Gallbladder cancer is relatively rare. Doctors recognize four different stages of gallbladder cancer, including:
- Stage I. Stage 1 gallbladder cancer is confined to the inner layers of the gallbladder.
- Stage II. When gallbladder cancer progresses to stage II, it has spread to the outer layer of the gallbladder.
- Stage III. By the time gallbladder cancer reaches Stage III, it has spread to one or more nearby organs. These organs include the liver, stomach, and small intestine. The cancer may also be present in lymph nodes that are close to the gallbladder.
- Stage IV. This last stage of gallbladder cancer means that large tumors are in multiple organs and tumors have spread to areas of the body far from the gallbladder.
Unfortunately, the cancer is typically diagnosed at an advanced stage, which makes the prognosis poor.
According to the American Cancer Society, only one out of every five gallbladder cancer cases is found before cancer has spread from the gallbladder to other parts of the body. If you have gallbladder cancer, then you need to know what to expect.
Living with Gallbladder Cancer
As soon as you are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer, your life may change. Your doctor may estimate that you have a limited amount of time to live, and you may require significant medical treatment that interferes with your work and daily activities.
If your gallbladder cancer is diagnosed before it spreads to other organs, then you made need surgery. Additionally, gallbladder cancer of any stage may require chemotherapy, radiation, and clinical trial treatment. Your doctor will explain your personal treatment options and prognosis.
Social Security Disability Eligibility for People With Gallbladder Cancer
Your prognosis and medical plan is, of course, your top concern. However, you may also worry about how to pay your bills if you can no longer work. Social Security disability may be an option for you.
Most of the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments for different types of cancers include specific qualifications. For example, cancer may need to be of a particular type, at a specific stage, or require specific treatment to meet one of the listings. However, this is not the case for gallbladder cancer. Section 13.19 of the Listing of Impairments simply reads, “Liver or Gallbladder – cancer of the liver, gallbladder, or bile ducts.”
While the gallbladder cancer listing is straightforward, it can still take a long time to receive Social Security disability benefits through the regular Social Security disability application process.
The Social Security Administration recognizes that people with certain diagnoses do not have months to wait for disability benefits. Accordingly, the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowance program allows the agency to fast track the disability application process for people with conditions included on the compassionate allowances list. More than 50 different types of cancers, including gallbladder cancer, are included on the compassionate allowances list, as are numerous other health conditions.
How to Get the Social Security Disability Benefits You Deserve
While gallbladder cancer is included in the Listing of Impairments and Compassionate Allowances Program, your Social Security disability eligibility is not automatic after being diagnosed with this condition.
Instead, you need to file a complete and accurate Social Security disability application for the Social Security Administration to consider. If you make a mistake or forget to provide information, then the Social Security Administration may deny your claim, and you will have to go through the appeals process to get the benefits that you’ve earned.
You have enough stress in your life following the devastating diagnosis of gallbladder cancer. You, understandably, don’t want to waste your time with the government bureaucracy of a Social Security disability application. However, you also want to leave your family in the best possible financial situation and not spend your savings during this difficult time.
Our experienced Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire Social Security disability lawyers are here to help you with the Social Security disability process. Call us or contact us through this website today to learn more about protecting the benefits you’ve earned.
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If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.