If you’ve been diagnosed with acute leukemia you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration uses a 5 Step sequential evaluation to determine if you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits.
How does the Social Security Administration decide if I qualify for disability benefits for leukemia?
The Social Security Administration will consider whether or not your leukemia is severe enough to meet a listing at Step 3 of the sequential evaluation process. There is a medical listing 3.06A for acute leukemia. The Social Security Administration will want to see a pathology report documenting the results of a bone marrow biopsy. If you meet or equal a listing because of the leukemia you are considered disabled at Step 3 and will be awarded your benefits.
Leukemia and Steps 4 and 5 of the sequential evaluation process
If your leukemia does not meet a listing, the Social Security Administration will determine your residual functional capacity to determine whether or not you qualify for benefits at Step 4 and 5 of the sequential evaluation process.
What is residual functional capacity?
Residual functional capacity is the work that you might still be able to do despite your leukemia. Residual functional capacity forms for leukemia should be given to your physician to complete to document your physical restrictions and limitations.
Step 4 and Leukemia
At Step 4 of the 5 Step sequential evaluation the Social Security Administration will determine if you are able to return to the lightest job you’ve held in the last 15 years. It’s important to develop physical requirements of your former occupations and explain why you physically can’t handle the job duties. If you are successful in establishing you meet Step 4, the burden of proof will then shift to the Social Security Administration at Step 5.
Step 5 and Leukemia
The Social Security Administration will have to show at Step 5 that there are other jobs in the national economy that you can do based on your age, education, skills and your level of physical functioning.
The symptoms of leukemia can include fatigue, weakness and even bone pain. The treatment of acute leukemia also involves chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there are many side effects from chemotherapy. These can include tingling and numbness of your fingers and toes, fatigue and even diahrea. When your physician completes a residual functional capacity form it’s important that those symptoms be developed so that you can prove that there isn’t another job that exists in the national economy based on your restrictions and limitations.
Getting the Social Security disability benefits you deserve
The Social Security Administration doesn’t always make it easy for those who are disabled from leukemia to get the Social Security disability benefits they deserve. It’s important that you have an experienced leukemia Social Security disability attorney who can work with you and your physician to develop the residual functional capacity form.
Getting you doctor’s medical opinion about what you can still do is crucial to winning your Social Security disability claim. But, just as important, is your testimony establishing the functional problems you have as a result of fatigue, bone pain and the lingering side effects of your treatment.
If your Social Security disability claim for leukemia has been denied, contact Social Security attorney Nancy Cavey who can help you get the Social Security disability benefits you deserve in Tampa Bay. Call today for a free no obligation consultation at 727-894-3188.