Symptoms of chronic myelogenous leukemia, as well as side effects of your treatment, can prevent you from getting and keeping a job. If you cannot make ends meet because of your diagnosis and the resulting impairments, you may qualify for Social Security disability for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in Pittsburgh, PA.
The Social Security disability attorneys from Berger and Green can double-check your application and help you file your claim, or we can appeal a denial for you. Call our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 for a free review of your case.
Qualifying for Disability With CML as Your Qualifying Impairment
CML has three phases: chronic, accelerated, and blast. As the illness progresses, it becomes more difficult to treat. The Social Security Administration lists CML as a qualifying impairment in the Blue Book. You can find the criteria under Section 13.06 – Leukemia. In general, you may receive disability payments if you meet certain criteria, no matter the stage of your disease.
Chronic-phase CML is generally treatable and may not pose a significant barrier to you working. If it does, you may qualify for benefits if you:
- Do not respond to anti-cancer treatments; or
- Have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant
It is important to note the Social Security Administration will reconsider your benefits after 12 months when you undergo a transplant.
If your CML is in the accelerated phase, you may qualify for benefits based on your diagnosis, but the Social Security Administration will reconsider your case after 24 months. Alternatively, you can receive disability payments for a year following a transplant before your case is reconsidered.
If you have CML and are in the blast phase, you will likely qualify for disability payments based on your diagnosis. Because it is usually terminal, the blast phase also qualifies you for a compassionate allowance. This is a streamlined application and evaluation process that can get your benefits started sooner.
The Social Security Administration will need medical evidence of your diagnosis and treatment plan, so that they can contact your doctors for your medical records, laboratory test results, and medical scans.
Getting Benefits for CML Without Meeting an Impairment Listing
In some cases, people who cannot work because of their CML symptoms do not meet the criteria under the impairment listing. This does not mean they cannot qualify for benefits. Instead, they must qualify based on their residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. An RFC is an evaluation of your remaining abilities, including:
- The type of work you can do
- How long you can work
- How often you can work
There are three ways an RFC assessment can be conducted:
- The disability examiner handling your case can use the medical evidence in your file and information from your application; or
- The examiner can ask your physician to complete an evaluation form; or
- You will be asked to attend a consultative exam with a doctor the Social Security Administration chooses and pays for
If the RFC evaluation finds you cannot work any job you may qualify for, you will likely get approved for disability benefits. You may also get approved if you can work but require your company to make accommodations for you.
Avoiding a Technical Denial in Your Disability Case
Before the local Social Security field office forwards your claim and supporting documents to the Office of Disability Determination Services, it will consider your technical qualifications. This includes things like:
- Having enough work credits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Earning less than the current substantial gainful activity limits for SSDI
- Having an income below current Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits
- Having assets below the current SSI limits
If you do not meet all the technical qualifications, you will likely receive a technical denial. This means you could lose your chance at getting benefits based on factors that have nothing to do with your medical condition or ability to work.
We can help you double-check your application paperwork and file your claim. As a part of this process, we will check to ensure:
- You completed all parts of the application
- You did not leave any questions blank
- You entered your name, birth date, and Social Security Number correctly
- You provided the contact information for all your care providers
Our case reviews are free and may help prevent a technical denial. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
We Can Help You Appeal a Benefits Denial
The Social Security Administration denies most of the applications it receives. This means there is a good chance you will receive a denial notice and need to appeal the decision. We can help you with this process. Give us a call as soon as possible after you receive the notice, and we can go to work for you.
We only have 60 days from the date on the notice to request an appeals hearing. Once we get this hearing on the calendar, we will:
- Get to the bottom of why the Social Security Administration denied your claim
- Gather evidence to prove you meet the qualifications
- Build a strong case to demonstrate your need for disability
- Represent you before the administrative law judge
- Argue for the benefits you deserve during your hearing
Getting Social Security Disability for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia in Pittsburgh, PA
If you or a loved one cannot work because of your CML, the team from Berger and Green can help. Let us review your case and help you file for disability benefits. We can also help you appeal a denial from the Social Security Administration.
If your impairment occurred because of a Pittsburgh negligence accident, we may also be able to help you pursue compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
Call or text us today at 412-661-1400 to get started.