Many people in Minnesota have been exposed to asbestos and later developed mesothelioma. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be wondering where you will get the money to cover all the medical bills, expenses and lost wages.
The first option may be to file a lawsuit against the company responsible for your exposure, whether that was at work, due to a consumer product containing asbestos, or after a home renovation, for example.
At least a partial option for those under 65 may be to file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This is a government program that provides income for people who have worked most of their lives but are now completely disabled from working. A mesothelioma diagnosis is generally so disabling that it virtually automatically qualifies you for benefits.
In fact, the Social Security Administration has recently added two types of mesothelioma to its Compassionate Allowances List. In August, it added desmoplastic mesothelioma and adult pericardial mesothelioma to that list. (Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma were already included.)
The Compassionate Allowances list is a list of severe medical conditions that clearly meet Social Security’s definition of disability. Due to their severity and clear qualification, the Social Security Administration quickly identifies applicants with these conditions and pulls them into a special queue. Disability benefits are expedited for those who provide evidence of their diagnosis. The idea is to get benefits quickly to people who are clearly disabled and may be facing death.
Assuming you have worked for a significant period of time, you have earned your SSDI benefits. It takes time and some effort, but you should consider applying for SSDI as soon as you are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Whether or not you apply for Social Security Disability, it’s important to understand the significance of the fact that mesothelioma is included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances list. Our federal disability program considers all four major types of mesothelioma to be clearly disabling and severe.
You should, too. Don’t try to hold out, thinking that you might not really need the financial help that can come from SSDI benefits or a lawsuit against a responsible company. Get in touch with an experienced, local mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible.