Disability Evaluation Under Social Security
(Blue Book- September 2008)
Malignant Neoplastic Diseases--Childhood
Category of Impairments, Malignant Neoplastic Diseases
Malignant solid tumors
A. What impairments do these listings cover? We use these listings to evaluate all malignant neoplasms except certain neoplasms associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We use the criteria in 114.08E to evaluate carcinoma of the cervix, Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal and anal margin if you also have HIV infection.
B. What do we consider when we evaluate malignant neoplastic diseases under these listings ? We consider factors such as the:
1. Origin of the malignancy.
2. Extent of involvement
3. Duration, frequency, and response to antineoplastic therapy. Antineoplastic therapy means surgery, irradiation, chemotherapy, hormones, immunotherapy, or bone marrow or stem cell transplantation. When we refer to surgery as an antineoplastic treatment, we mean surgical excision for treatment, not for diagnostic purposes.
4. Effects of any post-therapeutic residuals.
C. How do we apply these listings? We apply the criteria in a specific listing to a malignancy originating from that specific site.
D. What evidence do we need?
1. We need medical evidence that specifies the type, extent, and site of the primary, recurrent, or metastatic lesion. In the rare situation in which the primary site cannot be identified, we will use evidence documenting the site(s) of metastasis to evaluate the impairment under 13.27 in part A.
2. For operative procedures, including a biopsy or a needle aspiration, we generally need a copy of both the:
a. Operative note.
b. Pathology report.
3. When we cannot get these documents, we will accept the summary of hospitalization(s) or other medical reports. This evidence should include details of the findings at surgery and, whenever appropriate, the pathological findings.
4. In some situations, we may also need evidence about recurrence, persistence, or progression of the malignancy, the response to therapy, and any significant residuals. (See 113.00G.)
E. 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; that is, multimodal therapy (see 113.00I2).
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).
F. 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.
G. 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.
a. 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:
i. Drugs given.
iii. Frequency of drug administration.
iv. Plans for continued drug administration.
v. Extent of surgery.
vi. Schedule and fields of radiation therapy.
b. We will also request a description of the complications or adverse effects of therapy, such as the following:
i. Continuing gastrointestinal symptoms.
ii. Persistent weakness.
iii. Neurological complications.
iv. Cardiovascular complications.
v. 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 a listed impairment, we must consider whether it medically equals a listing, or, as appropriate, functionally equals the listings.
H. 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 or a recurrence (or relapse) 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. If you have a recurrence or relapse of your malignancy, your impairment may meet of medically equal one of the listings in this body system again.
I. What do we mean by the following terms?
1. Metastases: The spread of tumor cells by blood, lymph, or other body fluid. This term does not include the spread of tumor cells by direct extension of the tumor to other tissue or organs.
2. Multimodal therapy: A combination of at least two types of treatment modalities given in close proximity as a unified whole and usually planned before any treatment has begun. There are three types of treatment modalities: Surgery, radiation, and systemic drug therapy (chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and immunotherapy). Examples of multimodal therapy include:
a. Surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiation.
b. Chemotherapy followed by surgery.
c. Chemotherapy and concurrent radiation.
3. Persistent: Failure to achieve a complete remission.
4. Progressive: The malignancy becomes more extensive after treatment.
5. Recurrent, relapse: A malignancy that was in complete remission or entirely removed by surgery has returned.
J. Can we establish the existence of a disabling impairment prior to the date of the evidence that shows the malignancy satisfies the criteria of a listing? Yes. We will consider factors such as:
1. The type of malignancy and its location.
2. The extent of involvement when the malignancy was first demonstrated.
3. Your symptoms.
K. How do we evaluate specific malignant neoplastic diseases?
a. We provide criteria for evaluating aggressive lymphomas that have not responded to antineoplastic therapy in 113.05. Indolent (non-aggressive) lymphomas are rare in children. We will evaluate indolent lymphomas in children under 13.05 in part A.
b. We consider Hodgkin's disease that recurs more than 12 months after completing initial antineoplastic therapy to be a new disease rather than a recurrence.
c. Many children with lymphoma are treated according to a long-term protocol that can result in significant adverse medical, social, and emotional consequences. (See 113.00G).
a. Acute leukemia . The initial diagnosis of acute leukemia, including the accelerated or blast phase of chronic myelogenous (granulocytic) leukemia, is based upon definitive bone marrow examination. Additional diagnostic information is based on chromosomal analysis, cytochemical and surface marker studies on the abnormal cells, or other methods consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge and clinical practice. Recurrent disease must be documented by peripheral blood, bone marrow, or cerebrospinal fluid examination, or by testicular biopsy. The initial and follow-up pathology reports should be included.
b. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) . The diagnosis of CML should be based upon documented granulocytosis, including immature forms such as differentiated or undifferentiated myelocytes and myeloblasts, and a chromosomal analysis that demonstrates the Philadelphia chromosome. In the absence of a chromosomal analysis, or if the Philadelphia chromosome is not present, the diagnosis may be made by other methods consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge and clinical practice.
c. Juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia (JCML) . JCML is a rare, Philadelphia-chromosome-negative childhood leukemia that is aggressive and clinically similar to acute myelogenous leukemia. We evaluate JCML under 113.06A.
d. Elevated white cell count . In cases of chronic leukemia, an elevated white cell count, in itself, is not ordinarily a factor in determining the severity of the impairment.
3. Malignant solid tumors . The tumors we consider under 113.03 include the histiocytosis syndromes except for solitary eosinophilic granuloma. Therefore, we will not evaluate brain tumors (see 113.13) or thyroid tumors (see 113.09) under this listing.
4. Brain tumors . We use the criteria in 113.13 to evaluate malignant brain tumors. We consider a brain tumor to be malignant if it is classified as grade II or higher under the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of tumors of the central nervous system (WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System, 2007). We evaluate any complications of malignant brain tumors, such as resultant neurological or psychological impairments, under the criteria for the affected body system. We evaluate benign brain tumors under 111.05.
5. Retinoblastoma . The treatment for bilateral retinoblastoma usually results in a visual impairment. We will evaluate any resulting visual impairment under 102.02.
L. How do we evaluate malignant neoplastic diseases treated by bone marrow or stem cell transplantation? Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation is performed for a variety of malignant neoplastic diseases.
1. Acute leukemia (including T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma and JCML) or accelerated or blast phase of CML . If you undergo bone marrow or stem cell transplantation for any of these disorders, we will consider you to be disabled until at least 24 months from the date of diagnosis or relapse, or at least 12 months from the date of transplantation, whichever is later.
2. Lymphoma or chronic phase of CML . If you undergo bone marrow or stem cell transplantation for any of these disorders, we will consider you to be disabled until at least 12 months from the date of transplantation.
3. Evaluating disability after the appropriate time period has elapsed . We consider any residual impairment(s), such as complications arising from:
a. Graft-versus-host (GVH) disease.
b. Immunosuppressant therapy, such as frequent infections.
c. Significant deterioration of other organ systems.
A. For 2 years from the date of initial diagnosis. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairment(s) under the criteria for the affected body system.
B. For 2 years from the date of recurrence of active disease. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairment(s) under the criteria for the affected body system..
A. Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, including Burkitt's and anaplastic large cell. Persistent or recurrent following initial antineoplastic therapy.
B. Hodgkin’s disease with failure to achieve clinically complete remission, or recurrent disease within 12 months of completing initial antineoplastic therapy.
With bone marrow or stem cell transplantation. Consider under a disability until
at least 12 months from the date of transplantation. Thereafter, evaluate any
residual impairment(s) under the criteria of the affected body system.
113.06 Leukemia. (See 113.00K2.)
A. Acute leukemia (including T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma and juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia (JCML)). Consider under a disability until at least 24 months from the date of diagnosis or relapse, or at least 12 months from the date of bone marrow or stem cell transplantation, whichever is later. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairment(s) under the criteria for the affected body system.
B. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (except JCML), as described in 1 or 2:
1. Accelerated or blast phase. Consider under a disability until at least 24 months from the date of diagnosis or relapse, or at least 12 months from the date of bone marrow or stem cell transplantation, whichever is later. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairment(s) under the criteria for the affected body system.
2. Chronic phase, as described in a or b:
a. Consider under a disability until at least 12 months from the date of bone marrow or stem cell transplantation. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairment(s) under the criteria for the affected body system.
b. Progressive disease following initial antineoplastic therapy.
Carcinoma with metastases beyond the regional lymph nodes progressive despite
radioactive iodine therapy.
C. Medullary carcinoma with metastases beyond the regional lymph nodes.
A. With extension beyond the orbit.
B. Persistent or recurrent following initial antineoplastic therapy.
C. With regional or distant metastases.
113.13 Brain tumors. (See 113.00K4.) Highly malignant tumors, such as medulloblastoma or other primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) with documented metastases, grades III and IV astrocytomas, glioblastoma multiforme, ependymoblastoma, diffuse intrinsic brain stem gliomas, or primary sarcomas.
A. With extension across the midline.
B. With distant metastases.
D. With onset at age 1 year or older.