Can Individuals with Mesothelioma Qualify for SSD?
SSDI benefits provide financial support and stability to people with a substantial work history and a diagnosis that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in their death. Mesothelioma, known for being a particularly serious type of cancer, can leave individuals completely unable to work and support their families throughout their treatment.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you’re wondering if you can receive SSDI benefits, it’s time to talk to the team at The Dansby Law Firm. Call us at 334-326-6449 to set up a consultation right away.
Mesothelioma is Incredibly Aggressive
Mesothelioma is relatively rare, only accounting for about 2,500 new cancer cases per year. The vast majority of cases are caused by asbestos exposure. Some develop mesothelioma because they live with someone who is regularly exposed to asbestos, and even that incidental exposure can be enough to cause mesothelioma.
This type of cancer is generally not diagnosed until it has reached a fairly advanced stage, so the five-year survival rate is not favorable. Not only can the disease itself cause serious issues with being able to work, but the demanding treatment regimen can also render patients unable to work.
Proving Your Mesothelioma
A big part of qualifying for SSDI benefits is proving your disability. You’ll want to provide extensive medical records showing the symptoms that caused you to seek treatment, proof of the diagnostic tests you went through, and evidence of your mesothelioma diagnosis. One of the most useful pieces of evidence is a pathology report showing that mesothelioma cancer cells were discovered in a biopsy.
One of the benefits of spending a little bit of extra time on your application is the fact that it may actually help you get your benefits earlier. The SSA maintains a list of diagnoses that allow applicants to expedite the processing time of their application and begin receiving payments sooner, and mesothelioma is on that list.
Many doctors are familiar with the extensive requirements of the SSA and what it takes for an applicant to get approved for SSDI benefits. If your doctor has experience with the SSDI process, they may be able to provide the documentation and diagnostic reports you need.
Do You Have Enough Work Credits?
Medical evidence is part of your SSDI application. The other part of qualifying for SSDI benefits is your work history. Most applicants need 40 work credits, 20 of which must be in the 10 years prior to their disability. Younger applicants have lower credit requirements. That isn’t generally relevant in this case, however, since mesothelioma tends to develop after decades of asbestos exposure. You can log into your SSA account to see how many work credits you have and how much you have paid into the Social Security program.
How an Attorney Can Help You Get Benefits
This process can be overwhelming, especially if you are in the midst of undergoing treatment for your mesothelioma. Cancer treatment can cause fatigue, nausea, brain fog, and other symptoms that make it nearly impossible to navigate the SSDI application process. It’s even more difficult if you have applied, only to have your application promptly denied. The appeals process runs on a tight timeline, and unless you know what you missed on your first application, you’re likely to make the same mistakes again.
An SSDI attorney can help you avoid the common mistakes that cause many SSDI applications to be denied. This is especially helpful if you have mesothelioma, as being on the compassionate allowance list means that you should be entitled to receive your benefits more quickly. An attorney can help ensure that your application is strong enough to tap into this benefit.
If your application has been denied, it’s even more important to talk to an SSDI attorney. Find out what caused your file to be denied and how you can improve it during the appeals process.
Reach Out to The Dansby Law Firm for Help with Your SSDI Application
As you work through the treatment process for mesothelioma, the last thing you need is the stress of the disability application process. Let us handle this aspect of your disability while you concentrate on your treatment. Set up a time to talk to our team now by calling us at 334-326-6449 or filling out our online contact form.