MALIGNANT MELANOMA & SSD
WHAT IS MALIGNANT MELANOMA?
Malignant melanoma is a type of skin cancer that threatens your life if you leave it untreated. Skin cancer is usually found by your doctor through a physical exam. The doctor will then do a biopsy or imaging tests. This type of cancer can cause severe disability and even death if it is not treated in time. As such, it is important to be aware of the risks that go along with this form of skin cancer. If you are aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease, then you can seek medical attention as soon as possible. Additionally, those who are suffering with malignant melanoma may be eligible for SSDI and SSI benefits depending on the severity of their condition. Fortunately, there are many treatments available for malignant melanoma which can help patients manage their condition and improve their quality of life.
With early diagnosis and proper treatment, it is possible to cure malignant melanoma and improve patient survival rates. Early detection of melanoma is important for survival. A substantial number of patients with melanoma develop the disease between five and thirty years after initial diagnosis. The National Cancer Institute recommends doing a self exam on your skin twice a month. This can help detect any new moles or spots that develop on your skin, as well as any changes in existing spots.
SYMPTOMS OF MALIGNANT MELANOMA
The most common symptoms of melanoma are new or changing spots on your skin. The spots look like flat, brown or black areas with a ring of redness around them. These spots can get bigger, change shape or color, and bleed or itch. Additionally, the spots can be white, gray, red, pink or blue. Melanomas can be tiny, but most are larger than the size of a pea. They range from 6 millimeters to a quarter of an inch. If you have a large mole, then it should be checked by your doctor to rule out melanoma.
Many melanomas are not painful and do not itch. However, some people may have a sensation that their skin is irritated. These changes can also occur because of changes in hormones you age, sun exposure, and other skin damage.
Other signs and symptoms include fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, trouble breathing or chronic cough, loss of appetite, bone pain, and headaches. Depending on the type of melanoma, it can be fast or slow growing. For example, nodular melanoma grows quickly in a matter of weeks. By contrast, radial melanoma spreads slowly over the span of a decade. It is possible for a melanoma to grow for years and not produce significant symptoms.
It is important to understand the symptoms of malignant melanoma. Knowing the signs and symptoms of melanoma can help you identify it sooner and get treatment before it spreads. Additionally, understanding the stages of skin cancer can help you determine how serious your condition is and what treatments are available. Finally, learning about the diagnosis process for melanoma will help you prepare for any tests or procedures that may be necessary if you have skin cancer.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MALIGNANT MELANOMA
Fortunately, there are various treatment options available for those suffering from malignant melanoma. These treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and surgery. Each treatment has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to discuss all the options with your doctor before deciding on the best course of action.
Malignant melanoma is treated with a combination of several different types of treatments, most often including surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Depending on the stage and location of your skin cancer, other treatments may be offered as well.
Surgery to remove the tumor is the main treatment for all stages of melanoma. Your surgeon will make a wide excision around the tumor to remove the melanoma and some of the normal tissue that surround it. Then, doctors perform a skin graft. A skin graft takes skin from another part of your body to replace the removed skin and cover the wound from surgery.
These treatment options can help patients to fight off their cancer and improve their quality of life. Some patients also choose to undergo a stem cell transplant, which involves receiving stem cells from another source. Stem cell treatment helps improve and reset damaged skin cells. The therapy locates the pigment containing cells, known as melanocytes, and reduces their damaging movement.
Additionally, there is a new form a treatment called TIL therapy. This treatment uses immune cells from the tumor itself to fight the cancer. The cells are called tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. Hence the name, TIL therapy.
SSDI & SSI BENEFITS FOR THOSE WITH MALIGNANT MELANOMA
Malignant melanoma is a serious medical condition that affects many people around the world. This year almost 100,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive melanoma of the skin. Worldwide, over 300,000 people were treated for melanoma last year. If you suffer from this condition, you may qualify for SSDI and SSI benefits.
People with malignant melanoma may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, your skin cancer must meet certain rules. These rules will be discussed below. SSDI benefits are based on your earnings record. This means that the amount of your monthly SSDI payment will depend on your earnings during your lifetime. SSDI payments come with Medicare benefits.
If you are not eligible for SSDI benefits, then you may still be able to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. For those who qualify, monthly SSI benefits range from $842 to $1,137, depending on the state in which you live. These payments are made to those who have little or no income and need help paying for food and housing. SSI benefits come with Medicaid benefits. However, there are strict financial eligibility requirements for the SSI program.
HOW TO APPLY FOR SSDI AND SSI BENEFITS FOR MALIGNANT MELANOMA
Applying for disability benefits can be a difficult process, especially if you have malignant melanoma. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process easier.
First, you can apply for SSDI and SSI benefits by going online to Social Security’s website. There, you will have the ability to fill out the SSA’s application and answer the SSA’s questions online. You can also call the Social Security Administration’s toll free number at 800.772.1213. They can help you start your application and send you a paper application, if you want to fill out your application by hand. You can also download the application forms from SSA’s website. You can also go into the local SSA office to complete forms, but you will be in for a long wait if you do it that way.
Finally, the application experts at Cannon Disability Law can help you complete your application for SSDI and SSI benefits. We can also help you complete any appeal forms that you may receive later in the process. Hiring an attorney at the outset of your case is a smart idea. We have years of experience filling out SSA’s complex paperwork and you want it done right from the beginning.
MALIGNANT MELANOMA QUALIFIES FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
There are several ways for the SSA to award you Social Security benefits for malignant melanoma. First, you may qualify for monthly SSDI and SSI benefits if you meet listing 13.29 for malignant melanoma in SSA’s blue book, also known as the list of impairments. In order to meet a listing, you must have proof of every element on the list. Second, you may get benefits if you “equal” the listing. For example, this requires you to have two or more impairments, such as malignant melanoma and anxiety disorder. Combined, both conditions may equal the listing.
Below you will find listing 13.29 for malignant melanoma. Your medical records must show that you have each of the elements on the list in order for the SSA to pay you benefits.
13.29 Malignant melanoma (including skin, ocular, or mucosal melanomas), as described in either A, B, or C:
A. Recurrent (except an additional primary melanoma at a different site, which is not considered to be recurrent disease) following either 1 or 2:
1. Wide excision (skin melanoma).
2. Enucleation of the eye (ocular melanoma).
B. With metastases as described in 1, 2, or 3:
1. Metastases to one or more clinically apparent nodes; that is, nodes that are detected by imaging studies (excluding lymphoscintigraphy) or by clinical evaluation (palpable).
2. If the nodes are not clinically apparent, with metastases to four or more nodes.
3. Metastases to adjacent skin (satellite lesions) or distant sites (for example, liver, lung, or brain).
DOES SSA CONSIDER THE EFFECTS OF THERAPY FOR MALIGNANT MELANOMA?
The SSA does consider the effects of your treatment and therapy for malignant melanoma. Obviously, they consider it because the treatment for melanoma may result in severe symptoms that prevent you from working. The SSA will look at the drugs you are taking, the dosage, and the frequency of drug administration. They will also consider the impact of surgery for removal of the tumor and whether or not you need multiple skin grafts. Likewise, they will look at whether or not radiation therapy and chemotherapy give you severe symptoms which keep you from working.
The SSA will request a description of the problems or adverse effects of your treatment and therapy from your doctor. Or, they will review your medical records to find out whether you are having ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms, weakness, and neurological or cardiovascular problems. They will also look at whether or not you are experiencing mental disorders due to your cancer. Many people, after treatment for skin cancer, suffer from memory loss, depression, and concentration issues.
The SSA states that in order to determine the severity of the adverse effects of therapy, enough time must pass to allow them to evaluate the effect of the therapy. The SSA believes the effects of treatment are temporary in most instances. However, the effects may be disabling for a consecutive period of at least 12 months. In those situations, the SSA may determine that your medical condition prevents you from working for over one year. Therefore, the SSA would pay you SSDI benefits.
MALIGNANT MELANOMA CAN IMPACT YOUR RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY
If your malignant melanoma does not meet listing 13.29, you can still receive benefits if your skin cancer impairs your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is the medical assessment of what you can physically and mentally do in a work setting, after taking into account your cancer symptoms.
Your RFC includes both your physical and mental limits. In terms of physical limits, the SSA tries to define your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift, during the course of an 8 hour workday. Likewise, the SSA will include your ability to carry, pull, and push. Find out more about how the SSA defines work here.
In order to figure out your physical RFC, the SSA will review your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your medical records about your ability to work. Additionally, the SSA has their own doctors review your medical records, but they never meet or examine you. These doctors are paid by the government and work for DDS, the state agency who makes decisions in all Social Security cases. The SSA will take the medical opinion of these doctors into account too. Likewise, if they need more information, they may send you to a medical exam. Learn more here about what to expect at SSA’s consultative exam.
The SSA will also consider descriptions of your symptoms from your family and friends. Find out more information about what types of evidence the SSA must consider here. For example, your family or friends could write a statement about the effects of your malignant melanoma symptoms or the fatigue you experience following treatment. Find out more here about RFC and how it combines with age to eliminate work.
WHAT WE DO TO HELP YOU WIN SSDI AND SSI BENEFITS
If you have malignant melanoma, then you do not need to apply for Social Security benefits by yourself. You can always call our law firm and we will help you. Cannon Disability can help you file your application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:
- Send you the paperwork you need to become our client
- Help you file your application for SSDI and SSI benefits
- Inform the SSA they should automatically pay your benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Rules
- Request reconsideration if you receive an initial denial from Disability Determination Services
- Help you confirm your Consultative Examination
- Request a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Prepare you to testify at your SSA hearing
- Represent you at your hearing and question the vocational and medical witnesses.
- Read more about vocational experts here
- Learn more about medical expert testimony here
- Request review of a decision with the Appeals Council
- Request review of an Appeals Council denial in Federal Court
If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. 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 don’t send it back, the SSA will not process your application. Sign it and send it back as soon as you can. Benefits are tied to the date you apply. Therefore, every day you wait to apply is a day you lose benefits.
HIRE CANNON DISABILITY FOR OUR YEARS OF LEGAL EXPERIENCE
The SSA benefits application and appeal process can be long and complicated. It certainly won’t be easier to deal with the SSA if you have malignant melanoma. Hire Cannon Disability Law to give you legal advice and walk you through the application process. In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due due benefits for our clients.
If you want to win benefits, then hire an attorney with the legal experience to win your case. You can hire us for no money down, because we work on a contingency basis. This means we do not charge you any money up front to help you or for you to become our client. Then, you only pay us an attorney fee when you win benefits. If you don’t win, you don’t pay an attorney fee. If you want to learn more about how attorney fees work in this process, then read here. For help, contact us today.
If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For example, you can learn about Andria Summers, who has 21 experience working at Cannon Disability Law. She can also help you with your Medicare advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.
Additionally, Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win benefits for over thirty years. Ms. Cannon has over 30 years of Federal Court experience. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSDI benefits. We are Social Security law experts. You can trust us to help you win your benefits and make a difficult process as easy as possible for you.
WE OFFER A FREE CONSULTATION ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
If you need help filing for SSDI and SSI benefits due to malignant melanoma, then reach out to Cannon Disability Law. Taking the first step by calling us. All you need to do is reach out to our legal team.
Additionally, we offer a free review of your case. What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. At that point, we will look at the merits of your case for free. Also, we will let you know what your chances are in terms of winning benefits. We do not charge you for our review of your case. In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. We are experts at what we do and we will put our knowledge to work for you. Hire us to be your Social Security legal team.
We help clients win benefits in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California. Find out more about your benefits and how to apply in your state here:
- California SSDI and SSI benefits
- Colorado SSDI and SSI benefit information
- Idaho SSDI and SSI benefits
- Nevada SSDI and SSI benefits
- Utah SSDI and SSI benefits
No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team and help you win benefits. Hire the best Social Security legal team with no money down. There will be no attorney fee unless we win your case. Contact us today. We will do our best to help you win SSDI and SSI benefits for malignant melanoma. Finally, we will also due our best to win your benefits as quickly as possible. If you have any questions about the Social Security process, please call us and let us help you today.