Federal Disability For Skin Cancer to Rise As More Women Suffer Melanoma

July 11, 2013

An increasing number of young women are becoming afflicted with skin cancer, according to a recent study by the Mayo Clinic.
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In fact, the number of women diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, had multiplied eightfold for females under the age of 40 between 1970 and today.

Los Angeles Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Vincent Howard of HOWARD LAW knows that as we approach the height of the summer, this message has a special relevancy. It's especially important here in southern California, where the sun is present year-round and many seek that "sun-kissed" look.

Dermatologists say there is a widely-held myth that skin cancer is something that only happens to those who are older. We can no longer afford to hold onto this myth, particularly as tanning beds have become a major factor behind the increases in the top three forms of skin cancer among young women.

It's estimated that about 20 million people use tanning beds annually in the U.S. Of thsoe, about 70 percent are young, white females. These individuals are now at increased risk of developing skin cancer.

Dermatologists say that the bulbs in these tanning beds radiate 10 to 15 times more UVA radiation than what one might soak up from normal sun exposure.

So rather than developing skin cancer some 30 or 40 years later, many of these younger women are developing skin cancer 5 to 10 years later.

Even those who don't use tanning beds could be at risk in California, particularly if one has fair skin and light eyes and spends many days outdoors.

More than 3 million cases of basal and squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year. Many of these individuals are treated and go on to make a full recovery. But between these and melanoma, we expect about 11,500 skin cancer-related deaths in the U.S. each year. For some, it becomes a drawn-out, protracted battle for survival that may allow the individual to seek federal disability insurance during treatments.

There is a specific listing in the Social Security Disability Insurance Blue Book for Skin Cancer, found in Section 13.03. In order to meet the requirements of this listing and qualify for benefits, you have to show that you have one of the following:


  • Skin cancer that has spread beyond your local lymph nodes;

  • Melanoma that has returned after both the cancer and the skin surrounding the cancer has been removed;

  • Melanoma that has spread to a lymph node that is clinically apparent or to four or more lymph nodes;

  • Melanoma that has spread to either nearby skin or distant sites of the body.


Your medical records are going to have to reflect a diagnosis of skin cancer, as well as detailed information about where the cancer started and where it has spread. Additionally, applicants should include all information about any consultations or treatments recommended and received, with extensive information about the type, length and effects of such treatment.

Los Angeles Disability Benefits Attorney VINCENT HOWARD at HOWARD LAW can help. Call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 or send us a message online.

Additional Resources:
Skin Cancer on the Rise in Young Women, July 5, 2013, By Emma G. Fitzsimmons, The New York Times

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