Breast Cancer and Disability

What is Social Security Disability?
Anyone who works and pays taxes on their earnings, earns credits with Social Security. On retirement the amount of the monthly retirement check is dependent upon how much a person paid into the system. However, Social Security also pays benefits to someone who is not yet of retirement age, but cannot continue working.
Does breast cancer cause a person to be disabled?  It might. To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, the inability to work must be expected to last for an entire year, or be terminal.

Should a person being treated for breast cancer apply for Social Security disability benefits? Yes, if it appears that they will be out of work for a full year. If uncertain, file anyway. If you are able to return to work, you can withdraw your claim. However, if you delay filing until you have been out of work for several years, you may lose benefits. You will only be paid retroactively from one year prior to when you filed for disability benefits. 

How can you file for Social Security disability benefits? You can file online at the official website at www.ssa.gov, or you can call 1 (800) 772-1213.

Does it cost any money to file for Social Security disability benefits? No.

Do you need an attorney to file for Social Security disability benefits? No. However, when you answer all of the questions, be sure you are honest about all of the limitations you now have. Do not answer questions based upon what you used to be able to do. Complain about all of your problems such as fatigue, headaches, finger numbness, depression, anxiety, etc. 

What if you are denied benefits? Then it is time to hire an attorney.

How long does it take to be approved for disability? Initial claims are processed within several months usually. If you are denied and apply for reconsideration, that takes another three to six months. If you are denied again and file for a hearing, it takes about a year and a half before you have a chance to explain your symptoms and limitations to a judge. If the judge determines that you are disabled, it might take as long as six months before you are paid what you are owed. 

How much does it cost to hire an attorney? The government controls the fees an attorney may charge in a disability case. The amount of the fees is the lesser of 25% of the past due benefits, or the sum of $6,000. The past due benefits are the total owed to a person when Social Security determines that they are disabled. 

How can you find a good attorney for a disability case? If you do not have a recommendation to someone, you can call NOSSCR. This is a nationwide organization of attorneys who represent people in the Social Security disability process. The number is 1(800) 431-2804

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call my office, 941-954-0064.
Marjorie A. Schmoyer, Esquire

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