Prostate Cancer Added to Disability Benefits Fast-Track List
- April 29, 2014
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People who are temporarily or permanently unable to work because of illness often depend on these government payments to make ends meet.
This year, prostate cancer – the recurrent kind and the type that has metastasized to bone or organs – was among 25 conditions added to the agency’s Compassionate Allowances list. (The full list – with 2014 additions in red – is here. The new conditions include 12 cancers as well as disorders that affect the digestive, neurological and immune systems.)
The agency reports that claims for disability benefits usually take three to five months to process – longer than other types of Social Security applications.
The Compassionate Allowances programs fast-tracks benefits decisions for Americans with the most serious disabilities. The process takes “days instead of months,” according to the agency.
As of April, the Social Security Administration reported that roughly 200,000 people with severe disabilities had been approved for benefits through the swifter process.
Other than non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If a beneficiary is “insured” – meaning that she or he worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes – that person and certain family members will be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI.
Supplemental Security Income, known as SSI, pays benefits based on financial need.
“We plan to add new conditions on an annual basis to the CAL list. Our team works with both internal and external medical experts, National Institute[s] of Health (NIH), and many others to identify and research potential (Compassionate Allowances List) conditions,” Sarah Schultz-Lackey, a Dallas-based agency spokeswoman, said in an email.
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