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How to Qualify for Social Security Disability
Benefits with Brain Cancer
Source: The Tug McGraw Foundation


Brain and central nervous system cancers are more common than people realize. People who develop brain cancer and are unable to work can qualify for disability benefits to take some of the worry off of them while they fight their cancer. Disability benefits can be used to pay for things like a mortgage or rent and food and utilities while the person can’t work. Social Security disability benefits may be approved automatically for people with brain cancer.

Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Brain Cancer

The Social Security Administration maintains a listing of all conditions that are eligible for disability benefits called the Blue Book.  All of the conditions that make someone eligible for disability benefits are listed in the Blue Book with a set of requirements that must be met before someone can be eligible for disability benefits. Brain cancer is a serious disease that can be fatal. When you are diagnosed with brain cancer you will automatically qualify for disability benefits if your cancer has been treated but returns or if your cancer has spread. If your cancer is late stage, it returns after being treated, or it has spread you can be approved quickly for benefits and your benefits will be expedited. Some people with serious cancers may receive their disability benefits in as little as two weeks once they have been approved for benefits.

You will need to submit a cancer diagnosis, brain scans, test results, and other documentation showing that you have met all of the Blue Book requirements in order to get approved by the SSA for benefits. If you don’t meet the strict Blue Book listing for brain cancer but your cancer still makes it impossible for you to work you may be able to qualify for benefits through the Medical Vocational Allowance program.

Medical Vocational Allowance

Medical Vocational Allowance is used as a way for people who are too sick too work but don’t meet the Blue Book requirements to get disability benefits. You can ask the Social Security Administration to perform a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation for you. This evaluation is designed to take your skill set into consideration along with the symptoms that you’re having and see if there is any type of full-time work that you can do. If the results of the Residual Functional Capacity evaluation show that your condition makes it impossible for you to work then you can be eligible for disability benefits.   

Starting The Filing Process

Don’t wait to file a claim for benefits if you have been diagnosed with brain cancer. You can file a claim for disability benefits online and submit your medical evidence online if that’s more convenient. Or you can apply in person at the SSA office closest to you. If you apply in person make sure that you bring copies of all of your medical documentation with you to the appointment. A staff member there will go over all your documentation and walk you through the claim process. This is very helpful if you’re applying for a Medical Vocational Allowance.             


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