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Can I get SSA disability for Pancreatic Cancer?

What is the Pancreas?

The pancreas, which is located in the abdomen, is part of the digestive system. It generates both enzymes and hormones which can assist with the digestion of food. Additionally, the enzymes which are generated by the pancreas are released into the small intestines and can further digest food particles that are no longer in the stomach.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"]Micrograph of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma... Micrograph of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (the most common type of pancreatic cancer). H&E stain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

Cancerous cells which begin to form and grow in the tissues of a claimantÂ’s pancreas will cause pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, most claimants who are diagnosed with this condition may not be aware of it until it has progressed. Common symptoms can include:

  1. Pain in the back

  2. Pain in the middle abdomen

  3. Loss of appetite

  4. Severe fatigue

  5. Depression

  6. Jaundice

Claimants of any age can be diagnosed with this condition, but there are several factors which can increase the rate of incidence including pancreatitis, diabetes, smoking and heredity.

Winning SSI or SSDI for pancreatic cancer through the compassionate allowance initiative

In 2008, the Social Security Administration developed the Compassionate Allowance Initiative to expedite the disability approval process for claimants who had certain severe debilitating health conditions. The goal of this new program was to help very sick applicants avoid the months and years of struggle to win SSI or SSDI benefits.

The Compassionate Allowances program started with 50 medical conditions but has been expanded throughout the years. This program includes pancreatic cancer so claimants who have this condition and the appropriate corresponding symptoms can expect to have their SSI or SSDI claim immediately approved.

It is expected, however, that the claimant has sought the appropriate medical treatment and has medical evidence to support the claim that they can no longer work.

Denied SSI or SSDI for pancreatic cancer

If you have been denied SSI or SSDI benefits but you have a severe case of pancreatic cancer it is most likely because you either do not have sufficient medical evidence to prove that you are disabled and unable to work or you do not meet the nonmedical requirements of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

For instance, claimants who have not worked and earned enough work credits close enough to their date of disability will not be awarded SSDI benefits. This can be confusing, especially for the claimant who worked for years and then stopped working for several years before they applied for SSDI. Many claimants assume that their credits have accumulated and can be used any time, but this is not the case. If you have not worked in several years you need to contact the SSA and talk to them about your date last insured (DLI) and find out what is the last day you can qualify for SSDI benefits.

Claimants who have not worked enough will not qualify for SSDI, regardless of the severity of their pancreatic cancer. Their only option is to apply for SSI benefits, which are benefits offered to the aged, disabled or blind who have not worked and who have very limited income and resources.

Keep in mind if your resources or income is too high for SSI you also will not be awarded SSI for pancreatic cancer, regardless of the severity of your condition.
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