Ever since the founding of Ortiz Law Firm, we have been consistently providing our clients with top-notch legal advice and services. At our firm, we are frequently asked about cancer and disability insurance claims. Cancer is one of the top 10 disabling medical conditions in 2021. We have recovered millions in benefits for our clients, many of whom suffered from cancer. In this article, we will address the following questions:
- Is having cancer considered a disability?
- Can I get long-term disability if I have cancer?
- What types of cancer qualify for benefits?
- Can I get disability benefits based on treatment side effects?
- How do I prove my long-term disability insurance case?
- Can I get Social Security Disability benefits if I have cancer?
Is Having Cancer Considered a Disability?
At Ortiz Law Firm, the question, “Is having cancer considered a disability?” is one we are used to hearing. The answer depends on the definition of disability you have to meet in order to qualify for disability. Your insurance policy will use a different definition of disability than the Social Security Administration (SSA), so your disability claim may be approved by one agency, but not the other. Even different insurance policies vary. One policy may require that you be unable to perform your own occupation, whereas another may require that you be unable to work in any occupation.
Can I Get Long-Term Disability If I Have Cancer?
When you apply for long term disability (LTD), you need to prove that you are disabled (as that term is defined under your policy) and no longer able to perform meaningful work. Unfortunately, long term disability carriers do not make it easy for disabled claimants to receive the benefits that they deserve, and not all long-term disability claims for cancer are approved.
Suppose you’re a cancer patient, and you’d like to claim LTD. In that case, you must prove that the cancer you’re suffering from prevents you from performing the material duties of your own job or any other job. A cancer diagnosis alone is not sufficient medical evidence.
You must prove that your medical condition meets the specific terms of your short-term disability or long-term disability policy. In order to prove your disability you may be required to produce objective medical evidence which supports your claim that your symptoms and limitations leave you unable to work or otherwise earn an income.
How Do I Prove My Long-Term Disability Case?
Proving you have a long-term disability is not the easiest thing to do, as many claimants have found out in the past. On numerous occasions, cancer patients with what seem to be valid cases have been left stranded due to their claims being denied. To avoid such a fate, immediately after your disability begins, you should issue a Notice of Claim. A Notice of Claim is a short letter alerting an insurance company that an individual intends to file an application for LTD. Your Notice of Claim must indicate your name, date of birth, policy number, and date of the disability.
Once your insurer receives your notice, it’ll provide you with Proof of Loss forms which you must complete and return before your case is evaluated. The Proof of Loss claims you’ll be provided with includes an Employer Statement, a Claimant Statement, and an Attending Physician Statement. You should have these forms completed by the relevant individuals.
Once you had your statements filled, all you have to do is to have them submitted and wait for a response. If your insurer ascertains that the medical evidence and vocational evidence you presented are legitimate, it’ll provide you with the long-term disability coverage you deserve.
What Types Of Cancer Qualify For Disability?
Each year, over 100 types of cancers are diagnosed. Many types of cancer and malignant neoplastic diseases, if severe enough, qualify for long term disability. It’s worth noting that not every type of cancer will qualify for disability. For a cancer patient to be eligible for financial assistance, he/she must have a form of cancer known to be aggressive or hard to treat, such as esophageal cancer, gallbladder cancer, brain cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, salivary cancers, sinonasal cancer, and thyroid cancer.
Some of the types of cancer that may qualify you to receive benefits include:
- Acute Leukemia
- Cancer, including Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
However, a diagnosis does not equal disability. Cancers in the early stages aren’t likely to qualify for long term benefits, nor are claimants who are undergoing treatment but not experiencing an absence from work or a loss of income.
Even if your cancer diagnosis is not listed above you could still be approved. You must obtain objective medical evidence that supports your reported symptoms and limitations for your request to be considered and approved. Without proper medical evidence, it will be difficult to qualify for a monthly payment from your insurance carrier.
Some scenarios in which a claimant may qualify for disability are:
- Undergoing intense active treatment that prevents the person from working; or
- Cancer is in remission and the lingering effects of treatment are causing disability
Can I Get Disability Based on Treatment Side Effects?
Cancer treatment options tend to vary depending on the location of your cancer and how far your cancer has spread. For example, cancerous skin lesions can easily be removed through routine surgery, while a deadly form of cancer such as lung cancer requires chemotherapy or radiation. In the skin cancer patient case, he/she will require little to no time off. On the other hand, in the case of the lung cancer patient, he/she will need to have to spend weeks, if not months, out of work.
Chemotherapy and Radiation
Unlike routine surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation tend to have a number of side effects. Because of these side effects, those patients who’ve undertaken chemotherapy/radiation are usually eligible for disability benefits. If you’ve undergone chemotherapy/radiation and you’ve felt the devastating short-term effects of your treatment, you have the right to file for short-term disability payments. If the effects continue long after completing your treatment, and you still frequently feel the effects of the treatment, you may qualify for long-term payments. An attorney can help you draw the connection between your treatment and your resulting symptoms and limitations.
Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits If I Have Cancer?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal insurance program of the United States of America Government. It is funded by a payroll tax and managed by the SSA. This program, designed to provide those suffering from medically determinable disabilities with monthly benefits, is one of the most popular initiatives by the US government. Cancer is a medically determinable disability. As such, there are Social Security Disability benefits available for cancer patients. Click here to read our full article on Social Security Disability benefits for cancer and other malignant diseases.
However, it’s important to note that not all cancer patients are eligible for these benefits. This is because for one to be eligible for the benefits, he/she must prove that his/her disability has/will prevent him/her from participating in any work for an entire year. Given that this is the case, if you’ve got cancer and you’d like to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must first prove that your medical condition will prevent you from working for at least 12 months. A cancer patient that is able to return to work after six months would not qualify. Short term and long term disability coverage can help fill this gap.
Ortiz Law Firm – A Law Firm You Can Rely On
If you are unable to work as a result of cancer or malignant neoplastic diseases, you should consult with an experienced long term disability attorney. If your cancer or malignant neoplastic disease makes it impossible for you to work and you have been denied your LTD benefits, the legal team at Ortiz Law Firm can help you cut through the red tape and fight for your disability benefits no matter where you live in the United States.
Fight Back Against the Insurance Company
In an attempt to maximize their profits, a good number of insurance companies will use sketchy tactics and tricks to deny those they have insured the benefits they are owed. At Ortiz Law Firm, we have witnessed how these rogue companies have left their clients on the hook for millions of dollars in treatment costs. You also have to consider the cost of living – if you’re unable to earn an income it will be a struggle to afford even your regular expenses.
At our firm, we believe that no one should ever have to go through what disability insurance companies have put thousands of cancer patients through. As such, we have been fighting for the rights of cancer patients who’ve been wrongfully denied their claims by their insurers for years. If your insurer has wrongfully denied you your benefits, you have every right to dispute the decision through the administrative appeal process or filing a lawsuit.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
At Ortiz Law Firm, we pride ourselves in having a well-trained and experienced legal team working together to provide the best possible service. Using their top-notch training and massive experience, our attorneys have been able to assist plenty of individuals who were wrongfully denied their benefits in getting the compensations they deserve. If you’re looking for an attorney that can help you win your disability case, we’re the right firm to contact. At Ortiz Law firm, we deliver. If you’d like to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys, you’re welcome to contact us online or call us at (866) 853-7210.