A diagnosis of thyroid cancer can significantly impact a person’s day-to-day life. A patient will often need recurrent radiation therapy or surgery, affecting his or her ability to earn a living during and after treatment. As a result, a patient may be able to collect Social Security disability benefits depending on the type of thyroid cancer and symptoms he or she experiences.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Thyroid Cancer
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a dedicated listing for thyroid cancer in its disability guidelines. To meet this listing, patients must have evidence of:
- Carcinoma that has spread despite radioactive iodine therapy
- Advanced medullary carcinoma
- Anaplastic carcinoma
Anaplastic carcinoma qualifies for benefits through the Compassionate Allowances Program, allowing patients suffering from cancer disability to receive benefits more quickly.
If a patient doesn't meet the listing for thyroid cancer, he or she still may be able to get benefits through:
- Other cancer diagnosis. Although thyroid cancer may originate in the thyroid gland, it will often spread through the lymph nodes or beyond. If the thyroid cancer has been successfully treated through surgery but has spread to another area of the body, a patient may meet the SSA listing for another type of cancer.
- Equaling a disability listing. If a patient doesn't meet the exact requirements for the thyroid cancer listing, he or she may be able to get benefits by showing that his or her impairments are equally severe to those in the listing.
- Side effects of treatment. The SSA provides disability benefits to people whose conditions prevent them from working. If the side effects or treatment for your thyroid cancer interfere with the basic skills you need to do your job, you may still qualify for benefits even if you don't meet the listing. The SSA will assess your ability to work—referenced as your residual functional capacity—given the demands of your radioactive iodine therapy, medication requirements, the strength and frequency of dosages, and other impairments or limitations.
When applying for disability benefits, medical evidence is extremely valuable to your case. We can examine your medical records and determine the weakest points in your claim, helping you to build a stronger case for compensation. Call us today or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation with a Florida Social Security attorney.