Disability Tips and Helpline

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    Hi everyone,

    It has been a year since this message appeared so I wanted to remind everyone about this important post from Marion.

    Social security disability benefits can be available through an expedited process for qualifying cholangiocarcinoma patients.

    Here is the Social Security Administration website which explains the Compassionate Allowances program and has a link on how to apply.


    Regards, Mary



    Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits with Cholangiocarcinoma

    Only about 8,000 new cases of cholangiocarcinoma are diagnosed annually in the U.S., and most people affected are in their 60th and 70th. However; there is an increase of disease occurrence in the younger population. When it develops earlier in life, l you must worry not only about battling cancer but also about how you’ll get by financially without your paycheck. Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can fill at least part of the earnings gap when illness stops you from working. Bile duct cancer automatically qualifies for disability benefits, regardless of grade or stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
    Quick Disability Approval as a Compassionate Allowance
    Cholangiocarcinoma rarely causes clear or obvious symptoms in its early stages, which means it’s often detected later, when it’s harder or impossible to treat. When advanced or untreatable, bile duct cancer qualifies for quick review under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, ensuring you have a decision on your eligibility in just a few weeks after you’ve filed your application for benefits.
    Qualifying with Early Stage Bile Duct Cancer
    If your cancer was diagnosed early and can be treated, you still automatically qualify for Social Security Disability. Even with “automatic qualification” though, you must complete the full application processs and back up your claim with appropriate medical evidence, including:
    A pathology report (or biopsy results) that formally documents the diagnosis of bile duct cancer.
    Operative notes from any surgeries performed or records from a physician or surgeon, explaining why your cancer cannot be surgically addressed.
    Treatment records, which may include chemotherapy and radiation.
    Although the SSA will consider claims, even when medical records like these are not available for review, your application is more likely to be approved if you have the right evidence in your medical history. Work closely with your doctor to document your diagnosis, treatment, and overall condition.
    A report summarizing your medical history, written by your oncologist or another medical specialist, can additionally be beneficial. Such a report can potentially help speed up the review and approval of disability benefits.
    Preparing to Apply
    Although bile duct cancer automatically qualifies you medically to receive disability, you may still want to review the SSA’s disability starter kit before you begin your application. This kit will help you understand the kinds of information you’ll need for answering all the questions on the application. You’ll also learn what kinds of documentation the SSA needs in order to approve your claim for benefits.
    Submitting Your Application
    When you’re ready to apply, the SSA offers two application methods. Online application is perhaps the fastest and easiest method for many individuals and can be completed via a portal on the SSA’s website. The portal lets you complete all the required forms and allows you to save and return to finish up sections, as you’re able. Visiting the local SSA office is also an option and affords you access to an SSA representative to assist with completing your claim.

    This article was written by the Outreach Team at Disability Benefits Help.

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