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Can I get Disability for Lung Cancer? – Lawyer Advice

Appealing for benefits is best done under the guidance of an experienced disability lawyer.

Can I get disability benefits if I am suffering from the effects of Lung Cancer?

Author Attorney Lloyd Bemis:

If you have been diagnosed with a form of lung cancer, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Lung cancer can be devastating and affects thousands of Americans each year.

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If you have been diagnosed with a form of lung cancer, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Various forms of lung cancer cause many different symptoms, but all forms of this disease can be debilitating.

When dealing with your diagnosis, you may feel overwhelmed and financially burdened. This is where SSDI benefits come in. These benefits are designed to help people suffering from disabling medical or mental conditions that can no longer work as they once did. Disability benefits can help you overcome financial troubles caused by your disabling condition. It can be difficult or sometimes impossible to try and work while coping with lung cancer. There are often serious complications and side effects caused by cancer and the treatment that may completely prevent you from working. If that is the case, you might qualify to receive SSDI or private Long-term disability benefits. If you are considering applying for disability benefits due to lung cancer, contact the experienced Texas disability lawyers at Bemis, Roach & Reed today for a free consultation.

Applying for Disability with Lung Cancer

The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits for lung cancer sufferers.

Anyone applying for SSDI benefits due to lung cancer must meet the listed criteria for the disease. That is, you must show through medical evidence that you suffer from particular symptoms or complications of lung cancer, or that your cancer is advanced enough to qualify for disability benefits. Certain forms of lung cancer can qualify you to receive what is known as a “compassionate allowance.” A compassionate allowance is granted to someone whose condition is so severe it clearly qualifies as a disability. Compassionate allowances are processed quicker than other applications, to provide SSDI benefits to the applicant as soon as possible.

Contact a Social Security disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits while suffering from the effects of Lung Cancer. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!

There are two main forms of lung cancer: non-small cell and small cell.

Non-small cell lung cancer is more common than small cell cancer, affecting the majority of lung cancer patients. Non-small cell moves more slowly throughout the body. To meet the compassionate allowance criteria for non-small cell lung cancer, you must show your cancer is inoperable, cannot be removed through surgery, recurrent, or has spread (metastasized) to or beyond the hilar lymph nodes.

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Small cell lung cancer is the more aggressive and less common form of lung cancer, spreading faster than non-small cell.

Small cell lung cancer can also qualify you to receive a compassionate allowance due to how quickly it advances. Typically, proving your diagnosis of small cell lung cancer will qualify you to receive SSDI benefits.

When the SSA evaluates lung cancer they consider factors including:

  1.   Origin of the lung cancer.
  2.    Extent of involvement.
  3.   Frequency, duration, and response to anticancer therapy (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy etc.)
  4.    Effects of any post-therapeutic residuals.

They need medical evidence that specifies the type, extent, and site of the primary, recurrent, or metastatic lesion.

For operative procedures, including a biopsy they generally require copy of both the operative note, and pathology report.

SSA 13.14 Lungs.

A. Non-small-cell carcinoma–inoperable, unresectable, recurrent, or metastatic disease to or beyond the hilar nodes.


B. Small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma.


C. Carcinoma of the superior sulcus (including Pancoast tumors) with multimodal anticancer therapy (see 13.00E3c). Consider under a disability until at least 18 months from the date of diagnosis. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairment(s) under the criteria for the affected body system.

If your lung cancer has not advanced enough to meet the above criteria, you may still qualify to receive SSDI benefits by showing how your condition impacts your ability to maintain gainful employment.

We can help you gather the correct evidence to meet the requirements of the SSA.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.

The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.

  1.   The Duration of Work test.   Whether you have worked long enough to be covered under SSDI.
  2.   The Current Work Test.   Whether you worked recently enough for the work to actually count toward coverage.

The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.

  1.   Are you working?   Your disability must be “total”.
  2.   Is your medical condition severe?    Your disability must be “severe” enough to interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, and remembering.
  3.   Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments?   The SSA has a “List of Impairments” that automatically qualify as “severe” disabilities. If your disease is not listed this does not mean you cannot get disability, it means you must prove you cannot maintain employment due to your limitations.
  4.   Can you do the work you did before?   SSDI rules look at whether your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did prior to developing the condition.
  5.   Can you do any other type of work?   If you cannot do your prior work, an evaluation is made as to whether you can perform any other kind of work.

More details can be found on our Qualifying for Disability page.

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If you are interested in applying for SSDI benefits for lung cancer contact the Austin, Texas disability lawyers at Bemis, Roach & Reed today. We work aggressively to help our clients acquire the disability benefits they need and deserve. We offer an absolutely Free initial consultation to help you determine the best course for your claim. Call us today at 512-454-4000 to get the help you need. Deadlines may be expiring.

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"Words can not truly express the gratitude that I feel toward Mr. Lonnie Roach and his professional team. I give them an A+++. Very compassionate and prompt. Their priorities are first and foremost helping you succeed at your case. When you feel helpless, feeling like someone is on your side can mean the world to you. Thank you for working for the people."
-Amy K.


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Attorney Lloyd BemisAuthor: Attorney Lloyd Bemis has been practicing law for over 35 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion Gold rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Bemis obtained dual board certifications from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Lloyd is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Mr. Bemis is a member of the Travis County Bar Association. He has been active in the American Association for Justice and is a past Director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Bemis and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.

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