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Woman denied SSDI for breast cancer may lose home

As we said in our Feb. 12 blog post, the majority of applications for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits filed by residents of Columbia are initially rejected by the Social Security Administration. When someone living with a disability is told by SSA that he or she are able to work but in fact cannot do so, savings can quickly run out as he or she must pay for medical and everyday expenses without having an income to cover the costs.

That arrangement usually cannot last long before the applicant and his or her family faces a financial crisis. In the case of one woman whose application for SSD benefits was rejected, she is facing foreclosure and could lose her house.

The woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. She endured a series of surgeries and months of chemotherapy treatment. Fortunately, the treatment took care of the cancer, but the woman has been left with a disabled shoulder and lingering chemo symptoms. She has not been able to work full-time since, but SSA declared her able to work and told her to "adjust" to her current condition, she said.

Her daughter and son-in-law used up their savings helping with mortgage payments, but now the money is gone and foreclosure is a real possibility.

Readers in Columbia should know that a rejected SSDI application is not the end of the matter. Applicants can appeal the decision and may be approved after all. Hiring an experienced SSDI attorney can increase your odds of being approved for benefits to make up for inability to work due to a debilitating illness or injury.

Source: KATU-TV, "Women fight to get benefits for breast cancer survivors rushed," Meghan Kalkstein, Jan. 29, 2013

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