Social Security Disability (SSD) payments are available if you have mesothelioma. They are made available under the adult Listing of Impairments in Section 13, Malignant Neoplastic Diseases, item 13.15. If your diagnosis is “malignant mesothelioma of the pleura” you will be entitled to receive payments.
There is no cure for mesothelioma but modern medicine can provide medications and treatments to alleviate pain and help manage the disease. There are also many support groups. Mesothelioma diagnoses have been more frequent in recent years, as more people reach the age where their previous asbestos exposure is manifesting itself in the body.
SSD vs. SSI
SSD is a different program from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is designed for low-income people who are disabled. But SSD does not examine your income. Instead it looks at how many work credits you have from past employment. In rough terms, if you worked five of the past ten years, or an equivalent ratio, you would have enough work credits to qualify.
To Qualify for SS Disability Benefits
You must be completely disabled because of something arising from your past employment. The disability must be preventing you from working in any line of work, not just in your previous work. It must be expected to last for at least one year and be life-threatening.
Malignant mesothelioma arising from past exposure to asbestos at your place of employment qualifies you in all these ways. The SS Administration will ask for medical evidence of your disability, and can be complied with by supplying copies of your medical records.
The Application Process
You can apply at your local branch SSD office. The application form is long and if you would like to be sure you are filling it out fully and correctly, mesothelioma attorneys, Brown | Gould | Kiely, LLP, are here to help. You would want to have it done right the first time, because the SS Administration might take several months to review it.
They might also then reject it, even if you meet all the requirements. If they do, you have just 65 days to appeal their decision, counting from the date stamped on their rejection letter.
If you do correctly file for a hearing you will be scheduled for one with an Administrative Law Judge. It could take as long as a year or even two years for your hearing date to be scheduled. That judge will look again at the requirements and whether you have met them. He may again deny you, and then you will have another 65 days to ask for a second hearing, this one with the Social Security Appeals Council.
We are familiar with the whole application process and its ups and down. If you would like our professional help in navigating these potentially stormy seas, please contact our mesothelioma lawyers today.