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Study Highlights Challenges for Individuals with Lung Cancer, Allsup Reports
Date:11/15/2013

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“Lung cancer can be severely debilitating because the respiratory process affects so many other activities in the human body,” Swierczek said. “In addition to the disease’s symptoms, those with lung cancer also can experience severe disability as a result of treatment, which can include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”

About 26,500 people received SSDI benefits based on a lung, bronchus or trachea cancer diagnosis in 2011, according to Social Security Administration (SSA) data. The others in the top five cancer-related diagnoses for SSDI beneficiaries were breast cancer (about 42,000 people), colon cancer (about 27,000 people), cancer of other genitourinary organs (about 25,800 people), and soft tissue tumors of head and neck (about 18,000 people).

Lung Cancer and SSDI
SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income programs. It is funded by FICA payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers. SSDI provides monthly income to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal.

The SSA addresses lung cancer for SSDI benefits under Medical Listing 13.14. “Lung cancer can be found disabling at step three of the SSA’s sequential evaluation process by meeting this listing,” Swierczek said. Read more about general disability guidelines on Allsup.com.

If the disease does not meet or equal the medical listing, the symptoms and disease impact may be evaluated for SSDI benefits. “Cancer treatment in the form of radiation and chemotherapy can make it impossible for someone to continue working,” Swierczek explained.

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