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Donald H. Peters

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When do we need longitudinal evidence?

  1. Tumors with distant metastases. Most malignant tumors of childhood consist of a local lesion with metastases to regional lymph nodes and, less often, distant metastases. We generally do not need longitudinal evidence for tumors that have metastasized beyond the regional lymph nodes because these tumors usually meet the requirements of a listing. Exceptions are for tumors with distant metastases that are expected to respond to antineoplastic therapy. For these exceptions, we usually need a longitudinal record of 3 months after therapy starts to determine whether the intended effect of therapy has been achieved and is likely to persist.
  2. Other malignancies. When there are no distant metastases, many of the listings require that we consider your response to initial antineoplastic therapy; that is, the initial planned treatment regimen. This therapy may consist of a single modality or a combination of modalities (multimodal) given in close proximity as a unified whole, and is usually planned before any treatment(s) is initiated. Examples of multimodal therapy include:
    1. Surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiation.
    2. Chemotherapy followed by surgery.
    3. Chemotherapy and concurrent radiation.
  3. Types of treatment. Whenever the initial planned therapy is a single modality, enough time must pass to allow a determination about whether the therapy will achieve its intended effect. If the treatment fails, the failure will often happen within 6 months after treatment starts, and there will often be a change in the treatment regimen. Whenever the initial planned therapy is multimodal, a determination about the effectiveness of the therapy usually cannot be made until the effects of all the planned modalities can be determined. In some cases, we may need to defer adjudication until the effectiveness of therapy can be assessed. However, we do not need to defer adjudication to determine whether the therapy will achieve its intended effect if we can make a fully favorable determination or decision based on the length and effects of therapy, or the residuals of the malignancy or therapy (see 113.00G).

How do we evaluate impairments that do not meet one of the malignant neoplastic diseases listings?

  1. These listings are only examples of malignant neoplastic diseases that we consider severe enough to result in marked and severe functional limitations. If your impairment(s) does not meet the criteria of any of these listings, we must also consider whether you have an impairment(s) that meets the criteria of a listing in another body system.
  2. If you have a severe medically determinable impairment(s) that does not meet a listing, we will determine whether your impairment(s) medically equals a listing. (See §§404.1526 and 416.926.) If it does not, we will also consider whether you have an impairment(s) that functionally equals the listings. (See §416.926a.) We use the rules in §416.994a when we decide whether you continue to be disabled.

How do we consider the effects of therapy?

  1. How we consider the effects of therapy under the listings. In many cases, malignancies meet listing criteria only if the therapy does not achieve the intended effect: the malignancy persists, progresses, or recurs despite treatment. However, as explained in the following paragraphs, we will not delay adjudication if we can make a fully favorable determination or decision based on the evidence in the case record.
  2. Effects can vary widely.
    1. Because the therapy and its toxicity may vary widely, we consider each case on an individual basis. We will request a specific description of the therapy, including these items:
      1. Drugs given.
      2. Dosage.
      3. Frequency of drug administration.
      4. Plans for continued drug administration.
      5. Extent of surgery.
      6. Schedule and fields of radiation therapy.
    2. We will also request a description of the complications or adverse effects of therapy, such as the following:
      1. Continuing gastrointestinal symptoms.
      2. Persistent weakness.
      3. Neurological complications.
      4. Cardiovascular complications.
      5. Reactive mental disorders.
  3. Effects of therapy may change. Because the severity of the adverse effects of antineoplastic therapy may change during treatment, enough time must pass to allow us to evaluate the therapy's effect. The residual effects of treatment are temporary in most instances. But, on occasion, the effects may be disabling for a consecutive period of at least 12 months.
  4. When the initial antineoplastic therapy is effective. We evaluate any post-therapeutic residual impairment(s) not included in these listings under the criteria for the affected body system. We must consider any complications of therapy. When the residual impairment(s) does not meet or medically equal a listing, we must consider its affect on your ability to do substantial gainful activity.

How long do we consider your impairment to be disabling?

  1. In some listings, we specify that we will consider your impairment to be disabling until a particular point in time (for example, at least 12 months from the date of diagnosis). We may consider your impairment to be disabling beyond this point when the medical and other evidence justifies it.
  2. When a listing does not contain such a specification, we will consider an impairment(s) that meets or medically equals a listing in this body system to be disabling until at least 3 years after onset of complete remission. When the impairment(s) has been in complete remission for at least 3 years, that is, the original tumor and any metastases have not been evident for at least 3 years, the impairment(s) will no longer meet or equal the criteria of a listing in this body system.
  3. Following the appropriate period, we will consider any residuals, including residuals of the malignancy or therapy (see 113.00G), in determining whether you are disabled.

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You need no money to hire Attorney Donald H. Peters

(248) 549-3485
FREE CONSULTATION

Call Social Security Professionals now to discuss your claim for free

You need no money to hire Attorney Donald H. Peters

(248) 549-3485
FREE CONSULTATION

Southfield Lawyer Donald Peters of the Law Office of Donald H. Peters, P.C. in Southfield, Michigan, handles Social Security Disability claims throughout Michigan and in the Tri-County Metro Detroit area including Detroit, Southfield, Novi, Warren, Royal Oak, Roseville, Livonia, Mount Clemens, Sterling Heights, Farmington Hills, Birmingham, Berkley, Oak Park, West Bloomfield, Ann Arbor, Eastpointe, Waterford, Flint, Canton, Taylor, Romulus, Westland, Clinton Township, Troy, Dearborn, Brighton, Howell, Pontiac, Rochester Hills,  as well as Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County, Ingham County, and Livingston County, Michigan.

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