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October – Breast Cancer and SSDI Benefits

October is the month for breast cancer awareness, and you may have already noticed the pink ribbons sprouting up everywhere. This month brings in a substantial amount of awareness for breast cancer and cancer research.

But, with approximately one in eight women having breast cancer during their life, what does that mean for their employment? Not only is cancer itself stressful, exhausting, and emotionally draining, the treatments can make work seem impossible. Is it possible to receive SSDI benefits while going through cancer treatment? An SSDI attorney may be able to help.

Symptoms, Side Effects, and More

Some people feel the physical symptoms before detection. That can include extreme fatigue or even pain. Both of these symptoms can cause people to call in or miss days of work. Not to mention the days that you’ll have to arrange off for doctors’ appointments.

Then there are the side effects of both treatment and diagnosis. A cancer diagnosis can send a mentally healthy person into depression or anxiety. It’s not unusual for people to take time off work to understand what this diagnosis means for them and how they will need to cope with it in the upcoming months.

Side effects of treatment can be severe and are the most likely cause for filing an SSDI claim. A disability claim is often for those who are unable to work. Unfortunately, with a breast cancer diagnosis, there is no guarantee or direct reason for someone to take off on disability.

Disability applications will frequently receive rejection because someone won’t be out of work for six months or more. These issues don’t mean that you shouldn’t have access to disability. Typically, chemotherapy treatments happen in cycles, which means that you may be able to work for a week here or there. For the SSDI department, it’s not something that you want to argue about. It should be completely available as long as you have paid into SSDI.

What Happens When You Receive a Denial?

Receiving a denial for your claim isn’t the end of the line. You can move forward with an appeal, take your case to an Administrative Law Judge, or even pursue other opportunities.

For example, if you have breast cancer which doesn’t meet the requirements for disability, then you may have access to a medical-vocational allowance. This possible outcome will rest entirely on your mental and physical limitations.

You should work not only with an SSDI lawyer but also with your medical team. The input that your medical team provides can help persuade an ALJ or hearing official that you cannot meet your basic job duties consistently.

Many people don’t realize that the denial of their claim is something that they can appeal to. If you receive a diagnosis, then put in your application and receive a denial, it may feel like you have no other options.

Working with a social security disability lawyer can help you build a strong case, present your future medical needs clearly, and explain your day-to-day limitations. It can help raise your chances of approval, but it can also help take some of the stress of your application off you.

The True Cost of Breast Cancer

Not only is cancer definitely a disability, but it’s also, without a doubt, a financial hardship. While you’re doing everything you can to maintain your health, your feeling the strain of copayments missed work, and additional expenses for things you wouldn’t need without cancer.

Even simple things such as cleaning around the house may seem difficult as those undergoing cancer treatment put the elderly and very young in their home at risk of health issues. Many people initially apply for disability with the hope of having financial support and returning to work as quickly as possible. However, Wisconsin and many other states make it difficult to receive SSDI for cancer unless you are out of work for months.

Even with a disability, you’ll only receive a portion of what you would normally receive from your check. All the while, you’re paying for cancer treatment, hospital stays, and possibly surgery. The options for insurance don’t relieve the full scope of this strain.

When you receive your diagnosis, you need to be straightforward and transparent with your employer. How long do you hope to work, and how long do you think you’ll be in treatment? Discussing these questions without ideals is the best way to start the discussion of whether you can go on with your daily tasks.

Contact an SSDI attorney at Tabak Law, where you can have a local Milwaukee attorney help you prepare your claim.

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