Letters to the Editor

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DISABILITY: Breast cancer patient may qualify for benefits

Letter by Jim Allsup, Belleville, Ill. on Oct. 6, 2011 at 11:14 am with 3 Comments »
October 6, 2011 11:14 am

Re: “Faces of cancer” (thenewstribune.com, 10-5).

I was relieved to read that Mary Docken was able to return to work after winning her battle with breast cancer. Unfortunately, many cancer survivors are not as fortunate. Too often, they are unable to focus on how to regain financial stability because their day-to-day physical recovery is so draining.

Depending on your situation, breast cancer may qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. SSDI provides benefits to Americans unable to work due to a severe, long-term disability and is funded by FICA taxes. The key to qualifying for these federal benefits – and avoiding financial disaster – is to submit a well-prepared application as early as possible.

Taking this step is critical for those with breast cancer to achieving some financial stability in the wake of a destabilizing diagnosis.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. cclngthr says:

    I disagree with Allsup because DDSI is intended for a permanent lifelong disability, not a temporary one.

    A breast cancer survivor (or any other cancer patient) can return to work within a short time, and possibly work during treatment. They do not (always) qualify for disability benefits because cancer is not considered a true disability.

  2. Perhaps the way, cclngthr, for them to avoid permanent disability or death is to temporarily collect what they have paid into. The quicker they recover, the quicker they can contribute those precious tax dollars.

  3. cclngthr

    “First, any potential claimant must be able to prove to the SSA that he or she is “permanently disabled,” or suffering from a condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, more than 12 calendar months”. Note the 12 months.

    Checking 29 types of Cancer, they all qualified if certain criteria were met such as type, metastases, Unresectable etc. Most treatments have horrible side effects, such as headaches, vomiting, severe fatigue and many more. Work is out of the question in many, if not most, cases.
    Stage 4 Lung Cancer, Squamous cell carcinoma, with metastases beyond the hilar lymph nodes is almost a death sentence. Treatment for this type can go on for years if one is lucky enough to live “years” after diagnosis.

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