It is estimated that over 40,000 individuals are diagnosed with rectal cancer each year. The rectum, which is approximately eight inches long, is the final portion of the colon or the large intestines. Its function is to release stool from the body through the anus.
Early diagnosis is critical for rectal cancer; if found in the earliest stages it can generally be successfully treated. Common treatments for rectal cancer can include radiation treatment, chemotherapy and surgery.
General Symptoms for Rectal Cancer
There are a variety of common symptoms that individuals with rectal cancer may experience including:
- Changes in bowel movement
- Abdominal pain
- Severe weight loss
- Blood in the stool
- Tenderness or cramping
- Extreme fatigue
- Thin or runny stools
- Persistent constipation
The cause of rectal cancer is unknown; however, it occurs most frequently in individuals who smoke, eat low fiber diets, who are over the age of fifty or who have a family history of this condition.
Winning SSDI or SSI for Rectal Cancer
The Social Security Administration awards workers Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if the worker has a condition which is so severe it does not allow them to work for at least 12 continuous months.
The SSA maintains a list of conditions and symptoms they consider automatically disabling in the SSA Listing of Impairments. Rectal cancer may be considered disabling if you can prove that your condition meets or exceeds the listing under 13.00 Malignant Neoplastic Diseases, 13.18 Large Intestines.
Under this listing the SSA would expect that your rectal cancer is inoperable (cannot be treated with surgery), is unresectable (cannot be removed by surgery), is recurrent (returned after an earlier remission) or you have squamous cell carcinoma of the anus which recurs after surgery or you have been diagnosed with cancer of the large intestines (colon, rectal, or anal cancer) that has metastasized or spread beyond the regional lymph nodes.
Winning SSDI or SSI benefits through a medical vocational allowance
Not all disability claimants will have a condition that meets or exceeds a listing. Although meeting a listing is the easiest method to win benefits, it may also be possible to be approved for SSDI or SSI if you can prove that your condition is so severe you do not have the residual functional capacity to perform substantial gainful employment.
Winning SSDI or SSI for rectal cancer through a medical vocational allowance will be very tough. You will need great medical records which clearly state your limitations to work. For instance, how long can you sit, stand or walk? How many breaks would you need each day? Have you gotten the proper tests and medical treatment for your condition? How frequently do you have to go to the doctor? What types of medications do you take and how do they impair your ability to work? All of these factor may reduce your ability to maintain full-time employment.
Most applicants who do not meet a listing will be denied the first time they apply for SSI or SSDI. Talk to a Disability lawyer for more information about what medical information you will need to prove you are disabled due to rectal cancer the first time you apply for SSA disability benefits.
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