2 reasons cancer can qualify as a disability

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2023 | Long-Term Disability/ERISA

If someone suffers a severe physical injury, they may understand very quickly that it could qualify as a disability. Perhaps they fall and suffer a spinal cord injury that leaves them paralyzed from the waist down, for example. Their mobility issues mean they can no longer work, and they need disability benefits.

But when someone is diagnosed with an illness, they may be less sure if it’s a disability – even if that illness itself is very severe. For instance, what if someone is diagnosed with cancer? Below are two reasons that it may qualify as a disability.

The effects of the cancer itself

First and foremost, someone who has cancer may qualify for disability benefits because of the effects that the disease has on their life. A brain tumor could cause trouble with memory or speech, lung cancer could make breathing difficult, cancer in the eye could lead to vision issues and much more. People often use the word “cancer” as if it refers to one disease, but there are many different types that can have an impact all over someone’s body.

The effects of the treatment

But the other thing to remember is that the treatment for cancer is often radiation therapy or chemotherapy. These can have a major impact on a person’s life. For instance, chemotherapy can lead to hair loss, excessive fatigue, muscle pain, stomach pain and constant headaches. It can also lead to nerve damage, which could in turn cause shooting pains, numbness or tingling sensations.

In other words, even if the cancer itself doesn’t keep the person from working, getting the necessary medical treatment may mean that they are disabled. Those in this position need to know what legal steps to take.