Documenting severe side effects from chemotherapy and cancer treatment is critical when applying for Social Security disability benefits
Belleville, Illinois — Feb. 28, 2017 — A new report highlights the challenging dilemma for cancer patients undergoing treatment that causes severe side effects, disrupts the ability to work and interrupts treatment itself, according to Allsup. The national company has helped more than 275,000 people with severe disabilities receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Researchers at the University of Michigan studied 1,945 women with early stage breast cancer, finding about half rated their side effects as severe or very severe. The recent findings, published in the journal Cancer, examined the severity of side effects including nausea and vomiting, pain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, constipation, arm swelling and skin irritation.
“People undergoing cancer treatment can face an impasse when their cancer treatment causes severe side effects that leads to additional hospitalization and possibly interrupts the treatment designed to save their lives,” explained Ed Swierczek, senior claims consultant at Allsup.
For some individuals with cancer, the chemotherapy regimen may last up to a year, depending on the type and stage of cancer. “The effects and impact of cancer treatment can last even longer than one year, and when it disrupts your ability to work, you should look at applying for disability insurance benefits from Social Security,” Swierczek said.
Breast cancer falls under cancer, which is one of the five largest categories of conditions that qualify individuals for disability benefits, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). More than 83,000 people whose work lives were interrupted by cancer were granted Social Security disability benefits in 2015, based on SSA data. Four types of cancer—breast cancer, lung cancer, genital organ cancer, and colon cancer—make up more than 50% of all cancer-related claims receiving Social Security disability benefits, according to the SSA.
To help with applying for Social Security disability, Allsup offers empower, a dual purpose online tool. Designed to help someone quickly learn their likelihood of qualifying for SSDI benefits, it walks users through the application process, and guides return-to-work efforts if the person medically recovers. First-time applicants who choose Allsup have a 50% higher success rate with their SSDI application compared to the national rate at Social Security.
Qualifying for SSDI benefits requires someone to have paid FICA payroll taxes, usually worked five of the last 10 years, and have a severe work-disrupting injury or illness that is expected to last at least a year, or is terminal. Applicants also must be under full retirement age (65-67).
Visit empower to take our Free SSDI Assessment.