Social Security Supports People Battling Cancer

June 4, 2018 • By

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Last Updated: June 4, 2018

woman hugging younger girlIn 2018, more than a million people will be diagnosed with cancer around the world. This alarming statistic affects people and families everywhere. On June 3, 2018, we observed 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 supports people who are fighting cancer. We offer support to patients dealing with this disease through our disability program. People with certain cancers may be eligible for a Compassionate Allowance. Compassionate Allowances are cases where individuals have medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Security’s disability standards, allowing us to process the cases quickly with minimal medical information.

There’s no special application or form you need to submit for Compassionate Allowances. Simply apply for disability benefits using the standard Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application. Once we identify you as having a Compassionate Allowance condition, we’ll expedite your disability application.

Social Security establishes Compassionate Allowance conditions using information received at public outreach hearings, from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, from medical and scientific experts, and from data based on our research. Visit our Compassionate Allowances website for more information, including the list of eligible conditions.

Some illnesses are more disabling than others and Social Security tries to treat everyone with equal compassion relative to their condition. If you think you qualify for disability benefits based on a Compassionate Allowances condition, please visit our website to apply for benefits.

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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Alia P.


  2. Lauren O.

    My mother was diagnosed with cancer and just got her award letter. We are trying to figure out the best course of action. Should she try to use FMLA to secure her job so she can return to work after treatment? When will she get Medicare? How does this affect her current insurance? She has a cancer policy with Aflac and doesn’t want to lose her coverage. Her benefits aren’t scheduled to start until July.

  3. Cathy W.

    If you are 17 years old and receiving death benefits from 1 parent that has passed away. Will this minor be entitled to the impact check I have looked all over the internet and cannot find the answer. He is still in high school and he does receive a check for survivors benefits. But will he be entitled to the impact check please help.

    • V.V.

      Hi Cathy, thank you for your question. Please visit the IRS Economic Impact Payments Information Center to answer your questions about eligibility, payment amounts, what to expect, when to expect it and more. Hope this helps!

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  6. Dom

    That is great news for people like my father, thanks!

  7. Jane Y.

    Hello. I am a single mother of an adult son with autism spectrum. I am battling breast cancer stage 2. I am currently not working and need assistance with housing and finances.

    • A.C.

      Hi, Jane. We are sorry to hear about your condition and situation. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. To find out whether you may qualify and if you need to file a separate application call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048). You also can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

  8. MARK S.

    It’s harder than you think.

  9. Ramon S.

    My wife was diagnosed with stage four MBC almost two years ago we applied for compassionate Allowance social security BENIFITS she was denied because she has not worked for almost five years,she had to guit her job as a cashier because her lower back was in so much pain she thought it was from standing at a cash register for to many hours each day she worked at Walmart for 15 years,(Walmart Would not pay her her 90 hours of sick pay time),Social Security also said I make to much income,she paid into Social security.
    she is in Stanford Hospital Palative care they prescribe Morphine,Oxy contain for pain,and nausea medication

  10. Mobility A.

    Many people suffer from cancer and don’t know what proper treatment and equipment to be used, most commonly for disable people. They should use disability aids for their proper recovery.

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