Applying for Disability Benefits

March 19, 2021 Run Time: 2 min

ASK RUBY: Applying for Disability Benefits


When facing cancer, you may consider applying for disability benefits. These are payments available to people who can't work because of their disability. This includes certain medical conditions like some types of cancer. 

You must meet specific criteria and provide documentation to qualify for disability insurance. The amount you receive in benefits depends on your past income. The Social Security Administration, or SSA, provides monthly federal disability benefits called Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, to eligible people who paid Social Security taxes on their past earnings, and have worked a certain number of years. SSA has other programs that you may consider applying to, depending on your financial situation, and the severity of your condition. 

Supplemental security income, or SSI, helps meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter, and some states provide Medicaid to people eligible for SSI benefits. The Compassionate Allowances Program can shorten the processing time for SSDI claims for individuals with the most severe conditions. There may be other options to consider. You can purchase private disability insurance, and certain states offer state disability benefits. 


Have a concern of your own? Please call our Cancer Support Helpline to talk with an experienced counselor or navigator: 888-793-9355