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IL SSDI lawyerThere are many different types of health conditions that can limit a person’s ability to provide for themselves. If a person’s illness or health issues prevent them from working and earning an income, they may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits. Cancer is a disease that can significantly affect a person’s health and well-being. In addition to suffering from the effects of the disease, treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy can impact a person’s condition and contribute to their disabilities. Those who have been diagnosed with cancer will want to determine whether their condition will qualify them for Social Security disability. With the assistance of an attorney, they can ensure that they follow the correct steps when applying for disability benefits.

Forms of Cancer Included in the Listing of Impairments

Social Security maintains a “listing of impairments” that specifies certain health conditions that are considered to be disabilities. This listing includes multiple types of cancer, such as:

  • Soft tissue cancers of the head and neck, which are considered to be a disability for at least 18 months after the original diagnosis.
  • Skin cancers that have metastasized beyond regional lymph nodes.
  • Lymphoma that persists or recurs following treatment. If a person receives a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, they will be considered to be disabled for at least 12 months after the transplantation.
  • Acute leukemia, which is considered to be a disability for at least 24 months after the initial diagnosis or 12 months after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
  • Certain types of breast cancer, including small-cell carcinoma, cancers that extend to the chest wall or skin, or secondary lymphedema that requires surgical treatment.
  • Bone cancers that are inoperable or recurrent.
  • Cancers that affect the central nervous system, including the brain and/or spinal cord.
  • Lung cancer, which is usually considered to be a disability for at least 18 months after the date of diagnosis.
  • Cancers that affect the stomach, esophagus, liver, pancreas, or gallbladder.
  • Intestinal or kidney cancer that is inoperable or recurrent.
  • Bladder cancer that extends beyond the wall of the bladder, is inoperable, or recurs after a total cystectomy.
  • Cancers that affect the uterus, cervix, ovaries, or vagina.
  • Prostate cancer that is progressive or recurrent or metastasizes to internal organs.
  • Cancer of the penis that metastasizes beyond regional lymph nodes.
  • Testicular cancer that is progressive or recurrent following chemotherapy.

Even if a form of cancer does not meet the specific requirements specified in the listing of impairments, it may still be considered to be a disability if it is equivalent to one of the listings or if it has affected a person’s ability to participate in substantial gainful activity.

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IL SSDI lawyerLife can be difficult for many people who have disabilities. One of the ways the government helps those people is by providing financial assistance through the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two programs that the SSA runs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs get thousands of applications each year, but not everyone is approved. In some cases, the information provided at the time they applied was either incorrect or not sufficient to allow them to begin collecting benefits. When applying for either program, it is important that you have all of the required information organized and prepared.

Personal Information

First, the SSA will want to know all of your personal information. This would include things like your name, social security number, and place of birth. If you have ever been in the military, they want to know what branch you were in and your dates of enlistment and discharge. They will also want to know whether or not you have a spouse or any children. If you do, they will want their identifying information, including their date of birth and social security numbers. If you were married and/or divorced, you should know the dates of those events.

Information About Your Medical Condition

Next, the SSA will want to know about your medical condition that causes you to be disabled. They will ask you to provide the name and contact information of someone who is familiar with your disability that they can contact if you need assistance with your claim. They will also ask you to list all of your medical conditions, injuries, and illnesses that prevent you from working. You must also provide the contact information for any physicians, hospitals, and/or clinics and the date of service for any medical treatment you have received. You should also provide information about any medications you may be taking and any medical tests you have had done.

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IL disability lawyerThere are multiple different types of conditions that can affect a person’s ability to work and earn an income. Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits can provide much-needed financial assistance in these cases. However, disability claims may be denied for a variety of different reasons. When appealing a denial of disability benefits, a person’s case will be reviewed by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ may consider multiple different forms of evidence when determining whether a person is disabled, and one issue that they may consider is whether the daily activities a person performs demonstrate that they are or are not disabled.

Magistrate Overturns ALJ’s Decision Based on Improper Consideration of Subjective Symptoms

A recent decision in Illinois courts illustrates the role that a person’s daily activities may play in an ALJ’s determination of whether a person is disabled. In the case of Steven L. v. Saul, the plaintiff was a 49-year-old man who suffered from chronic liver disease, asthma, neuropathy, and affective disorder. While the ALJ found that the plaintiff’s impairments made him incapable of resuming his past work as a neurologist, she ruled that he could work in jobs where he was limited to light work and simple, routine tasks.

The ALJ’s decision was based in part on the plaintiff’s ability to participate in daily activities, specifically noting that the plaintiff stated that he regularly engaged in driving, using a computer, and caring for his children. The ALJ determined that the plaintiff’s ability to participate in these types of activities undermined his claims that he suffered limitations that affected his ability to find or maintain employment.

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