Q In 2011, I applied for SSDI after being diagnosed with bladder cancer. I was turned down. My cancer went away, but it is back. Should I apply again?
It depends on the situation. Bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate of any cancer in the US, but even recurrent bladder cancer may not be enough for you to qualify for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI).
In order to qualify for SSDI, you must be unable to work because of a serious medical condition that is expected to last for one year or longer. The easiest way to qualify for SSDI is to meet the medical guidelines for a disability included in the Social Security Administration Listing of Impairments. The guidelines for bladder cancer are outlined in disability listing 13.22, urinary bladder carcinoma. According to listing 13.22, an applicant can be approved for SSDI when bladder cancer has recurred after a total cystectomy (removal of the bladder).
What if your bladder was not entirely removed? You may still be approved for SSDI under listing 13.22 if your cancer meets the following conditions.
- The cancer has infiltrated beyond the bladder wall (Stage 3)
- The cancer is inoperable or unresectable (cannot be removed by surgery)
- The cancer has spread to other parts of the body or beyond the nearby lymph nodes (Stage 4)
Even if you don’t meet these conditions, you may still qualify for SSDI for bladder cancer. Read our article, “What You Need to Know about SSDI and Bladder Cancer.” If you still have questions, contact the Boston SSDI attorneys at Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.