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Cervical Cancer and SSA Disability Benefits

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Histological section showing cervical cancer specifically squamous cell carcinoma in the cervix."]Title: Pathology: Histology: Cervical Cancer D...[/caption]

Can I get disability for Cervical Cancer?


The cervix, which is the lower part of a uterus, can become cancerous if cells grow abnormally. This condition is easily diagnosed through an annual pelvic exam and pap smear, but if undiagnosed it can be very serious. X-rays and CT scans can also be helpful to identify the size of any tumors.

The most common cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus or HPV which is spread through sexual contact. Multiple sexual partners, smoking and taking birth control pills can also raise the risk of cervical cancer.

Treatment options vary but can include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and prevention through vaccines such as Gardasil and Cervarix (which can prevent HPV infection).

Common Symptoms of Cervical Cancer


Unfortunately, many individuals with cervical cancer will not experience many symptoms but if they do they can include the following:

  1. Unexplained bleeding not related to your menstrual cycle

  2. Bleeding during sex

  3. Painful sexual intercourse

  4. Unusual blood-tinged discharge


Winning SSI or SSDI for Cervical Cancer


If you have cervical cancer it is important to see a qualified medical professional and have your condition and symptoms diagnosed. If your condition is so severe it does not allow you to work for at least 12 continuous months it may be possible to win Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements of the SSDI or SSI program.

The SSA has two ways to determine if a claimant is disabled: their condition meets a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments (also known as the Blue Book it contains a list and corresponding symptoms that the SSA considers automatically disabling) or through a medical vocational allowance, which requires the claimant to prove they do not have the residual functional capacity to work.

Meeting a Listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Cervical Cancer and winning SSDI or SSI


The SSA does have a listing for cervical cancer. The SSA will evaluate cervical cancer under 13.00 Malignant Neoplastic  Diseases, Section 13.23 Cancers of the female genital tract. According to the SSA, under this section they are specifically evaluating “the origin of the malignancy, the extent of involvement, the duration, the frequency, the response to antineoplastic therapy (surgery, irradiation, chemotherapy, hormones, immunotherapy, or bone marrow or stem cell transplantation) and the effects of any post-therapeutic residuals.”

Under this listing the SSA will specifically evaluate if the claimant has evidence that the cervical cancer has invaded other adjoining organs and the condition has moved beyond the regional lymph nodes. The condition must also persist or recur following initial antineoplastic therapy.

The SSA will also determine if the cancer has extended past the pelvic wall, the lower portion of the vagina or into adjacent or distant organs.

Winning SSI and SSDI for cervical cancer through a medical vocational allowance


Many claimants will not meet the listing identified above, but they may be able to prove, through a medical vocational allowance, that they are unable to work their current job, past work or retrain for new work given their residual capacity to work, their age and their education.

Talk to a disability lawyer if you need help proving your condition is so severe you cannot work.  You will need medical documentation to identity your work limitations.
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