Ohio Social Security Disability And SSI Legal Blog

SSD and SSI benefits for residual effects of cancer treatment

Surviving cancer is a tremendous victory. However, its aftermath often involves extensive medical treatments, such as chemotherapy. While these aim to eliminate cancer cells and achieve remission, they can leave behind residual effects that affect an individual’s ability to work. Even after becoming cancer-free, individuals may still face ongoing limitations. Does this make them eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?

Residual effects of ongoing therapy

Ongoing therapy and chemotherapy are often necessary to combat cancer effectively. But these treatments can cause various adverse effects on the body. Some common residual effects include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Neuropathy or nerve damage that leads to pain and numbness
  • Cognitive difficulties or “chemo brain”
  • Weakened immune systems

These residual effects can persist long after the treatment has eradicated the cancer itself. They limit a person’s ability to perform demanding tasks. They make patients’ energy levels stay depleted. This may lead to an inability to concentrate. Patients may find it hard to remember things, and this can hinder work performance. Thus, it becomes difficult for cancer patients and survivors to sustain regular employment.

Claiming SSDI and SSI benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires substantial medical evidence for a patient to qualify for these benefits. The burden of proof lies on the applicant. They must clearly prove the severity and duration of their impairments and link them directly to cancer treatments. They must also show that these adverse effects have prevented them from engaging in substantial gainful activity for at least 12 months in a row.

The SSA evaluates each case carefully. It considers factors like:

  • The extent of limitations
  • The duration of impairments
  • Medical treatment/s received

Gathering comprehensive documentation will be crucial in building a compelling case. The applicant may collect detailed medical records, test results and statements from health care professionals. These must meet the stringent eligibility criteria set by the SSA.

The residual effects of cancer treatment are often invisible to others. It can be hard to convey the true extent of their impact, especially cognitive difficulties and emotional distress. However, an individual has a right to secure SSI and SSDI benefits for these conditions. Seeking legal assistance can help in proving the disabling nature of the residual effects.