Supplemental security income and social security disability insurance coverage among long-term childhood cancer survivors.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 107, Issue 6, p.djv057 (2015)


Supplemental security income (SSI) and social security disability insurance (DI) are federal programs that provide disability benefits. We report on SSI/DI enrollment in a random sample of adult, long-term survivors of childhood cancer (n = 698) vs a comparison group without cancer (n = 210) from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study who completed a health insurance survey. A total of 13.5% and 10.0% of survivors had ever been enrolled on SSI or DI, respectively, compared with 2.6% and 5.4% of the comparison group. Cranial radiation doses of 25 Gy or more were associated with a higher risk of current SSI (relative risk [RR] = 3.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.05 to 7.56) and DI (RR = 3.65, 95% CI = 1.65 to 8.06) enrollment. Survivors with severe/life-threatening conditions were more often enrolled on SSI (RR = 3.77, 95% CI = 2.04 to 6.96) and DI (RR = 2.73, 95% CI = 1.45 to 5.14) compared with those with mild/moderate or no health conditions. Further research is needed on disability-related financial challenges after childhood cancer.