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Breast cancer may qualify for compassionate allowance

Social Security Disability benefits are available to those who can prove that they have an injury or medical condition that renders them unable to work. The process of recovering these benefits can be lengthy, as claims adjudicators are backed up and gathering and presenting evidence can take some time. But some disabled individuals can't wait the many months it takes to receive an adjudication. For these individuals, their condition may be so severe that they may not expect to live long enough to go through the process as normal. Yet, bills stop for no one, and even these disabled individuals need to find a way to make ends meet.

The good news is that the Social Security Administration gives out compassionate allowances. Under this program, the SSA quickly adjudicates claims where the medical condition is so obviously disabling that full medical documentation is unnecessary. Similar to a standard SSD benefits claim, the SSA has created a list of medical conditions that may qualify for a compassionate allowance.

Amongst those conditions is breast cancer. Although most cancers have the potential for qualifying for SSD benefits, breast cancer, when deemed inoperable, can qualify for a compassionate allowance. The SSA recognizes that those with stage IV breast cancer face a poor prognosis, with a five-year survival rate of only 20 percent. Because of this, SSD claim adjudicators are allowed to rely on a physician's opinion when granting such an allowance.

Floridians who are severely disabled may be in immediate need of financial assistance. If this is the case, then it may be worth considering making the argument that one's condition qualifies for a compassionate allowance. If successful, SSD benefits may be granted much more quickly, thereby giving a disabled individual the opportunity to find financial stability while trying to make the most of life.

Source: Social Security Administration, "DI 23022.125 Breast Cancer," accessed on Feb. 17, 2017

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