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Rural cancer patients less likely to receive paid disability

Cancer patients face many challenges. Many people struggle with what to do after being diagnosed with cancer. Understanding the different treatment options available and the financial impact cancer will have in your life can result in many emotions. 

Cancer treatments often make it difficult for patients to continue working, at least as much as they used to. Cancer impacts every patient in a different way but a new study found that cancer patients living in rural areas are less likely to receive disability benefits during treatment. 

The study found that cancer patients in rural communities in the United States may have more financial struggles after their diagnosis compared to cancer patients who lived in larger cities. The study looked at cancer survivors who were employed when they were diagnosed. 

The study reported that rural patients were 33 percent less likely to receive paid disability compared to patients in cities during the time that they received treatment. The researchers said this could be due to manual labor jobs not offering disability benefits as often as other types of jobs. Workers in rural communities are more likely to have manual jobs compared to those living in cities. 

The finding that cancer patients in rural areas are less likely to receive paid disability is concerning. Individuals diagnosed with cancer should be aware of Social Security Disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration. SSDI benefits can help cancer patients pay for monthly expenses they may not be able to afford due to not working as much or at all while receiving cancer treatments. 

Source: HealthDay News, "Rural Cancer Survivors May Retire Sooner, Get Less Paid Disability," Dec. 17, 2013

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