Women’s health advocates and statistical evidence name cervical cancer as the second most common cancer in women, led only by breast cancer. It occurs in women who have had HPV and causes death in over 4,000 patients every year in the U.S. alone.
Health officials advise women to take preventative measures to avoid contracting the disease, particularly by getting regular Pap smears and working closely with their doctors for other preventative care.
With or without preventative care, women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits if they’re unable to work due to the disease. Social Security disability benefits can’t eliminate the burden of fighting cancer, but it can at least help provide financial assistance during this difficult time.
Social Security Disability’s Listing for Cervical Cancer
For the typical applicant, the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to see three specific things in a patient’s medical records to begin to qualify them for disability benefits:
- The cancer occupies a relatively large area of the pelvis
- The cancer returns or remains after initial therapy
- The cancer spreads (metastasizes) to distant lymph nodes
These are only the medical determinations that may qualify a woman who has been diagnosed with cervical cancer for benefits, but they aren’t the only pieces of information the SSA will review when determining whether she is eligible to receive benefits.
Additional Criteria for Social Security Disability
All applicants, regardless of their injury or illness, also need to prove they meet a few other non-medical criteria for benefits.
First, they must prove their condition prevents them from working or from performing substantial gainful activity. They will need to gather evidence from their doctor(s), employer(s), and caretaker(s) to help support whatever claims they make about their lifestyle and health condition.
Next, they must document the amount of time their condition is expected to last and has affected their ability to work up to the current time.
Full Applications Are Strong Applications
It’s important to provide as much evidence as possible to the SSA when first applying; the administration will review all the evidence you provide — especially that of healthcare professionals and other objective witnesses — to determine the severity of your condition, the impact of it and its treatment on your lifestyle, and your ability to find work due to your condition.
Keep in mind that the average Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) claim rattles through the bureaucracy for over a year before resulting in a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). This means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to supplement or update files with new medical information each time you visit the doctor.
Planning ahead and putting your best foot forward not only increase your chances of getting approved, but also increase the likelihood that you can be approved on the first try. If you’re approved after an initial application, the whole process will only take a few months. Compare that to being approved after a hearing, which can take months or even years.
Help Applying for Disability Benefits from an Indiana Attorney
One way to compile the strongest application is to get help doing it — and not just any help, but aid from a professional who knows how to represent SSDI cases to the SSA. Hensley Legal Group’s Social Security disability lawyers have been helping Hoosiers earn benefits since 1998, and we’re ready to take your case.
To get started, call us or contact us online. The first conversation is free, and we won’t be paid until you are.