Lymphoma is a type of cancer that involves immune system cells called lymphocytes. About 35 different types of cancers are included under the name of lymphoma, but all affect the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. There are two major types of lymphoma:
- Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), which includes about 30 subtypes
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), which includes five subtypes
Lymphoma is the most common type of blood cancer in the United States. Lymphoma can attack people of all ages but is most frequently found in two age groups: young adults (16-34 years) and older people (55 years or older).
People With Lymphoma May Qualify for Social Security Disability
Lymphoma is included as a qualifying disease in the Social Security Administration disability program's Listing of Impairments. This means that, depending on the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease, lymphoma can be considered a disability. Specifically, you may qualify for disability benefits if lymphoma meets one of the following criteria included in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments:
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is an aggressive lymphoma and persistent or recurrent following initial anticancer treatment.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is an indolent lymphoma requiring initiation of more than one anticancer treatment regimen within 12 consecutive months.
- Hodgkin lymphoma with failure to achieve a clinically complete remission or with recurrent lymphoma within 12 months of completing your initial anticancer treatment.
- Lymphoma that required a bone marrow or stem cell transplantation. You will be considered to have a qualifying disability for at least 12 months from the date of transplantation. After 12 months you may still be considered disabled if you suffer residual impairments that would qualify you for disability benefits.
- Mantle cell lymphoma. Mantle cell lymphoma is also included in the Compassionate Allowances program, which means that your application may be fast-tracked, and you may receive disability benefits more quickly.
You may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits even if your lymphoma does not meet any of the criteria described above. The Social Security Administration recognizes that lymphoma may be disabling even if it doesn't meet specific criteria. Accordingly, you may qualify for benefits if:
- Your lymphoma is equal in severity to any Blue Book listing
- You are permanently disabled and unable to work because of your medical condition
In these situations, the Social Security Administration may require more information about your diagnosis, treatment, and work history to determine your disability eligibility.
Regardless of how you qualify, you must convince the Social Security Administration that you are eligible for benefits.
How to Submit a Strong Social Security Disability Application
The Social Security Administration denies the majority of first-time applications. Unfortunately, many of the people who receive disability denials do qualify for benefits. Often, it is an application mistake that causes Social Security disability denials.
You can avoid an unnecessary delay or unfair denial by submitting a strong, complete, and accurate disability application. You can begin by gathering all relevant medical records and evidence. Then, you can read the application carefully and thoroughly and honestly answer every question.
Don't wait until your application is denied to get help. Instead, we encourage you to contact an experienced Social Security disability application lawyer before submitting your initial application. Our attorneys know what the claims examiners are looking for in your application and how to submit an easy to understand application with the required documentation.
We can take the guesswork out of this stressful process for you. Our legal team will answer all of your questions and work with you to get you the benefits you deserve. You can get started today by contacting us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our attorneys only represent clients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. We invite you to meet with us in our conveniently located Natick disability law office or by phone. Contact us today to learn more about how to get the disability benefits you've earned if you can't work after a lymphoma diagnosis.