Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America. It can create problems in your ability to work. But can you get disability for skin cancer, or is it not considered severe enough to be seen as a disability? Let’s find out!
Of late, skin cancer has become a significant concern as the number of affected people increases with every passing year. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer leads the chart of all types of cancers seen in the United States of America. It affects close to 3.3 mn people, as per estimates
The question that might come to your mind is whether you can get disability benefits if you have skin cancer? The answer is yes. You need to match specific criteria for that. We will discuss that in this article in detail.
Types of Skin Cancer and Their Severity
Primarily there are three types of skin cancer. Based on their severity, all three are mentioned below, and the order followed here is from least severe to the most powerful.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This type of cancer usually does not spread from the spot of origination. In almost 90 percent cases of skin cancer that are being reported, it has been that they are of this type.
Cancer can be entirely removed from the body using creams, freezing treatments, and surgical procedures. If the spot where cancer has developed is challenging to treat, doctors use radiation therapy instead of the common methods.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is the second most common type of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer can spread to other body parts. Most commonly, this is visible on the lower lips of human beings, and the treatment for this is similar to basal cell carcinoma.
Melanin is a pigment responsible for skin coloration. When unwanted changes occur in the cells responsible for pigmentation, Melanoma occurs. It spreads within no time. Significantly fewer people get affected by this type of skin cancer, but the severity of this type of skin cancer is more than the rest of the two discussed so far.
Medical professionals perform a surgical procedure to help a person suffering from melanoma. There is a high chance that melanoma can spread in the nearby lymph nodes. If that happens, the lymph nodes also need to be removed from the body.
In that case, it becomes almost incurable. Treatments of this type of cancer include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and, if needed, then surgery.
Kaposi’s sarcoma is another type of skin cancer that can be visible in people with suppressed immune systems, a case in men and women who have gone through organ transplantation. This variation of skin cancer is visible in people from a specific ethnicity. Lesions will develop on the skin and can not be cured completely. General treatments include the removal of cancer and immunodeficiency treatment.
Most skin cancers are curable, but if you get affected by melanoma, there are high chances that it will never completely disappear. Natural side effects include pain, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. It has also been seen that Melanoma has come back after a few years of getting treated.
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Is It Possible to Get Disability Benefits in the Case of Skin Cancer?
If skin cancer is stopping you from performing your daily activities, then it will be considered a disability, and you will be able to get disability benefits. The benefits include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and alongside that, you can also get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To prove your eligibility, you need to qualify for the following things.
- Meet Blue Book Listings: All the listings of Social Security are mentioned in the “blue book.” The listings talk about the impairments, and if you match the impairments discussed there, you will qualify for social security disability benefits. One thing that needs to be ensured is that you meet all the things mentioned in a single listing to get the benefit under that category.
- Similarity to the Listings: If you cannot meet any of the listings, you can try to match most of the requirements mentioned in a listing. This will make you “equal” to a listing. Your physical impairment needs to match the severity and the length of any of the disability listings mentioned in the “blue book.”
- Inability to Perform Your Job: At first, you need to know what is the ability to work? If you cannot work based on your age, education, and work experience because of your impairments, then by filling out a Residual Functional Capacity form, you can get disability benefits.
Meeting of Listings Related to Skin Cancer Related Disability Benefits
Under the listing of 13.03, there are some specifications that a person needs to match. You must have one of the following to prove your physical impairment.
- Skin cancer, whether it is sarcoma or carcinoma, and if it is not restricted only to the local lymph node.
- After removing cancer and the parts surrounding that, melanoma comes back.
- When melanoma has spread to four or more lymph nodes.
- In case melanoma spreads to the skin close to the affected area or the distant areas.
Your medical record should display that you match the listings mentioned in the blue book. To qualify for the disability benefits, your medical records should have all teh relevant information such as when the cancer started, the type of cancer, and the areas that have been affected. Do not hide any information and mention all the treatment details. If you have already been through a biopsy, you need to attach the diagnosis and the pathology notes.
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How to Apply for Skin Cancer Disability?
You will become eligible to get disability benefits if you suffer from skin cancer. But first things first, you need to apply to the Social Security Administration (SSA). To apply for skin cancer disability, you need to submit a few pieces of evidence, and this evidence can be divided into two categories. They are – medical evidence and non-medical evidence.
You need to match all of the requirements in a listing, or at least you need to match most of the requirements. You will get the benefits of your skin cancer having spread from the origination point, returning of cancer after removal of cancer. Your inability to perform work will also work as medical evidence.
If you meet either one of the requirements and your medical records support your claims, feel the application form to get the benefits you are seeking.
If you do not match the medical requirements needed for skin cancer-related disabilities, you can also get disability-related benefits by providing non-medical evidence.
Common side effects of the treatment that might prevent you from performing your duties are – body ache, nausea, vomiting, numbness in fingers and toes, and last but not least, decreased memory.
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Other Types of Skin Cancer (Approved by SSDI)
If you are dealing with basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, or any other type of skin cancer, you need to make sure that your skin cancer has been made eligible by SSDI. Cancer needs to be spread from other areas from the local lymph nodes.
You can also get SSDI benefits if you do not match any requirements of the listings. Suppose your chemotherapy treatment has left you completely drained and experiencing pain in different parts of the body.
Your doctor has put everything in the medical records, and then you will get the benefits mentioned above. Another important aspect is that your treatment needs to go on for one year or more.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What types of cancer qualify for disability?
Any one of the following cancers will make you eligible for disability benefits.
Brain cancer and a few others.
2. Can I claim a disability for melanoma?
If you are suffering from metastatic malignant melanoma, you will automatically become eligible to claim disability benefits as per the Social Security Administration Guidelines.
3. How much disability benefit do you get for cancer?
You can go for a free evaluation to get a better idea. As a disability benefit, you can get up to 3200 USD.
4. Can eczema be considered a disability?
Eczema will only be considered a disability if you get lesions on the skin because of that and those lesions last for more than three months.
5. Is dermatitis considered a disability?
In case your eczema is preventing you from doing your duties. SSA will give you disability benefits if you match the requirements mentioned in the “blue book” under the listing called ‘Dermatitis.’
Cancer can make you vulnerable and you may lose hope after some time, but your life expectancy is rather high with skin cancer. With proper care and treatment you can minimize its effects. For much financial help you can take SSA benefits as the cost of traeting skin cancer is rather high.
If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, apply for disability benefits with all your medical records. Thank you for reading, and we hope we covered everything you wanted to learn about applying for disability with a skin cancer. If you have more doubts, do write to us in the comments section and we will reach out to you.