A diagnosis of cancer immediately changes the focus of your life and that of your family. As a Missouri resident, you may wonder if you can receive financial assistance through the Social Security Administration to help pay the bills if you can no longer work. The short answer to the question is maybe. Navigating the process required to apply is often complicated and time-consuming.
The Cancer Support Community reports that the SSA uses the Blue Book, a medical resource, when determining whether you are eligible for financial assistance. While some hard to treat or aggressive cancers qualify with only a diagnosis, most require additional proof for approval. Reviewing this resource with your oncologist may shed more light on whether you will qualify.
If the cancer is in an early stage, you might qualify for disability benefits, even without Blue Book approval. You may receive a Medical Vocational Allowance, depending on whether you can perform your job duties during an illness expected to last 12 months or longer. These benefits rely on a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation, which assesses a wide range of factors including your ability to carry weight, sand, sit and walk.
Individuals 50 years of age and older typically qualify easier than those younger, as the SSA believes it is more difficult to retrain older workers for another job. Individuals without college degrees may also receive approval as they often have jobs that require manual labor, as opposed to a desk job. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.