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Bladder Cancer begins in the cells of the bladder. Your bladder is the organ in the pelvic area that stores urine. There are several types of bladder cancer, but the most common type is transitional cell carcinoma. This type begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder.

Other types include squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The cells that form carcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder. Cancer that begins in the transitional cells may spread through the lining of the bladder and invade the bladder muscle wall. It can also spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes. This is Invasive Bladder Cancer.

Bladder Cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, especially among older adults. In the United States, the number of new cases of bladder cancer cases is around 83,000 cases annually. Bladder cancer affects men more frequently than women. According to statistics, men are almost three to four times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women.

In the United States, bladder cancer rates are higher among White individuals versus African American or Hispanic individuals. However, certain regions of the country also have higher rates of bladder cancer due to factors like industrial pollution and health habits like smoking.

Bladder cancer - Medicine and health concept. On a yellow background are ampoules, blue crumpled paper and paper with the inscription - bladder cancer


Bladder cancer is a serious condition that can affect anyone. But understanding the signs and symptoms can help you get early treatment. Here are some common signs and symptoms to watch out for:

  1. Blood in the Urine (Hematuria): One of the most  prominent symptoms is blood in the urine. The blood may appear to be pink, red, or even the color of cola. Even if you can’t see the blood in your urine, a urine test will show it is there.
  2. Burning Sensation During Urination: If you experience pain or a burning sensation when you pee, then it could be a sign of bladder cancer. Even if you think you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), don’t ignore it. Go to the doctor.
  3. Frequent Urination: Feeling the need to urinate more than usual or having a sudden urge to urinate, can also be a sign of bladder cancer. This symptom is especially concerning if it occurs without any increase in fluid intake.
  4. Trouble Urinating: Trouble starting or keeping a steady stream of urine, or feeling like the bladder is not completely empty, could indicate a problem with the bladder, including cancer.
  5. Pelvic Pain: Pain or pressure in the pelvic area can be a symptom of advanced bladder cancer. This is especially true if you have other urinary symptoms.

The symptoms of bladder cancer may include blood in the urine and pain. Additionally, you may feel the need to urinate without being able to do so. However, these symptoms can also stem from other conditions, such as a urinary tract infection or kidney stones. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor for the proper diagnosis.


Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage and type of cancer. Early treatment can improve outcomes for those with bladder cancer. Here are some common treatments for bladder cancer:

  1. Surgery: Surgery is often the first treatment for bladder cancer. The type of surgery depends on the stage and location of the cancer. Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) is a common procedure for removing early tumors. In more advanced cases, partial or radical cystectomy may be necessary, which removes part or all of the bladder.
  2. Chemotherapy: Chemo uses drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. In the case of bladder cancer, it is used before surgery to shrink tumors. Or, it can be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. It can also be used to treat advanced bladder cancer.
  3. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs work by making the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.  It may also be used as therapy to prevent cancer from coming back.
  4. Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses rays to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. It can be used alone or in combination with surgery or other treatments for bladder cancer. External beam radiation therapy is the most common type used for bladder cancer, but internal radiation therapy  may also be an option in certain cases.
  5. Targeted Therapy: These drugs target specific molecules involved in cancer growth. While not as common as surgery, this type of therapy may be an option for people with specific genetic issues.
  6. Clinical Trials: Clinical trials offer access to new treatments. Participating in a clinical trial can provide access to new therapy and contribute to better bladder cancer treatment options.


The SSA recognizes bladder cancer as a condition that qualifies for Compassionate Allowance (CAL) consideration. CAL is a program that moves your SSD case through the SSA system quickly. Because you have a severe medical condition like cancer.

Under CAL, those with bladder cancer receive faster approval for SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The process acknowledges the urgent medical needs of those with severe conditions like bladder cancer. The goal is to ensure they get financial assistance more quickly.

To qualify for CAL with bladder cancer, your condition must meet specific criteria. This involves providing medical records, such as testing, imaging studies, and treatment records, to confirm the cancer.

During the five step SSA review process, it is important to submit all of the evidence the SSA needs to support your claim for bladder cancer. Working with an attorney who is an expert and understands the CAL program increases your chances of a successful claim. In fact, studies show that your chances of winning benefits triples when you hire an attorney with experience.


You qualify for SSD benefits if your cancer meets listing 13.22. The SSA states that the following medical records prove your bladder cancer qualifies for SSD benefits:

  • A pathology report and an operative report stating that the tumor is inoperable or unresectable. “Inoperable” means that surgery would not be helpful based on a review of imaging studies, lab results, and physical exam findings. “Unresectable” cancer means the report shows the cancer is not completely removed or that the surgical specimen has positive margins.
  • Clinical history and exams that describes the features of the condition.
  • In the absence of these reports, the opinion of a doctor that states the cancer is inoperable or unresectable based on objective findings.

Below you can see the medical requirements for listing 13.22:

13.22 Urinary bladder – carcinoma.

 A. With infiltration beyond the bladder wall.


B. Recurrent after total cystectomy.


C. Inoperable or unresectable.


D. With metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes.


E. Small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma.


If your bladder cancer does not meet a listing, then the SSA will define your RFC. Your RFC can make the difference between winning or losing your benefits. Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is one of the most important concepts in your case. You can use your RFC to prove you cannot work. So, what is your RFC?

The RFC is the medical definition of what you can physically do in a work setting. It is the definition of your physical limits after taking into account all of your cancer symptoms.

In order to define your RFC, the SSA examines your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your progress notes. Also, the SSA will review any written letters from your doctors. Likewise, they will review records from their own doctors. For example, at the early stages of your case, a doctor hired by DDS will review your records. It is also possible for the SSA to send you to visit one of their doctors. If they do, then it is a free medical exam. Learn more about the free SSA doctor exam.

The SSA will also consider descriptions about your physical limits from your family, neighbors and friends. For example, your family or friends could write a statement about your chronic pain or fatigue. They could write about how often you visit the bathroom. Find out more here about RFC and how it combines with age to eliminate work. Also, find out more about SSA’s Medical Vocational Guidelines.

Your medical records should contain information about your bladder cancer. Likewise, your records should also document your ongoing symptoms. You need to make sure the medical record is complete. But, you also need to make sure your medical records contain an outline of your RFC.


If you have bladder cancer, then there are two types of benefits you can file for under the Social Security program:  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In order to receive any sort of benefit from the SSA, you must first file an application. You can do this online at Social Security’s website. Below, please find an explanation as to each type of benefit you can apply for:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):  

SSDI benefits are for those who have worked in the recent past and can no longer work due to bladder cancer. The monthly SSDI benefit is based on your work history and Social Security tax contributions.

To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough “work credits” through taxable income. A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you need depends on how old you are when you apply. If you haven’t earned enough work credits for your age, then you will only qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):  

SSI is a needs based benefit and it is for those people with limited income, including children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income of the people you share a home with, not just your income and assets. If you have a spouse who earns more than $4000 a month, then that income will keep you from qualifying for SSI benefits. You cannot be paid SSI benefits, if you do not meet the income and asset rules for SSI. Even if you have bladder cancer.


Our SSD law firm specializes in guiding you through the process of filing for benefits. We also appeal if your claim is denied by the SSA. With our expertise, we can represent you in court proceedings and win your benefits. Also, we can appeal your case to the Appeals Council or Federal Court. Very few law firms have legal experience at the Federal Court and Appeals Council level.

No matter where you reside, our team is dedicated to providing you with legal assistance that wins SSD benefits. Learn more about Utah SSD benefits. Also, learn more about California SSD benefits and filing for SSD benefits in Nevada.

If you are fighting bladder cancer, then SSD benefits are vital for your peace of mind. You need to focus on your health. Benefit from our legal experience that spans over 30 years. Our legal team, which includes Dianna Cannon, brings a wealth of knowledge to your case. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers also have years of legal experience. Learn more about our team’s track record on our About Us page.


You do not need to try to win SSD and SSI benefits by yourself. We can help file your SSD application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online, then you have 6 months to finish the application. Try not to take that long to complete it. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you need help to file your application, then we can help you.


In the realm of SSD benefits, trying to understand the system can be frustrating. Especially with changing rules and strict medical evidence requirements. At Cannon Disability Law, we pride ourselves on our track record. We have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI hearings for our clients in the past 30 years. That amounts to more than $100 million in ongoing and past due benefits for our clients.

As SSD attorneys, we understand the challenges you face in winning Social Security benefits. The process has become increasingly complex, making it crucial to have expert legal representation by your side. Those who attend the SSA hearing without proper legal counsel often find it difficult to win the benefits they deserve.

If you are fighting bladder cancer and are unable to work for more than 12 months, then you should file for SSD benefits. Remember, SSI benefits are available to those who start the application process through the Social Security website.

Contrary to common belief, SSI benefits do not go back in time to the onset of your cancer. Instead, they start from the date you file your application. SSD benefits can go back one year prior to your application date. But only if you were not working due to cancer. Therefore, every moment counts. By starting your application now, you lay the foundation for financial support down the road. Learn more about past due SSD benefits.

Don’t face the complexities of SSD benefits alone. Trust in our expertise to guide you through every step of the process. Our SSD attorneys protect your rights are and serve your best interests. Contact us today to schedule a free review of your SSD benefits. Take the first step toward winning the SSD benefits you deserve for bladder cancer.

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