The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability listing 13.24 outlines the conditions for automatic approval of disability benefits for qualified applicants with prostate cancer. To be approved under this listing, an applicant must have a diagnosis of prostate cancer that meets one of the following criteria:
- The prostate cancer has spread to other internal organs
- The prostate cancer has progressed after hormonal treatment.
- The prostate cancer recurred after hormonal treatment.
Applicants who don’t meet the conditions of listing 13.24 should not give up. These applicants may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for prostate cancer under a medical vocational allowance.
The Social Security Administration will look at your application, medical records, and any other documentation you provide in order to determine what kind of work you can do. They will consider your ability to sit, stand, walk, lift, carry, push, and pull and assign you a residual functional capacity (RFC). An RFC refers to the category of work you can do given the limits of your medical condition: heavy work, medium work, light work, or sedentary work.
If you have prostate cancer, you will want to provide the SSA with information about how your symptoms affect your ability to hold a job. Does lower back stiffness make it hard to walk? Does pelvic pain cause extreme discomfort while sitting? Does a frequent need to urinate interfere with your ability to complete tasks? Are you physically exhausted because nighttime bathroom visits prevent you from getting enough sleep?
Give as much detail as possible. Tell the SSA case manager if you visit the bathroom two to three times an hour. Let him know that stiffness in your hips makes it impossible to bend and pick up objects. The more detail you can give, the better the SSA will understand your limitations.
You should include any information about any other disabilities or medical conditions you have; they don’t have to be related to your prostate cancer. Let the SSA know if you also have diabetes, arthritis, or depression—even if it doesn’t seem serious. Their officials will consider your complete medical profile in assessing your case overall.
After you are assigned an RFC, the SSA will determine whether you can perform any job you have held in the past. If the SSA finds that you do not have the RFC to perform your past job, the evaluator will determine whether there is any type of work you can do given your disability, age, education and experience. If you are over age 55, you may not be expected to adjust to a new type of work.
Confused? The Rhode Island disability application process can be overwhelming, but our Providence disability attorneys can help. Learn more in Rhode Island SSDI lawyer John Keefe’s book, Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability, or contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.