Presumptive Conditions For Burn Pit Exposure
While there are presumptions of service connection for Gulf War exposure and Vietnam War exposure, there is no presumption for skin conditions developed as a result of burn pit exposure. However, as of 2021, legislation is moving through Congress which may help this effort. Specifically, the COVENANT Act, or Conceding Our Veterans Exposure Now and Necessitating Training Act, would establish several presumptive conditions for burn pit exposure. This would include skin conditions such as melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer.
I Want To Apply What Should I Do Next
Atticus exists to help to people navigating this process so the easiest thing to do is get free advice tailored to your situation via our online tools or caring staff.
Applying for disability takes preparation. You can win, but this system doesnt make it easy. So its worth taking some time to understand how things work.
The first step is to make a choice: Do you want to Apply on your own, or Get a professional to handle the process for you? Most successful applicants hire a professional and for skin cancer patients in particular, thats generally the right call. But not everyone needs to, and not everyone who wants to can. Well explain both paths and help you decide.
Can I Qualify For Disability Benefits If I Am Unable To Work
If your skin cancer has left you disabled and unable to work, you may qualify for disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income . To qualify for disability benefits, you must prove one of the following things.
You meet a disability listing. Social Security provides listings in their “blue book,” which describes types of impairments that, if met, would qualify you for disability benefits. To meet a listing, you must show that you have all of the requirements of a given listing.
You equal a disability listing. If you are not able to meet a listing but have impairments that are similar to a listing, you may be able to “equal” a listing. To equal the listing, you must show that your impairment is similar to another listing and equals that listing in severity and length.
You are unable to work any job. The ability to work includes working any job that falls within your abilities based on an assessment used by Social Security that considers age, education level, and work experience, in addition to your impairments .
Recommended Reading: Malignant Breast Cancer Survival Rate
Can You Get Social Security Disability If You Have Lung Cancer
Social Securitys Compassionate Allowances program allows for expedited approval on disability applications for those who have been d. Whether youll be approved for Social Security disability benefits for lung cancer depends on the type of cancer and its progression.
Long-Term Disability Due to Cancer. Similar to short term disability insurance, long-term disability plans can be purchased individually or offered by employers. There are also two federal disability insurance programs that are administered by the federal government: Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income .
How Do I Apply To Receive My Ratings
If you are still in the military, then you can request your military physician to refer you to the MEB and start the IDES process. If you are already a veteran, you can submit a VA Disability Claim along with evidence of service-connection and all medical records regarding the conditions on the claim.
Recommended Reading: Melanoma On Face Prognosis
Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility
Certain types of cancer qualify for Social Security or SSI disability benefits automatically after you have a simple diagnosis. For other types of cancer, whether benefits will be automatically granted depends on how far the cancer has progressed. But even if you don’t automatically qualify for benefits based on the criteria in Social Security’s disability listings, you can qualify if your symptoms and the anti-cancer treatment limit your ability to work so much that there are no jobs you can do.
Obtaining Benefits Through A Medical
If your condition doesn’t meet a listing in the Blue Book, you may still qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits based on a “Medical-Vocational Allowance,” which takes into account your age, educational level, work history, and Residual Functional Capacity to determine whether you can work. Your RFC is an assessment of the maximum mental and physical abilities that you retain in spite of your impairments.
The most common forms of treatment for cancerâradiation, chemotherapy, and surgeryâall have the potential to cause severe and permanent functional limitations. Radiation can cause persistent joint pain, lymphedema, or Lhermitte’s Syndrome, marked by an electrical sensation that shoots down the spine and spreads throughout the affected nerves. Chemotherapy is virtually always accompanied by nausea, fatigue, weakness, and a panoply of other ailments, many of which can linger even after the treatment has ceased. The most common long-term side effects of cancer treatment are cognitive issues such as memory disorders and slowed thought processes.
For details on getting benefits for specific types of cancer, including the testing and details needed, see our articles on the most common types of cancer:
Read Also: Well Differentiated Meaning
How The Process Works
The government fears that people will exaggerate their medical problems in order to get free money. So it puts every applicant under a microscope. To win, you have to prove beyond a doubt that your medical condition is severe and disabling.
There are two major stages in the process, and most people will need to go through both:
Initial Application: You submit a lengthy , details on past work and treatment, and copies of your medical records. A government staffer reads your file and makes a decision.
Appeals: If you lose, you appeal your denial and eventually get a hearing with a judge. At the hearing, you get to submit additional evidence, speak to the judge directly, and cross-examine government experts.
Unfortunately, the process takes time: 3-6 months to get an initial decision, and 1-2 years to get a hearing. Even a small mistake or omission can doom an application. The good news is that once you win even if it takes a long time and several appeals you get back pay for the time you should have been getting benefits.
Pyramiding And Ratings For Skin Conditions
Skin conditions are often difficult to categorize because each condition can have many different causes and symptoms. As such, veterans often run into problems with pyramidingthe VA term for rating the same disability, or same manifestation twice. Pyramiding is prohibited in VA disability claims by federal law.
However, multiple ratings for skin conditions can be given as long as each condition has a clear and distinct diagnosis and each condition affects a different area of skin.
For a single condition that affects different skin areas, a single rating under that condition which takes into account all affected areas is assigned.
For multiple conditions that affect the same area, VA will only rate the condition that gives the higher rating.
You May Like: Melanoma Forearm
Disability Ratings For Common Skin Conditions In Veterans
Skin conditions are rated with the use of the VA General rating formula. VA has appropriate diagnostic codes for various disability conditions. This is what the VA uses to break down each disability rating and disability claim. The disabilities are broken down into different categories based on entire body areas has been impacted. The VA rating schedule lists out all of the different types of skin conditions and their rating based on the severity of the condition.
Medical Evidence Required To Substantiate Your Disability Claim
A central component for any disability benefits application is providing a sufficient amount of medical evidence that substantiates your claim and details the severity of your disorder. In addition, your medical evidence needs to be based on clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing. It is important to highlight the fact that you, the applicant, carry the burden of compiling and providing sufficient medical evidence to the SSA.
In most instances, the medical evidence you provide from your treating doctor, or doctors, will receive the most analytical weight from a claims adjuster with the SSA. Why? Because your treating doctor is most likely in the best position to provide a detailed longitudinal assessment and history of your skin disorder or condition. This is why it is strongly encouraged for you to obtain regular treatment from a respected and reputable medical provider.
Also Check: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage 2 Survival Rate
Skin Cancer Qualifies For Disability Benefits Heres How
Are you unable to work because of skin cancer? If so, there’s a good chance you qualify for monthly payments and free health insurance from the U.S. government. Well help you figure out whether you qualify and what to do next.
Lots of skin cancer patients rich and poor alike get benefits from Social Security Disability. For patients and their families, this help can be life-changing. But not everyone with skin cancer is eligible, and government rules can make qualifying a nightmare. At Atticus, we help people cut through the red tape and get the benefits they need. Well explain clearly how this program work for people with skin cancer, then tell you what to do if you want to qualify.
Va Individual Unemployability For Basal Cell Carcinoma
Veterans who are prevented from working because of their basal cell carcinoma, or symptoms of their basal cell carcinoma, may be able to receive a monthly VA disability benefit called total disability based on individual unemployability, or TDIU. This benefit compensates veterans at the 100 percent rating level, even if their disability rating may be less than that.
There are generally two pathways to become eligible for TDIU:
- 38 CFR § 4.16a For this form of TDIU, the veteran must have:
- One condition rated at minimum 60 percent OR
- two conditions that can be combined to reach 70 percent, where one condition is at minimum 40 percent
- 38 CFR § 4.16b This form of TDIU is for veterans who may not be able to achieve the ratings necessary for schedular TDIU but are still unable to obtain substantially gainful employment on account of their conditions.
- In this instance, the veteran must prove that their condition is uniquely hinders their ability to obtain substantially gainful employment and therefore should not be rated on the standard disability rating criteria.
Veterans with multiple conditions may have a combined rating which would make them eligible for TDIU. As a result, veterans who receive a rating for their basal cell carcinoma may be able to receive compensation at the 100 percent rating level through TIDU.
Recommended Reading: Skin Cancer Metastasis To Lymph Nodes
Social Security Disability Lawyer
Typically, applying for and receiving social security disability benefits can take many months. But what if your disabling condition is so severe that you cannot wait? Metastatic malignant melanoma is a disabling condition on the Compassionate Allowance List, which qualifies an individual for an expedited approval process.
Metastatic Malignant Melanoma Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of metastatic malignant melanoma include:
- A change in the shape, size, or color of an existing mole
- A mole that is asymmetrical, has irregular borders, variegated coloration, or a diameter as large or larger than a pencil eraser
- A mole that itches, ulcerates, or bleeds
- The appearance and growth of a raised lump or nodule under the skin
- Loss of appetite
- General malaise
If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to talk with a doctor immediately.
You May Like: Skin Cancer Perineural Invasion
Va Disability Ratings For Scars And Disfigurement
Many veterans are eligible for service-connected disability compensation for scars related to injuries or illnesses sustained during military service such as scars from burns, surgery, and gunshot wounds. VA diagnostic codes for scars are between 7800 and 7805 with the appropriate diagnostic code determined by underlying tissue damage, the cause of the scarring, whether or not the scarring is unstable, etc. For more information, check out our blog on scars and VA ratings.
The percentage rating relates to the placement and size of the scar. The rating criteria for scars on areas of the body other than the head, face, or neck are usually based on the size of the scar. Scars on the head, face, or neck are rated on skin loss and how many facial features have experienced disfigurement. A good example would be if a veteran had a scar on his or her nose, only a 10% rating would be assigned due to the small area of the face being affected. Typically higher ratings are reserved for more severe symptoms of a service-connected disability.
How useful was this post?
Disability Benefits For People With Cancer
All of the medical problems that make someone eligible to receive disability benefits are listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book. Each listing in the Blue Book has a set of requirements that must be met to be considered eligible for disability benefits. Not every type of cancer has a listing in the Blue Book, and the ones that do, have very specific requirements, so please read this information carefully.
In general, any cancer that is Stage IV or terminal will automatically qualify a person to receive disability benefits. A very serious cancer diagnosis qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance program, which expedites the claim for disability benefits to start receiving money quickly. To qualify for Compassionate Allowance, the cancer must meet one of these requirements:
- The cancer has spread beyond the region of origin
- The cancer is inoperable
- The cancer is recurrent despite treatment
If your cancer meets one of these requirements, you should submit a claim as soon as possible for disability benefits. You will also need to submit medical records, such as test results, MRIs, and a cancer diagnosis from an oncologist at our cancer center. The Social Security Administration will automatically flag your claim for Compassionate Allowance because of the seriousness of the diagnosis. You dont have to ask for Compassionate Allowance.
You May Like: Invasive Breast Cancer Survival Rate
Contact Our Dallas County Ssd Benefits Attorneys
If you have a serious skin condition, or if you have experienced another injury or illness that has caused skin disorders, The Law Offices of Coats & Todd can help you provide the necessary medical evidence when applying for disability benefits through Social Security. We can also help you appeal the denial of benefits or address any other issues that may affect your case. To arrange a free consultation, contact our Plano Social Security disability benefits lawyers at 972-671-9922.
When Will You Be Considered No Longer Disabled From Cancer
If your original cancer have been successfully treated, and there is no evidence of their recurrence for three or more years, then your cancer will no longer meet any of the SSA’s impairment listing requirements. This is durational rule for cancer is known as the “three-year rule.”
Alternatively, the three-year rule also means that if disability benefits are awarded to an applicant because of his or her cancer, the disability award will stand for a minimum of three years, even if the cancer seems to have been successfully treated prior to the end of the three-year period.
Note that cancer is subject to the same one-year duration requirement for getting disability benefits as any other medical condition.
|Take our disability quiz to help you determine whether you qualify for benefits.|
Also Check: Skin Cancer Prognosis
Understanding Medical Evidence Requirements
Medical records are centrally important to your disability claim. Youll need physical exam notes from when your doctor first identified suspicious lesions. Pathology reports from a punch biopsy or other procedure document the diagnosis, and if your cancer has spread to lymph nodes or internal organs, imaging scans can show the number and location of metastatic tumors. All of these records paint a picture of disability and allow the SSA to review your application against standard disability listings.If you meet a listing or closely match one, the SSA will approve you for benefits.
The melanoma listing appears in 13.29 of the SSAs Blue Book, but it only covers the most severe and advanced forms of the disease, like ocular and metastatic melanoma. Melanomas cured through aggressive surgeries may qualify under another disability listing instead. For instance, if youve lost vision, hearing, or the ability to communicate effectively after curative surgeries, then the SSA may review and approve your claim under a listing in its Blue Book section on Senses and Speech.
Gathering Appropriate Records And Getting Help With Your Claim
Records necessary for completing the application include not just medical evidence, but the contact details of former employers and your healthcare providers. Bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs can help you fill out financial inquiry sections of the application. Gather as much as you can before starting the application. This will make the process run more smoothly and will prevent contradictions or missing details in the information you provide in your application.
The SSA requires quick responses to requests for additional information, so youll want to let your doctor know in advance that you intend to submit a disability application. You may want to consult an attorney or advocate too, since he or she can assist throughout the application process and potentially increase your chances of getting approved, especially if you dont meet the melanoma disability listing.