Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Disability Advice Tips
How long do cases take?
How to win Disability
SSD Mistakes to avoid
Disability for Mental
What if you get denied?
How to file Appeals
Disability through SSA
SSI Disability Benefits
Disability for Children
How do I qualify for it?
Working and Disability
Disability Award Notice
Disability Lawyer Q&A
Disability Conditions List
What is a disability?
Your Medical Evidence
Filing for your Disability
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by
SSDRC Disability Blog
Can I qualify for disability with melanoma if I have had a remission period?
I was diagnosed Melanoma stage 4, and have undergone surgery and radiation. I understand that Stage 4 Melanoma is an automatic qualifier for SSDI, since it is considered terminal.
I chose to continue to work for as long as I can and have been NED (basically in remission) for over 6 years now. Although I am NED, working has become increasingly more stressful and I have been deveoping increased pain and difficulty moving around. The Stage 4 cancer will never improve, and remission is not gauranteed to continue.
Will the 6 year period of being in remission restrict me from qualifying for SSDI, even though my prognosis is not expected to improve? The pain and increased stress are making it more difficult to maintain working. I am currently 60 years old.
Social Security disability is more about functional limitations rather than a specific diagnosis. If you are working full time, you would not be able to receive Social Security disability. If, however, your condition forces you to stop work or reduce your earnings to under one thousand and ninety dollars per month, which is the substantial and gainful income limit for applicants and recipients at this moment (to see the current SGA earnings limit), you can file for disability. Keep in mind that that amount is a gross income amount, not net take home pay per month.
In your case, you have a diagnosis of stage 4 Melanoma, but you are in remission. I am really not sure how Social Security would look at it. It could go either way since you have had the diagnosis for six years and you have maintained employment. Also, you have not gone out of remission.
However, you must always remember that being approved for disability is more a matter of the functional limitations you possess, not the condition itself.
This page illustrates this fact: If you file for social security disability or SSI disability and are approved for benefits, the approval will happen in one of two ways.
You may have limitations that are related to all of the treatment you have received as a result of the Melanoma and that could be in your favor. You are also at a good age for the Social Security vocational guidelines to allow for a medical vocational allowance (the vocational grid rules begin to favor individuals at 50 and then even more at 55).
I would also like to say if you can hold out until age 62 you can file for both retirement and disability simultaneously. This would mean you would have income while you wait for a disability decision.
All things to consider if you are thinking you might wish to file for disability. I hope this helps and I hope things go well.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Does The Social Security Judge Use The Same Rules As The Disability Examiner?
Will Social Security deny my disability claim if I am working?
Proving Functional Limitations and why this is Important on a Disability Case
How Does A Social Security Disability Examiner Determine a Person’s Functional Limitations?
How severe must your condition be to be awarded Social Security Disability or SSI?
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
The Difference Between Social Security Disability (SSD) and SSI – How are they different Part II