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Can I receive disability benefits more quickly if I have cancer?

Facing a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and patients in Missouri may wonder about the different options available to help them financially. Social Security disability (SSD) insurance is a disability insurance program available to help disabled individuals who qualify. To qualify, an individual must be suffering from a disability that meets the Social Security Administration's (SSA) requirements for disability and have paid into the system through their work history. When a disabled individual is unable to work due to their disability, they may qualify for SSD benefits.

In addition, disabled individuals suffering from cancer may enjoy expedited claims processing. For individuals with a diagnosis on the SSA's list of Compassionate Allowances, the claims processing process may be quicker. Because benefits are not available until the disabled individual's sixth full month of disability, it is important to promptly apply for SSD benefits and to be familiar with the application process.

The claims process can be lengthy but it is helpful to keep in mind that it includes several levels of appeals and that while many claims for SSD benefits are initially denied, more are approved during the appeals process. SSD benefits are not based on need but other programs may be available to disabled individuals in those situations. Cancer treatment can be costly in many ways and can leave sufferers unable to work.

Because coping with a cancer diagnosis and subsequent disability can be emotionally taxing, it is useful for sufferers to be familiar with options that may be out there to help them. SSD benefits are one option and may be subject to expedited claims processing for much-needed benefits.

Source: American Cancer Society, "Social Security Disability Income for Cancer Patients," Accessed March 13, 2017

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