The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that certain cancers are debilitating enough to warrant disability, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, in addition to being eligible for disability, those who suffer AML may also be eligible for compassionate allowance, depending on the severity of the disease.
Compassionate allowance is essentially an expedited disability process. This process allows those with degenerative diseases to receive their benefits without the need for lengthy investigations into their individual illnesses. Since acute myeloid leukemia is well-established as being extremely invasive and prone to metastasizing quickly, the SSA board doesn’t need extensive evidence of condition severity, which allows the process to progress faster.
Understanding Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Acute myeloid leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the bones. In a healthy individual, bone marrow stores and creates blood stem cells that mature into healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. In AML sufferers, the blood stem cells form into immature and abnormal cells, known as leukemia. Consequently, the abnormal cells crowd the healthy cells and prevent other stem cells from maturing into healthy cells. Furthermore, the abnormal cells can spread out of the bone marrow and infect other stem cells, spreading cancerous cells to multiple areas of the body.
The effects of AML can include:
- Increased infections caused by fewer healthy white blood cells to combat illnesses.
- Anemia caused by fewer healthy platelets to clot blood and stop bleeding.
- Fatigue caused by fewer healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
- Organ shut down caused by less oxygen and fewer nutrients, which will cause healthy organ cells to die, forcing the organ to shut down.
If you suffer from AML, the SSA understands that your ability to work and provide for your family can quickly become impaired. As a result of the implied financial limitations of the disease, filing for disability may be your best option.
Applying for Compassionate Allowance and Disability
Although AML is recognized by the SSA as being a qualifying condition, you still must apply for compassionate allowance and benefits. The process will be faster and require less evidence than a standard disability claim, but you still must prove to the SSA disability board that you’re eligible for disability consideration. With the help of a seasoned disability lawyer, you can ensure that all requirements for consideration are met, including the following.
- Confirmation of illness. For your claim to be considered eligible, you must be able to prove that you have AML. You must also show that the effects of your condition are severe. Medical records, physician statements, and diagnostics are all good pieces of evidence that can be used to validate your claim.
- Confirmation of severity. The SSA not only requires that you have AML but that it is causing you to miss work or be unable to work. Therefore, you must be able to convince the SSD board that the effects of your condition make it impossible for you to carry out your employee duties or any duties that could allow you to maintain an income. Employer statements and medical records that detail your limitations are very persuasive and can help the board understand the severity of your condition.
Filing Your Claim
At Keefe Disability Law, we believe that your condition is enough to worry about without the added stress of building a disability claim—especially when a lack of resources may cause that claim to be denied. We believe that your claim deserves the attention to persuade the disability board to approve it. That’s why we’re here. Contact our office today to see how our knowledge, experience, and resources can help you build a case worthy of the benefits you need. Call 508-283-5500 to schedule a FREE consultation and see how we can help you file a strong claim for compassionate allowance and disability.