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Seeking disability after a diagnosis of cancer

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Being diagnosed with cancer is a tragic event for anyone. For people who are income earners for the family, this diagnosis is especially tragic if they are unable to keep working because of the illness. Some employees might benefit from learning a bit about different types of disability payments that might help them to make ends meet as they fight this tragic illness.

For some employees, the only option for disability payments if through the Social Security Disability program. The guidelines for this program are very strict, so making sure you qualify is vital. In some cases, the Social Security Administration will allow a person who is stricken with cancer to get a faster approval if the specific cancer is listed on the Compassionate Allowances list. Receiving SSD might help some patients, especially if medical care is turning into a costly expense, because 24 months after a person has been getting SSD, they qualify for Medicare.

Another option that some employees have is to find out if their employer has a long-term disability policy. If you are considering this option, you should find out if there is a policy in place and learn if you qualify prior to leaving your job. In some cases, there might also be a short-term disability policy in place that may help you to replace some income while you await a decision on the long-term disability decision. Generally, a long-term disability policy will cover 60 to 70 percent of your income, but you must check your policy for specific figures and qualifying information.

When you are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, being denied the coverage you need might be devastating. Having someone on your side to help advocate for your rights might help you along the way.

Source: American Cancer Society, "Disability benefits," accessed Aug. 06, 2015

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