Breast Cancer and Social Security Disability

breast cancer and social security disability

The Social Security Disability Attorneys at the San Diego Disability Law Group recently represented a 47-year-old woman with Breast Cancer. When she first contacted our office her claim for disability benefits had already been denied by the Social Security Administration and the time limit to file a Request For Reconsideration had already passed. To make matters more complicated, most of her treatment had occurred in Mexico and most of her medical records were written in Spanish. Her claim was essentially dead in the water.

Overcoming Initial Challenges

In reviewing her disability papers, our attorneys noted that she had filed part of the documents necessary for a Request For Reconsideration in a timely matter but had failed to file an essential form ( SSA-3441 – Disability Report-Appeal). We immediately prepared and forwarded the form and then contacted the Social Security Administration on her behalf. We were able to convince them to accept her untimely appeal and her Spanish medical records without the usual requirement that they are translated into English. This was especially important since her mastectomy surgery had been performed in Mexico.

Documenting the Condition

We then began the process of documenting her condition for the Social Security Administration. Our client has recently received some treatment in San Diego. We obtained copies of her records which contained a pathology report showing that her breast cancer had spread to her lungs. We then contacted her San Diego oncologist and convinced her to complete a Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire detailing our client’s inability to function in a work environment. The Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire, the pathology report, and several letters from our client’s friends and family detailing her inability to function in a work environment were forwarded to the Social Security Administration.

A Swift Resolution

The San Diego Social Security Disability Attorneys at the San Diego Disability Law Group were able to get our client her Social Security Disability Benefits within a matter of weeks after she contacted our office.

The Concept of Compassionate Allowance

The Social Security Disability Attorneys at the San Diego Disability Law Group wrote to the Social Security Administration and asked that they consider their client’s claim under a Compassionate Allowance. The Social Security Administration has acknowledged that it “has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards.” Compassionate Allowances are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow the Social Security Administration to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that they can obtain quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs.

Selection Criteria for Compassionate Allowances

According to the Social Security Administration, Compassionate Allowance conditions “are selected using information received at public outreach hearings, comments received from the Disability Determination Services, the counsel of medical and scientific experts, and research with the National Institute of Health (NIH). ” They also consider which conditions are most likely to meet their current definition of disability. There are currently over 200 conditions that can qualify for Compassionate Allowances.

Benefits of Compassionate Allowances

Individuals with Compassionate Allowances conditions may receive a decision on their claim in a matter of weeks instead of months or years. The time varies depending on how quickly Social Security can obtain copies of the medical records, whether a medical exam is necessary, and whether the claim is randomly selected for quality assurance.

Need Assistance? Contact Us!

If you, a friend, or a family member would like to discuss breast cancer and social security disability or any of the over 200 conditions that qualify for Compassionate Allowances just call any of the San Diego Social Security Disability Attorneys at the San Diego Disability Law Group at 619-338-9000 or contact us here.