Social Security Supports National Cancer Survivors Day

women hugging, wearing pinkIn 2017, more than a million people will be diagnosed with cancer around the world. This alarming statistic affects people and families everywhere. Chances are, you know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease.

On June 4, we observe National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States. In support of this day, Social Security encourages getting checkups to provide early detection, raise awareness through education, and recognize the survivors who have gone through this battle or are still living with the disease.

Social Security stands strong in our support of the fight against cancer. We offer services to patients dealing with this disease through our disability insurance program and our Compassionate Allowances program. Compassionate Allowances are cases with medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Security’s disability standards, allowing us to process the cases quickly with minimal medical information. Many cancers are part of our Compassionate Allowances list.

There’s no special application or form you need to submit for Compassionate Allowances. Simply apply for disability benefits online, in-person or over the phone. Once we identify you as having a Compassionate Allowances condition, we’ll expedite your disability application.

Social Security establishes Compassionate Allowances conditions using information received at public outreach hearings, from our employees, who review millions of disability cases each year, from medical and scientific experts, and from data based on our research. For more information about Compassionate Allowances, including the list of eligible conditions, visit

Social Security is with you throughout life’s journey, through good times and bad. Please visit for more information.


33 thoughts on “Social Security Supports National Cancer Survivors Day

    • exie, CONGRATS on being a SURVIVOR!!

      my middle brother terminal with stage 4 pancreatic cancer IS also too surviving beyond what they gave him for a survival time!!

      happy for you and him/family!!

  1. this is 1st time i’ve heard compassionate program and i’ve had 3 terminal, younger family members dying of cancer & other diseases with no chance of survival.

    to families with dementia/alzheimer’s-like diseases, if your loved ones have what appears this type of disease, sign up PROMPTLY!!

    my brother’s wife died of early onset alzheimers at age 40; diagnosed/treated for SEVERE DEPRESSION entire time.

    they lost out of many years of this type of compensation for all the years she worked.

    to management, it would be nice for you to address this type of situation, HOW FAR BACK DO YOU GO to compensate the family when it’s a disease like the above?? THANKS!

    happy to read there IS such a program now which apparently there wasn’t 23-26 yrs. ago when my SIL was going thru all this.


    • It is up to the individual worker to sign up for disability. SS does not go backwards in time to pay benefits. And yes, disabled worker benefits have been around since 1956. There is nothing to address. What do you expect, monthly mailers that encourage the disabled to file?

      • What happens to the beneficiaries social security they have paid in from all the many years hard working when they die before the age of drawing SS? My sister just turned 56 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor dies within 8 months. Her husband just turned 62 when he had a heart attack and died at his home. Each one had worked hard their entire life with paying SS in and never receiving any of it!! I would like to know what happens to their SS that they paid in??

        • Think of it as insurance. You may never file a claim on your auto insurance but you won’t get a return when you stop driving. Also, if they had minor children when they passed their children would be paid. And if either of them was married before their previous spouses may be entitled to benefits.

        • Thank you for your question Doris. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. When you start collecting benefits, they don’t come out of your “account,” they come from current workers paying taxes. When a person dies, family members may be eligible for Survivors Benefits based on the deceased worker’s earnings. If a person dies and there are no eligible survivors, any unused money goes to the Social Security trust funds.

      • If someone does not need benefits they will not read or research information on the topic. I am 62 and have worked for 43 years. I had no idea that there were Social Security Disability benefits until I changed fields. What people need to know is that there are case managers and Social Workers who can help people to find resources no matter what your circumstance. Also you can call 211 to get resources..

      • Actually, John, that’s what I consider this blog to be….nothing but an advertisement to get as many people to sign up for SSA benefits as possible and then tell their sad stories about how SSA has mistreated them. Encouraging people to visit their SSA office just pads the numbers so that SSA can say to Congress, “Look at the great job we’re doing so give us more people and more money to take care of everyone.” Disability checks have replaced unemployment checks. I hope Congress takes a hard look at all the money spent by SSA and redefines its role. A statement on the Disability Benefits Help website says “more people are applying and being awarded disability benefits than ever”. So if you’ve heard that it’s really, really hard to get disability benefits, that’s not true according to SSDI. So between SSA and government worker pensions, the only way to sustain them is with higher and higher taxes.

        • Susan, YOU do not know what you are talking about. Most people (I realize that there are some people getting the disability and not really needing it), but for the most part, the people on SSDI, of which I am one, receive it because of a terminal medical condition and CANNOT work. I worked for over 40 years and paid into Medicare every paycheck so I did qualify because I worked the quarter hours required to receive my payment. It was not because I did not want to work. It is not UNEMPLOYMENT as you state. Please review your statement and research it before you make claims that are incorrect.

        • Susan you are WRONG about government worker pensions. Yes, some have been grandfathered because they were employed prior to government employees contributing to their retirement funding which took place in the late 80’s to early 90’s. I was a government employee so I know what I am talking about. If you want to talk about worker pensions, Congress DOES NOT contribute to their retirement. They also do NOT PAY for their medical insurance. WE THE PEOPLE DO!!!

  2. As of August 6, 2016, I am an eleven year breast cancer survivor, thank you God!
    I found the lump myself by self examination in May of 2014. After several type of Dr appointments, I had an biopsy done and the results came back not what I was hoping for. Had a mastectomy. Started my 1st chemo 9/13/2014. Every treatment I had so for, I did well. Did not get sick. On the 7th treatment, 11/15/2014, I felt different and wanted to just lie down. My mom and one of my sisters were with me and took me home afterwards. At home I had several voice messages. One was from the physician’s office. Another one from the physician asking me to call her cell # that she gave to me, so that she could get directions to my home so that she could discuss my treatment of that day. Called her and she came to my home just to tell me there were two errors made. One was that the pharmacy tech had put my name on the incorrect drug; and two, the nurse that administered into my IV port, did not verify my name against the chemo drug. Meaning that I was given the incorrect drug with an overdose of 100%. I was neutropenia and that I had to give myself neutropenia shots as I could not be around anyone that had a cold, nor could I eat fresh vegie’s, nor could I have fresh flowers or plants. My vitals was bottom out that I ended up in being admitted to the hospital. I had to have red blood and platelets transfusion during the week of Thanksgiving.
    Again red blood transfusion on Saturday which was on Christmas Eve. Out of my 12 treatments, I was able to have only 10 treatments due to my vitals was not high enough. February 7th, 2015, supposed to have been my last chemo treatment in which I didn’t have. Then on June 1, 2015, I was taken to the ER due to congested heart failure, all because of the incorrect chemo drug given to me along with being overdosed. On the same date between the time of 12:30 pm to 7:30 pm, I had lost 19 lbs of fluid from my lungs and heart. Was in hospital over a week as tests indicated my heart muscles had been damaged as now I’m having to take medicine for the rest of my life.
    I know my God was with me all the time and still is! And we place our lives in Dr.’s and medical staff’s everyday. With all of this, I had bilateral mastectomy because I didn’t want to go through this situation again! By going through all of this, it really has lowered my self esteem that I stay isolated and can’t get back to my old self again. I ask for all your prayers! Thank you!!


  4. Thank you SS for supporting National Cancer Survivors Day. I am a 3-time survivor; 2 times breast cancer and one time choroidal melonoma of the eye. I had a total bilateral mastectomy, and lost my eye to the melonoma. Haven’t had any problems with payments until this last one with my eye. According to the SS Manual which we get every year – SS pays 80% of the prosthesis and yet SS only paid about 15% of my prosthesis and my secondary paid almost 80%. So what gives SS.

  5. My husband died of renal cell carcinoma in 2014, he was diagnosed in 2007 and applied
    for disability in Atlanta, GA. He
    was denied after rigorous test,
    he was told to apply for his
    Social Security at the age of 62.
    He suffered long and hard. The
    System did not work for him,
    instead they gave him more pain
    and anquish! First the VA then
    SSI, I feel you’re not being
    truthful in this matter! And people
    should no!

  6. Last year our oldest son came home from a vacation in Europe complaining of double vision. A few days later he was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form (for a young person)of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He filed for Social Security disability benefits last year and thanks to his work credits and the severity of his condition (He qualified under Compassionate Allowance) he is receiving disability benefits. Thanks to many prayers and excellent therapy, he is now in remission and hopes to return to work in a year’s time. I am also a cancer survivor (skin cancer). SSA’s disability programs help those who cannot work due to a serious mental or physical disability. Most folks think Social Security is just for old folks. Think again! Statistically one in four young people will become disabled BEFORE reaching retirement age. Our son’s case reminded us of that sobering fact.

  7. you should be ashamed of yourselves posting like you really care about us who have cancer, don’t be so fake. I was denied benefits and I have cancer I have been out of work since Feb. 1, 2017 my doctors clearly have stated I am not able to work!!! there’s all kinds of proof and yet you denied me my benefits. only scum would turn their backs on us sick with cancer. I cannot be in public alone as I have almost fallen many times I am extremely sick and I get so confused so sick from chemotherapy and you have the gall to show you support people with cancer, unbelievable

    • Hi Debbie. We are sorry to hear about your medical condition and that your application for disability benefits did not go the way you had hoped. Social Security wants to be sure that the decision made about your disability claim is correct. If you do not agree with our decision, you have the right to file an appeal. You must make a request within 60 days from the date you received your notice of denial. If you need help with filing your appeal, you can contact your local Social Security office. For more information on the appeals process, please visit our Appeal Processing publication. Thanks.

  8. Thanks Ray for your advice. I am in fact a PAS in the Houston area so I am familiar with the work incentive program. Many people do not realize that SSA encourages those who are able to try and work. The goal if possible is to go back to work full time and not have to receive disability payments. If there is a relapse or a worsening of one’s condition in certain circumstances after a person goes to work and disability payments stop, one can again receive disability benefits even they are awaiting a new disability decision. I urge anyone who is receiving SSI or Social Security benefits to check out what work programs are available by downloading the Red Book 2017 edition. at SSA’s website:

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  10. Why isn’t Medicare included in compassionate allowance claims (cancer)? If anyone needs this coverage, terminal individuals certainly do. Most haven’t worked in some time and have no income or medical insurance. To make them wait 30 months for Medicare is a complete failing of the system they have paid into!

    • Thank you for your comment Gloria. Under current law, individuals will receive Medicare after they receive disability benefits for 24 months. We start counting the 24 months from the month you were entitled to receive disability, not the month when you received your first check. You may want to check and see if you are eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include Medicaid, which may help with the medical treatment and medications you need while you become eligible for Medicare. You can get information about services in your area from your local social services office. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps.

  11. If I start Social security payments before my full retirement age and I am a cancer patient that currently wouldn’t qualify for disability. Am I able to apply for disability at a later date and receive the higher disability payment

    • Hi Wanda. Yes, you could apply for disability benefits at a later time. It’s important to remember that in addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough–and recently enough–under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. A person receiving Social Security retirement benefits is no longer eligible for disability benefits once they reach their full retirement age. You could consider applying for retirement benefits and also apply for disability benefits before you reach your full retirement age. You can start receiving your retirement benefits while we consider your application for disability benefits and wait for a medical decision. For more information, please contact your local office , or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We hope this information helps.

      • Kevin Smith on March 16, 2019 at 3:59 am said:
        I’m have been pending SSD a little over 4 years now after a total of 15 surgeries altogether. I have followed up on anything/everything SSD has asked of me, have had medical professionals like my previous pain doctor refer me to the specialist that truly have the state of the art equipment/software and/or Doctors and expertis to truly and accurately provide the SSDA or the division that reviews the Residual Functionality questionnaires that SSD review boards wants most orthopedics, PCP’s, and/or most any healthcare providers to complete but most providers advised me that they could/would not complete the questionnaire because their practice didn’t have the equipment, technology, or means to complete the questionnaire accurately, due to not having the software, technology, and the education or equipment, professional staff one needs to accurately and correctly provide the percentages, limitations, range of motion information, impairment ratings, accurately based of a Function Capacity Evaluation., “FCE”. I was deemed crippled/disabled after my pain doctor referred me to a provider that specializes in performing this very fast paced rigorous exercises consisting of a multitude of exercises that takes 3-hours. My pain doctor could finally complete the Residual Capacity Function questionnaire based on the facts/results on a professional scale knowing the facts that I’m sure the State would appreciate verses a doctor that has a opinionated guess based on their opinion and not the sciencetific facts based on the grueling testing. My SSD hearing lasted not even 5 minutes and I wasn’t able to speak, nor did my my attorney say a word. I wasn’t prepped and didn’t know that I could even talk. I’m broken mentally and physically and have lost everything. Help? Please lord, this is my life I’m fighting for, my attorney did nothing and I am at a loss? I have filed everything I thought I could because I cannot get my para-legal/attorney to return my many call, emails, vm’s for I’m attempting to get clarifications, answers. This is just the tip of the iceberg for I need a Specialist or someone that will actually take the time to care and listen for I just didn’t wake up one day and decide I just didn’t want to work again. Please help and/or direct me to the right department/people that could help me.

        Reply ↓


    WAS IMPOSE ON ME…SS# *** – ** – ****. OH GOD…

      SS.# *** – ** – ****…


  13. my daughter in law died of cancer on 3/22/2018, my son and her two kids 14 years old and 9 years old are survivors. the deceased was collecting SSI she was disabled. I believe she was collecting 650.00. will the children be eligible for benefits and if so how much approximately will they get. What is the first step to process application.

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