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Phone: 508-283-5500
Keefe Disability Law
Social Security Disability & Supplemental Security Income
Toll Free 888-904-6847
Call 508-283-5500
Fax 508-309-6954

Disability Secrets for Social Security Applicants with Cancer

Any diagnosis of cancer is scary. We know there are many types of cancers, some of which have few symptoms and are easily treated, and others which cause chronic pain and symptoms which make it impossible to engage in daily life. Many types are terminal. These variances are why a cancer diagnosis, in and of itself, is not enough to guarantee Social Security disability benefits.

Do You Qualify for SSDI?

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI), you must meet certain criteria:

  • Your condition must you make you physically or mentally incapable of working for pay.
  • Your condition must be expected to last at least a year or be terminal.


Before applying for SSDI, discuss your situation with your doctor. Ask him to describe the symptoms you can expect as your cancer progresses and whether treatment will cause any additional symptoms. Ask how long treatment will take, and if you will be able to continue working during your treatment. If possible, ask him for a written statement explaining how your symptoms will affect your ability to work.

How to Apply for SSDI

Applying for SSDI can take months. Your first step is to fill out an online disability application in its entirety. The application includes a Medical and Job Worksheet. Any omissions can lead to denials or delays.

After you complete the application, you will be contacted and asked to attend an hour-long interview with a representative from the Social Security Administration (SSA). You also may be asked to undergo a physical exam.

When speaking with the SSA representative and the doctor who performs your physical exam, be honest about your diagnosis, your symptoms, and how your cancer is affecting your life. After the interview, the SSA will obtain your medical records and other information needed to assist in the decision. You will be notified of their decision by mail.

Denied SSDI?

If the SSA decides you are capable of working despite your illness, your application will be denied. If you honestly believe you cannot work, you may request an administrative hearing. You also may request assistance from a Boston disability benefits attorney. Hiring a lawyer with experience in SSDI appeals can improve your chances of receiving Social Security benefits.

Your Massachusetts disability lawyer will review your application, help you obtain the documentation needed to support your claim, and support you through the appeals process. To learn more, request a free copy of disability attorney John Keefe's book, Unlocking the Mystery – The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process, or contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law

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