Breast cancer develops in the cells of the breast. Symptoms may include swelling or change in the shape of your breast, a nipple that is inverted inward, unusual discharges from the nipple, the feeling of a lump in your breast, or irritated and peeling skin over your breast. Breast cancer can be diagnosed using a clinical breast exam, mammogram, biopsy and/ or MRI. This cancer can be present in both men and women however, it is nearly 100 times more common in women. Breast cancer most commonly starts within the lining of the milk-producing ducts, called invasive ductal carcinoma. 80% of breast cancer cases are found due to a lump showing up in the breast, and possibly in the arm pit. Sometimes there is a condition called “peau d? orange”, which is characterized by the breast skin taking on the texture resembling that of an orange peel with redness and pitting of the skin. Risks include being female, family history, aging, drinking alcohol, radiation exposure, having your first child after the age of 35, obesity and postmenopausal hormone therapy.
Breast cancer that is diagnosed as Stage IV can qualify for disability under the Compassionate Allowance provision. Compassionate Allowance fast tracks your claim through the Social Security system. What this means is that you don’t have to undergo the standard disability claim process which can take years.
If your breast cancer doesn’t fulfill the Compassionate Allowance criteria, but you have symptoms and limitations that prevent you from working, you may be able to get a Medical-Vocational Allowance. In this case they will look at your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). This will determine what limitations your disability causes that will not allow you to perform your job, but age can play a part. If you are under 50 years old and Social Security finds that you can do any work at all with the breast cancer or treatment, then you will not be eligible for disability. Over the age of 50, Social Security will look at what jobs you have performed in the past 15 years to determine if you can perform any of those with your disability or treatment.
Medical records and written statements from treating physicians can all increase your chances of an approval. Poor documentation and treatment could hinder receiving disability under the Compassionate or Medical-Vocational Allowance.
Please call us or complete the contact form if you have any questions or wish to apply for Social Security Disability.
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