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Cancer patients may pursue SSD benefits

Having cancer is difficult enough. From potentially challenging courses of chemotherapy or radiation treatment, to an uncertain diagnosis, every day may present new difficulties. Those with cancer may find they need help that they did not need before. One resource that may provide some relief to patients is the possible award of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to Tennessee patients suffering from cancer.

In determining whether the Social Security Administration will award benefits to a person with cancer, the SSA will consider a number of factors. The agency evaluates the origin of a person's cancer and how extensive the disease is. The agency also considers the duration and frequency of a person's cancer, as well as how the disease has responded to any anticancer therapies. Furthermore, before awarding benefits, the agency will consider whether a patient has suffered from any post-therapeutic residual effects.

The SSA evaluates whether a person's particular cancer qualifies as disabling and will look at specific time periods to see how long cancer has affected a patient. Furthermore, the SSA requires that sufficient time passes from when a person receives treatment before awarding benefits to determine the effectiveness of such treatment. For single modality therapy, the SSA recognizes that treatment failure typically happens within six months after treatment starts. For multimodal treatment, the SSA may need to consider the effects of all planned therapies before it makes a decision regarding benefits.

If you or a loved one has cancer and would like to apply for SSD benefits, it may be beneficial to seek the help of an attorney to guide you through the process. It can be overwhelming to try to determine how to apply for benefits, or, if a person has already applied and received a denied claim, how to appeal. Attorney guidance can prove to be invaluable.

Source: ssa.gov, "Cancer-Adult", accessed Dec. 4, 2015

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