The treatment of ovarian cancer often involves a series of procedures. These include invasive diagnostic tests, chemotherapy, surgery, etc. You may need to stop working until the entire treatment is over. The duration of the treatment varies from one individual to another.
If the nature of the treatment forces you to stay out of the office for 12 months or more, you will most likely be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Read on to find out more about ovarian cancer and your chances of getting the above-mentioned benefits.
Medical Qualification You’ll Need to Get Disability Benefits
It’s not enough to be a woman suffering from ovarian cancer to medically qualify for disability benefits automatically. Once you are diagnosed with the condition, you’ll have to find out where you stand as per Social Security Administration’s Blue Book.
For your information, the Blue Book is SSA’s in-house medical guide. The SSA consults this book to find out whether the applicants are eligible for disability benefits or not.
The Blue Book features details of several hundred potentially eligible illnesses. It also elaborates what kind of symptoms or test results an applicant needs to have to get her application approved. Here, we would like to mention that you’ll need to submit medical records as proof of your symptoms and test results.
You will get information on ovarian cancer in Section 13.23 of the medical guide Blue Book. Women with ovarian cancer can become eligible for the benefits in any one of the following ways.
- Their cancer doesn’t contain any germ cell tumor and one or more of the statements below are true.
- Their cancer has spread beyond the pelvis, for instance, into the patient’s bowels.
- Their cancer has spread beyond the local lymph nodes.
- Their cancer has come back even after the completion of anticancer therapy.
- It’s a germ cell tumor and cancer has come back even after anticancer therapy.
- You have oat cell/small cell cancer, which is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Treating these cancers is extremely difficult.
You Can Medically Qualify for the Benefits Even without Meeting any of the Above Criteria
The Blue Book doesn’t consider all ovarian cancer patients to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. For example, State I and Stage II patients are unlikely to get the benefits, if the rules set by the Blue Book are followed.
The good news is that you can still become eligible even if the Blue Book doesn’t list your current health status. To earn that eligibility, you’ll need to prove that the disease has kept you out of work for a prolonged period. A social security disability lawyer can help you in proving your eligibility and get claims when the SSA denies doing so.
The benefits you’ll get for being out of work fall under the category of Medical-Vocational Allowance. You can receive this allowance if your treatment continues for 12 months or more. You’ll be eligible also if debilitating side effects of treatment procedures like chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, etc. stop you from going to work.
You should gather information about criteria you’ll need to meet for getting Social Security disability benefits the moment you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Your doctor and lawyer are the best people to guide you on the subject.