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If you are recovering from cancer treatment or you currently have cancer, you may qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Since there are so many forms of cancer, and it affects people differently, disability benefits are evaluated based on multiple factors. The SSA listings evaluate all cancers, or malignant neoplastic diseases, except those associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

What is Considered During Evaluation?

When the SSA evaluates cancer, there are a few factors that are considered. First, the origin of the cancer is determined. Next, the extent of involvement is weighed. Then, they evaluate the duration, frequency, and response to anticancer therapy and treatment. Finally, any effects of post-therapeutic residuals are researched.

In relation to cancer treated by bone marrow transplants, this criterion is applied and evaluated based on this specific type of cancer. There are two types of transplantation: allogeneic transplantation and autologous transplantation. If you received bone marrow through allogeneic transplantation, you may qualify for disability until at least 12 months from the date of the treatment. However, in the case of autologous transplantation, you can qualify for disability at least 12 months from the date of the first treatment under the treatment plan that includes a transplant. In either case, you are then evaluated according to the impairment criteria for the affected body system.

Cancer Listings evaluated by the SSA

What Evidence is Needed?

When applying for disability benefits, certain evidence is required. To obtain benefits for cancer, medical evidence that specifies the type, extent, and site of the primary, recurrent, or metastatic lesion must be presented. In addition, for operative procedures, an operative note and pathology note are required. If these documents are not supplied, a summary of hospitalization or other medical reports will be accepted. These documents should include details of the findings during surgery as well as any pathological findings. Also, if there is any recurrence, persistence, or progression in response to therapy, that evidence should be presented.

Hospitals and Treatment Facilities

Here is a list of hospitals and treatment centers in the Cleveland and Akron areas where individuals can be evaluated and receive treatment:

Cleveland Clinic
UH Hospitals (University Hospitals – Cleveland, Ohio)
Metro Health