Q I was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, can I qualify for disability benefits?
After a diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma, you may find it difficult or impossible to hold a job. Soft tissue sarcoma is a type of cancer that originates in the soft tissues of the body. These soft tissues may include the muscles, tendons, fat, lymph vessels, blood vessels, nerves, and tissue surrounding joints. The resulting tumors can be found in many areas, including the arms, legs, chest, or abdomen. Unfortunately, many people suffering from this condition do not have signs or symptoms until the disease has already progressed.
Types of Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Soft tissue sarcoma comes in many different forms. The different types of this condition depend upon the type of soft tissue cell in which the cancer formed. These types may include:
- Rhabdomyosarcoma. This is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma, often diagnosed in children. It originates in muscles that attach to bones.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors. This type of soft tissue sarcoma forms in soft tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. It is most often seen in the stomach or small intestine and effects adults much more frequently than children. Unfortunately, this type of soft tissue sarcoma may not have any early symptoms.
- Ewing sarcoma. These tumors are more commonly formed in the bones of children and adolescents, but may also form in the soft tissue surrounding bone.
- Kaposi sarcoma. Lesions made of cancer cells grow in the skin, lymph nodes, or lining of the mouth, nose, or throat in this type of soft tissue sarcoma. It is most common in people with weakened immune systems.
- Uterine sarcoma. Forming in the muscle and tissue that support the uterus, this is an uncommon form of uterine cancer.
Regardless of the type, if you have soft tissue sarcoma you may potentially qualify for Social Security disability benefits. These benefits can provide a badly needed financial lifeline as you focus your time and energy on fighting the disease.
3 Situations Where You May Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits Due to Soft Tissue Sarcoma
You might qualify for disability benefits with soft tissue sarcoma in the following situations:
- You are diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in an early stage but can demonstrate an inability to work as a result of your condition.
- You are diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma that has metastasized, or spread, and meets the eligibility requirements of the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments.
- You are diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma for the second time, having first been diagnosed and then having had the condition return after your initial treatment.
In addition, if your soft tissue sarcoma is metastatic or recurrent, it may qualify you for a rapid review under the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances program. This means that your claim will likely be reviewed and either approved or denied within a few weeks of submitting your application.
Meeting the Blue Book Requirements for Soft Tissue Sarcoma
If your soft tissue sarcoma meets the requirements outlined by the Social Security Administration in the Blue Book’s listing of impairments, you may be able to qualify for benefits more easily. Meeting the criteria for this condition under the Blue Book requires some or all of the following:
- A diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma.
- Evidence of regional metastasis.
- Evidence of distant metastasis.
- A medical history that shows the cancer is persistent or recurrent following initial treatment.
There are various types of medical evidence that must be demonstrated in your file in order to prove that you suffer from a disability as a result of your soft tissue sarcoma. Records that every applicant should present include the following:
- A clinical history report that details the features of your disease.
- Results from imaging test results that document the tumor locations and sizes.
- A copy of the notes from your surgical procedures. Patients with soft tissue sarcoma may need to undergo surgical resections, exploratory surgeries, or biopsies.
- Results from pathology reports that verify your diagnosis.
- Results from pathology reports that stage your tumors.
Applying for disability benefits is not an easy process for those who have been through this experience in the past. Fortunately, we are here to help you navigate. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.