What Cancers Automatically Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Learn Which Types of Cancer Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) automatically qualifies individuals with certain medical conditions and diseases for disability benefits, including many types of cancer. There is still a process involved and certain requirements must be met, but you may be able to get expedited approval for disability benefits through the SSA, if you have cancer. The SSA recognizes that cancer and treatments for the disease can prevent a person from being able to work. Even with a qualifying condition, it is always advisable to enlist the help of a full-service social security disability advocacy firm, such as The Disability Champions, since various missteps can result in initial denial and the need to go through an appeals process.

Which Cancers Qualify for Disability Benefits?

If you have cancer and it is preventing you from being able to work, you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the SSA. Through the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, some forms of cancer as well as many other medical conditions and diseases qualify to be automatically approved. The following are among the cancers that are currently automatically approved in the SSA’s CAL program:

  • Acute Leukemia
  • Adrenal Cancer
  • Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
  • Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Glioblastoma Multiforme (Brain Cancer)
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
  • Kidney Cancer – inoperable or unresectable
  • Liver Cancer
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
  • Pallister-Killian Syndrome
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with a type of cancer that is not listed on the SSA’s CAL program, you can request that the form of cancer you have be considered for automatic approval.

Reasons Disability Benefits for Cancers May Be Denied

Applications for benefits related to conditions in the CAL program are handled in an expedited manner, but it can be misleading to think that they are literally “automatically” approved. There are certain conditions which must be met. If the SSA finds that those requirements have not been satisfied, you could be denied disability benefits, even if you have a form of cancer on the list of those approved for automatic approval.

Lack of Hard Medical Evidence

The approval of all disability benefits is conditional upon hard medical evidence detailing your symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, restrictions, limitations, and more. If the evidence is incomplete, the claim will be denied. At that point, you can submit the needed information in an appeal. It saves time to get things right the first time.

Income is Too High

If you have applied for SSI benefits and you still work part-time, the amount you earn may be high enough that it disqualifies you from receiving benefits. This is the case, even if you have hard medical evidence proving you have a form of cancer on the list of conditions to be speedily approved.

Contact a Disability Advisor

The Disability Champions will provide you with a free case evaluation. We specialize in assisting individuals as they apply for disability benefits. There are no upfront costs for our services, and you pay no costs or fees unless you win. Contact us today at 407-601-3681, whether you have a disability caused by cancer or any other health condition or disease.


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