By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

In the face of a cancer diagnosis, the challenges can be overwhelming, both emotionally and financially. If you or a loved one find yourselves grappling with the complexities of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in Florida, understanding the criteria for cancer-related disabilities becomes crucial. At Disability Advocates Group, our compassionate Social Security Disability Attorneys recognize the unique struggles individuals face during such difficult times. This blog post aims to shed light on the essential aspects of meeting eligibility criteria for SSDI and SSI applications in Florida.

Understanding SSDI and SSI

Before delving into the specifics of cancer-related disabilities, let’s clarify the distinction between SSDI and SSI. SSDI is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities who have contributed to the Social Security system through payroll taxes. On the other hand, SSI is a needs-based program that supports disabled individuals with limited income and resources.

Cancer-Related Disabilities and Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits due to a cancer-related disability, applicants must meet certain criteria established by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It’s important to note that the process can be intricate, and seeking professional assistance from Disability Advocates Group can significantly enhance the chances of a successful application.

  1. Medical Documentation

The cornerstone of any disability claim is comprehensive medical documentation. When applying for SSDI or SSI benefits based on a cancer diagnosis, it’s imperative to provide thorough medical records, including:

  • Diagnosis details: Clearly state the type, stage, and location of the cancer.
  • Treatment information: Outline the treatments received, such as surgeries, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
  • Response to treatment: Document how the body has responded to treatments and any associated side effects.
  • Prognosis: Include information on the expected course of the disease and its impact on daily life.
  1. Duration and Severity of Impairment

The SSA assesses the duration and severity of the impairment caused by cancer to determine eligibility for benefits. Disabilities must last or be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. Severity is evaluated based on the impact of the impairment on an individual’s ability to perform substantial gainful activity.

  1. Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

The SSA considers an applicant’s Residual Functional Capacity (RFC), which assesses the individual’s ability to perform work-related activities despite their impairment. Cancer-related symptoms and side effects, such as fatigue, pain, or cognitive difficulties, are crucial factors in determining RFC.

  1. Compassionate Allowances

Recognizing the urgency of certain medical conditions, including some types of cancer, the SSA has established a Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program. CAL expedites the processing of applications for applicants with severe medical conditions, ensuring faster access to benefits for those in critical need.

How Disability Advocates Group Can Help

Navigating the SSDI and SSI application process can be daunting, especially during a challenging time like dealing with cancer. Disability Advocates Group is here to guide Floridians from Hialeah to Port St. Lucie through every step, ensuring that their applications stand the best chance of approval.

  1. Professional Assessment

Our experienced team will assess your case, evaluating the medical evidence, duration, and severity of your cancer-related disability. We will work closely with you to understand your unique situation, gathering the necessary documentation for a robust application.

  1. Application Assistance

Completing the SSDI or SSI application accurately is crucial for success. Disability Advocates Group will help you fill out the necessary forms, ensuring all relevant information is presented clearly to the SSA.

  1. Appeals Support

In the unfortunate event of a denial, our team is ready to assist with the appeals process. Whether it involves reconsideration, administrative law judge hearings, or further appeals, Disability Advocates Group is committed to advocating for your rights.

Facing a cancer diagnosis is an immense challenge, and the last thing you need is the added stress of navigating the complexities of SSDI and SSI applications alone. Disability Advocates Group is your ally in this journey, providing the expertise needed to meet the criteria for cancer-related disabilities in Florida. Don’t let financial worries compound your struggles – reach out to us for compassionate and knowledgeable assistance today.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals in Florida obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.