A testicular cancer diagnosis can instantly change a man’s life. At a time when patients should be able to focus on available options and treatements for recovery, many are weighed down by worries about the inability to provide for their families. While testicular cancer can be successfully treated in most cases, it often requires painful treatments that can make working difficult. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the seriousness of a testicular cancer diagnosis by including it in its “Blue Book” Listing of Impairments. Patients who meet the SSA's criteria and are unable to work may be eligible for SS Disability benefits.
What Is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the testes, which are housed inside the scrotum and located under the penis. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American men ages 15 to 35. There are two types of testicular cancer: seminomas, a slow-growing cancer that can sometimes spread to the lymph nodes, and nonseminomas, which is an aggressive, fast-growing cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. In many cases, testicular cancer is only found in one testicle.
Testicular cancer can cause a number of symptoms that range from uncomfortable to painful to debilitating, including:
- A lump or swelling in either testicle
- Pain in the testicles, lower abdomen, or back
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Discomfort in the testicles or scrotum
- Sudden fluid retention in the scrotum
- A heavy feeling in the scrotum
While doctors and scientists don't know exactly what causes testicular cancer, the cancer occurs when cells mutate and grow out of control to form a tumorous mass. There are a number of factors that can increase a man's risk of developing testicular cancer, including abnormal testicular development, an undescended testicle, and having a family member with testicular cancer. This type of cancer is also more common among Caucasian men.
Testicular cancer may require surgery or treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Some of the treatments for testicular cancer can cause their own range of symptoms that can make holding a job extremely difficult, such as:
- Susceptibility to infection
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
Applying for SS Benefits for Testicular Cancer
Patients who meet the criteria for the SSA's listing for testicular cancer will likely be eligible for Social Security (SS) Disability benefits. To be approved, the cancer must have spread from the testicles to another part of the body or have reoccurred after the completion of the first round of treatment. When submitting their application to the SSA, testicular cancer patients should include medical records diagnosing the type of testicular cancer, documenting the spread of the cancer, and discussing the various treatments tried so far.
Even if testicular cancer patients don't meet the Blue Book criteria, they may still be approved for benefits if they can show that the cancer or its treatments make it impossible for them to hold a job and has kept them out of work for a period of 12 months or more. If you plan to apply for benefits, but don’t meet the Blue Book listing, asking the doctor who treats your testicular cancer to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form can be extremely helpful, as it discusses the limitations you face due to your illness and subsequent treatment.
We Can Help
When applying for SS Disability benefits, being represented by a skilled personal injury attorney can be invaluable. Not only do seasoned disability attorneys know the SSA application process, they can also spot and correct potential pitfalls in a client's application before it’s submitted, which can help save valuable time and avoid an application denial.
The knowledgeable attorneys at Keefe Disability Law have extensive experience helping clients fight for the disability benefits they deserve. For more information, including a no-obligation case evaluation or a free copy of the book, The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability, contact our law office today.