Far too many cancer patients struggle with meeting the many medical expenses associated with their condition. This struggle often leads to delaying their treatment. For many patients, Social Security disability benefits are a way to meet some of these financial challenges.
An analysis of more than 5,400 patients suffering from cancer found that 10% of them admitted to being unable to afford medical expenses and, therefore, put off getting medical treatments. In most cases, patients admitted to being unable to afford costs like deductibles and co-pays. Other patients admitted that they delayed treatment because they found it difficult to take time off work or because they were nervous about costs. Delays in medical treatment can have devastating consequences for a person suffering from cancer.
The researchers say that such delays in treatment are even more common among certain sections of the population. For instance, women, African-Americans and people belonging to lower socioeconomic groups are much more likely to delay treatment for these reasons. Cancer patients who live in rural areas may also be more likely to delay treatment due to financial or accessibility reasons.
Cancer is a very expensive illness to treat. Typically, treatment can extend for months and years, and frequent follow-ups and diagnostic scans are part of life after surviving cancer. You may be eligible for federal Social Security disability benefits for some of the expenses that you may incur while you are unable to work. These can help you meet your living expenses, medical costs and can help offset some of the financial losses you may suffer because of treatment costs.