Q Can I get a compassionate allowance for advanced prostate cancer?
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowance Program provides fast-track claim processing for applicants who are diagnosed with one of 200 qualifying disabilities. Prostate cancer is not on the list of disabilities. This means that even a diagnosis of stage 4 prostate cancer is not considered severe enough to qualify for a compassionate allowance.
There is one exception: a compassionate allowance is available for applicants diagnosed with small cell cancer of the prostate. Small cell cancer or carcinoma accounts for no more than one percent of all prostate cancers. The tumors in small cell prostate cancer are formed from the hormone-producing cells of the prostate rather than from glandular cells. While most prostate cancers grow slowly, small cell prostate cancers are very aggressive and metastasize quickly.
There is another important difference between small cell prostate cancer and other prostate cancers. Small cell carcinomas do not affect prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels. This means that the cancer is rarely detected in its early stages.
The five-year survival rate for most prostate cancers is near 100 percent. The five year survival rate for small cell cancer of the prostate is 20 percent in its limited stage and less than 5 percent after the cancer has metastasized.
While the Compassionate Allowance Program is reserved for applicants with the most serious disabilities, there are other ways to get a quick decision regarding SSA benefits. If you have Stage 4 cancer, you may qualify for a Quick Disability Determination. To learn more or to discuss your claim, contact the New England Social Security benefits attorneys at Keefe Disability Law by calling 888-904-6847.