January 22, 2017

Allsup Cites New Study Tying Depression To Poorer Chemotherapy Outcomes In Lung Cancer Patients

Findings underscore the need to document both physical and psychological impacts from chronic illness when individuals apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits

Belleville, Illinois — Jan. 23, 2017 — A recent study of patients with lung cancer highlights the significance depression may have on treatment outcomes and the ability to work, according to Allsup, a national company that has helped more than 275,000 people with severe disabilities receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

“Individuals with a severe work-disrupting illness often have several health issues to deal with. It’s not unusual for people with cancer to experience depression or anxiety, as well as the physical effects from the cancer and treatment, such as chemotherapy,” explained Ed Swierczek, senior claims consultant at Allsup. “When you apply for SSDI, it’s critical to make sure your doctor is documenting both the physical and mental health impacts from your illness.”

The study, presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology’s Asia 2016 Congress in December, found that individuals with more advanced lung cancer were more depressed than other lung cancer patients. Researchers reported that the presence of depressed mood reduced patients’ ability to tolerate chemotherapy, and these individuals had a higher incidence of vomiting, reduced white blood cell count and longer hospital stays.

Cancer is one of the top five categories in terms of conditions that qualify someone for disability insurance benefits, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). In 2015, nearly 83,000 people with cancer were awarded Social Security disability benefits. The SSA issued updated cancer medical listings in May 2015, and lung cancer is evaluated under Medical Listing 13.14. To qualify for SSDI benefits, individuals must 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).

Allsup offers an easy-to-use online tool—empower by Allsup® —designed to determine an individual’s likelihood of qualifying for SSDI benefits, walks users through the application process, and guides return-to-work efforts, if the person medically recovers.

When online visitors apply for Social Security disability with Allsup as their representative, they benefit from expert advocacy for their disability insurance claim. First-time applicants who choose Allsup have a 50% higher success rate with their SSDI application compared to the national rate at Social Security.

Get started with empower by Allsup and take a Free SSDI Assessment.

Written by

Rebecca Ray