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I have cancer. What happens if I am unable to work?

A cancer diagnosis will have a significant impact on various areas of your life, including your career. Depending on the nature of your diagnosis and the type of treatment required, you could be left temporarily disabled and lacking the ability to hold gainful employment.

After receiving news of this magnitude, the last thing you want to worry about is earning an income and taking care of the financial needs of your Mississippi family. Fortunately, there may be some options for relief available to you. By applying for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you may be able to secure benefits.

Who is eligible for SSDI?

Simply having a serious illness like cancer does not automatically qualify you for disability benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, you may be eligible for benefits if you meet the following:

  • You have a sufficient work history during which you paid money into the Social Security system through FICA.
  • You were self-employed and paid sufficient taxes.
  • You meet the SSA's strict definition of disability and expected to be unable to work for at least one year.

The amount that you could be eligible to receive depends on how long you worked and how much money you paid into the system. A denied claim is extremely frustrating, but it does not mean that you do not have other options available to you.

Other options for benefits

If you have learned that you are not eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you have other options. You may file for another type of disability benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is available to individuals who may not have a sufficient work history but still meet other requirements. To qualify for SSI, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a medical condition that precludes you from holding regular employment.
  • You must have proof of financial need.

It can be a challenge for cancer patients to navigate the benefits claims process while still undergoing treatment. It can seem like a daunting and never ending process for claimants, but it is not something you have to go through alone. You have the right to turn to a lawyer to help you overcome any obstacles that arise and help you secure the benefits you need in a timely manner.

Through a case evaluation, you can learn about the benefits for which you may be eligible and how you can pursue other options after a delayed or denied claim.

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