in between.
When Liver Cancer Qualifies for Disability Benefits Through Compassionate Allowances ProgramLiver cancer is progressive. And many times the symptoms don't present themselves until it has spread. By the time an individual receives the diagnosis, it could be life-threatening. Because the timeframe of applying for and receiving disability benefits is sometimes lengthy, there's an option to expedite the process. It's called the Compassionate Allowances program.
A limited number of medical conditions fall under Compassionate Allowances. These are diseases that, in general, receive an automatic approval for benefits. Although there is less hassle for liver cancer patients filing for disability benefits this way, it still requires having adequate proof of the cancer.
Symptoms of Life-Threatening Liver CancerSome refer to liver cancer as a "silent" disease because the symptoms may not become evident until it has spread. According to the American Cancer Society, once symptoms of liver cancer develop, they may include:
- loss of appetite;
- unexplained weight loss;
- pain on right side of upper abdomen; and
- enlarged liver or spleen felt under the ribs.