So far in 2017, there have been more than 56,000 new cases of thyroid cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Thyroid cancer develops in the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck that is responsible for producing hormones and proteins the body uses.
Individuals who have this condition may suffer from symptoms like a chronic cough, a lump in the thyroid area, swelling of the neck, hoarseness of voice, coughing up blood, neck pain, shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing. Many cases of thyroid cancer are treated by surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Many individuals who have this condition are unable to work and may apply for Social Security Disability benefits. The experienced Phoenix Social Security disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm PC can review your claim during a free, no-obligation consultation. We can review the possibility of pursuing benefits in one of the following ways:
Blue Book Listing
The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains an official listing of impairments, called the Blue Book. If a person meets financial eligibility guidelines and the medical criteria indicated under the specified impairment, he or she can receive Social Security Disability benefits.
Thyroid cancer is listed in the Blue Book in listing 13.09, which means claimants can qualify for benefits if they satisfy one of the following requirements:
- Anaplastic carcinoma
- Medullary carcinoma with metastases that extends beyond the regional lymph nodes
- Carcinoma with metastases that extends beyond the regional lymph nodes even after receiving radiation
You may be able to prove that your thyroid cancer meets one of these definitions by providing medical records and other information that establishes your condition, including the following:
- Doctor's notes
- Hospital records
- Operation notes
- Blood test results
- Medical scans
- Treatment notes regarding radiation and its ineffectiveness
- List of prescribed medications
Compassionate Allowances Program
It often takes claimants years to work their way through the Social Security Disability system if their initial claim is denied. Some claimants die while waiting to be approved. For this reason, the SSA established the Compassionate Allowances program to expedite the claims process for claimants with extremely severe or terminal conditions. Only 88 impairments are included under this program, and thyroid cancer is one of them.
Even though this condition is listed in the Compassionate Allowances program, you still have the duty to provide medical proof that you suffer from this condition and that you meet the nonmedical requirements for disability benefits.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can review your forms to ensure that you have completed everything properly to be eligible for this program. Additionally, he or she can help gather the medical evidence that you need to establish your claim.
Inability to Work
Claimants who do not meet the Blue Book listing may still be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits by showing that thyroid cancer prevents them from working.
For example, the treatments associated with this impairment may make a claimant too tired and physically ill to work. Additionally, symptoms like shortness of breath and other breathing problems may result in the claimant being barred from certain lines of work.
When determining whether thyroid cancer prevents an individual from working, SSA looks at all of the individual's impairments and how they limit him or her. The SSA considers such factors as the claimant's age, work history, education, job skills and medical impairments.
Contact an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer for Help
Although thyroid cancer is a serious illness, many claimants are initially denied Social Security Disability benefits. Of all claims, only 30 percent are approved during the initial stage of the process. The remaining claims are either abandoned by claimants or proceed through a complex disability appeal process.
The Social Security Disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm PC are experienced in all aspects of Social Security Disability law and have provided compassionate representation to claimants for decades. We can help build your claim by gathering all applicable medical evidence, reviewing application forms and providing direct representation throughout the process.
There is no risk in contacting us for a free consultation. If your claim is not approved, you will not owe us any legal fees.
Call us at 1-800-503-2000 to get started today.