How to apply for disability

Social Security disability benefits are resources provided by the Social Security Administration to financially help anyone with a serious disease or condition that prevents them from working. All cancer, including ovarian cancer, can potentially qualify for disability benefits.

Any woman with later stage ovarian cancer automatically meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) medical eligibility requirements for disability benefits. Ovarian cancer in its early stages can be more difficult to establish as a long-term disability, but it is still possible under some circumstances to qualify for SSD.

Medically Qualifying with Ovarian Cancer

The SSA maintains listings of impairments in its Blue Book manual. The listing for ovarian cancer appears in Section 13.23 and covers all forms of ovarian cancer, including germ-cell, sarcoma, and carcinoma.

Germ-cell ovarian cancer qualifies under this listing only if it has recurred after initial treatment. With a carcinoma or sarcoma form however, your medical records must show:

  • Tumors that go beyond the pelvis, like those that have adhered to the bowels or peritoneal tissues


  • Metastatic tumors in the lymph nodes, regional or distant


  • Recurrence after initial treatment.

If your cancer meets one of these requirements, then you “automatically” medically qualify for benefits, though you will still need to complete the full application process and the SSA will need to see thorough medical records documenting your condition. Specifically, these records include:

  • A formal diagnosis, including onset, treatments, and prognosis
  • Pathology and operative reports, if applicable
  • Imaging scans, blood work, and other diagnostic reports
  • A statement from your physician about your cancer, including clinical observations and a summary of your overall condition
  • Treatment side effects and any residual impairments from your illness or your treatments
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If your cancer is advanced and inoperable, then your application for benefits will be reviewed more quickly as part of the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program. CAL expedites the process, allowing you to potentially get benefits sooner.

Ovarian cancer that is in the early stages, has not spread, and has responded to treatment does not meet the listing in the Blue Book but you may still be able to get benefits. It will be more difficult to prove disability though and you will need to go through a “residual functional capacity” (RFC).

RFC is a process by which the SSA looks at your everyday abilities to determine if you are so impaired by your illness, treatments, and residual effects that you’re unable to maintain gainful employment. Your medical records play a big part in the RFC analysis, but the SSA will also require you to fill out a “functional report” form. Your physician should also complete a similar report.

These documents allow you and your doctor to explain how your everyday abilities are affected by your medical condition. If the SSA finds you are unable to work in any job, then you can receive benefits despite not meeting the Blue Book listing for ovarian cancer.

Applying for Benefits

There are two types of disability benefits for which you may qualify with ovarian cancer:


An appointment is necessary to apply at the local SSA office and can be scheduled by calling 1-800-772-1213, but online applications can be completed at any time.

Deanna Power

Community Outreach Manager

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Social Security Disability Help

File for Disability in Colorado

Social Security Disability benefits are provided by the federal organization known as the Social Security Administration (SSA). This means no matter which state an individual lives in, applying for disability benefits is achieved through the same methods. Currently there are three different ways to file a claim for disability benefits.

  • Online: You can apply on the internet at
  • Telephone: You can apply by calling the SSA’s toll-free customer service at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778)
  • In-person: You can apply directly at your local Social Security field office.

State Statistics

The information below is related to Social Security Disability in Colorado.

Resident Population 3,383,044
Percentage of Population on SSI 1.4%
Percentage of Population on SSDI 3.3%
Average Monthly SSI Payment $502.55
Average Monthly SSDI Payment $1,120.19

Appeal Hearings

If an individual applies in the state of Colorado and is denied at the request for reconsideration level, he or she may file an appeal against the decision and will have to attend a court hearing in front of one of the 22 administrative law judges (ALJs) within the state. At the moment, Colorado has only 2 hearing offices where hearings can be held. Colorado’s general hearing statistics are very close to the national averages.

Colorado National
Avg. Hearing Wait Time 14.5 Months 14.8 Months
Average Processing Time 465 Days 490 Days
Cases Approved 39% 43%
Cases Denied 38% 37%
Cases Dismissed 23% 19%

How To Get Disability In Ohio

You can apply for benefits online at the Social Security Administration website. You can also call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment at the local office to apply. In order to apply, you’ll need the following:

  • Social Security Number
  • Birth Certificate (or baptismal certificate)
  • Contact information including names, addresses, and phone numbers for all doctors, nurses, caretakers, hospitals, and clinics involved in your treatment
  • Dates of all doctor’s visits and medical procedures
  • Medical records pertaining to the disability
  • Any lab or test results
  • Information on previous places of employment and positions held
  • Most recent W-2 form or, if you’re self-employed, most recent federal tax return
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Once you’ve applied, it can take anywhere from 3-5 months to process your application. Unfortunately, only about 1/3 of applications in Ohio are approved on the first try. If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision.

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