CLL and disability in USA and Canada - CLL Support

CLL Support

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CLL and disability in USA and Canada


I had chemotherapy 4 years ago. Started Imbruvica 1 year ago but stopped 2 months ago because of side-effect. I am 58 and last year was difficult as I lost lost od time from work due to pain or different side effects. As much as I resist the thought of disability what is the current situation with our condition. I am dual citizen USA and Canada.

6 Replies

Pragnar, are you asking if Cll would qualify you for social security disability payments and/or your disability policy?

If so, I think the answer would be that it depends on how your Cll impacts your ability to work and upon the language in your policy.

If your doctor determines you cannot do any gainful employment, you can certainly apply for social security disability. These cases are decided on a case by case basis. Having Cll would not automatically qualify you for benefits but if you establish your daily pain and side effects make work impossible, I think you would qualify.

If you have a private or group policy, it depends on the policy language. I would think if you can’t work due to the problems you describe, and your doctor backs you up, then you would probably qualify. Private or group policies typically have coordination of benefit clauses that might offset your social security benefits. If you apply you can talk to plan administrator who could explain all this.

Should you keep working as a quality of life decision to keep you busy? That’s something you have to decide. I am at retirement age and am trying to figure out how long I intend to work. There are so many factors, so it’s an individual decision. If work is really hard for you, you should explore your disability options. Good luck. Jeff

pragnar in reply to cajunjeff

Thank you.

CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero in reply to pragnar

Have you made regular contributions to CPP?

Here are the CPP criteria


Here are the criteria for Canadians living in other counties

I tried a disability claim in 2002 for severe CLL fatigue with CPP and after two years of legal battles, I was declined... no proof... you can't measure fatigue empirically.

Patients tell me things are better now, but its still an uphill battle. Some provinces have provincial plans... you need to do your research or get a disability lawyer to guide you.


pragnar in reply to Cllcanada

Thank you. Yes I made contributions. We live between USA and Canada. I will check with my doctor in Ontario.

Hello I think in Canada u can collect disability benefits if u contributed to the Canada pension plan. U can also work part time and collect DB

Disability has become very difficult in the USA and CLL is not on the short list

My CLL is pretty mild but it’s done a lot of collateral damage such as having to have planter fascia reduction at the Hospital For Special Surgery and I still can’t walk right with December being 1 year since surgery and 1 year program starting in in 2016 before they would do the surgery

But because I can walk and drive and show up for work there is no possibility of getting disability and if I did there is a 3 year wait on medical coverage so hobble on I go and it’s kind of for the best as doing nothing is definitely not a good thing

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