Breast Cancer and Social Security Disability

As with any condition, just being diagnosed with cancer does not automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability. In fact, disability determination representatives often deny cancer claims based on the “one year rule”, stating that the condition is not expected to remain severe for at least 12 months, and that the condition is expected to improve enough for the claimant to return to work.

However, as with any disabling condition, if you can prove that your condition precludes you from engaging in full-time employment, and such condition has lasted 12 months or is expected to last at least one year, then you are eligible for disability.

Social Security evaluates bilateral primary breast cancer (synchronous or metachronous) under Listing of Impairment 13.10A, which covers local primary disease, and not as a primary disease that has metastasized:

“13.10 Breast (except sarcoma—13.04) (See 13.00K4.)

A. Locally advanced carcinoma (inflammatory carcinoma, tumor of any size with direct extension to the chest wall or skin, tumor of any size with metastases to the ipsilateral internal mammary nodes.

B. Carcinoma with metastases to the supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodes, to 10 or more axillary nodes, or with distant metastases.

OR

C. Recurrent carcinoma, except local recurrence that remits with antineoplastic therapy.”