Mesothelioma is an aggressive, deadly, and rare cancer that affects the mesothelium, the thin tissue that covers your internal organs. The most common form of the disease, pleural mesothelioma, affects the tissue that lines the chest cavity and covers the lungs, causing debilitating symptoms such as painful coughing, shortness of breath, and unexplained weight loss.
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma and aren't able to work or engage in substantial gainful activity, you might be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This payroll tax-funded government program provides monthly payments for disabled individuals with qualifying medical conditions. Here's what you need to know when applying for SSDI for mesothelioma, including how Keefe Disability Law's skilled Boston attorneys can help.
Types of Mesothelioma
Though pleural mesothelioma is the type diagnosed most frequently, it's not the only kind of malignant mesothelioma. Here's a quick look at other forms of the disease.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma. Developing in the thin layer of tissue lining the abdomen, peritoneal mesothelioma causes abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea, and unexplained weight loss.
- Pericardial mesothelioma. This type of mesothelioma affects the tissue around the heart, causing symptoms like chest pain, cough, difficulty breathing, and irregular heartbeat or palpitations.
- Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis. A particularly aggressive form of this infamously aggressive disease, mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, affects the tissue surrounding the testicles. The most common symptom is a painless, fluid-filled scrotal mass.
Mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure and, as a result, is more commonly diagnosed among people who've worked as electricians, plumbers, insulators, and demolition workers. However, the diagnosis tends to come later in life, as the time between exposure and diagnosis can be as long as 60 years.
Qualifying for SSDI for Mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma isn't just disabling; it's fatal. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the gravity of a mesothelioma diagnosis by including the disease in its Blue Book Listing of Impairments, which outlines the criteria applicants must meet to be approved for benefits. Additionally, most forms of mesothelioma qualify for the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program, which allows for expedited processing of your application so that you can receive benefits sooner.
You can be approved for SSDI benefits by meeting or equaling a Blue Book or Compassionate Allowances listing. If you don't meet the listing exactly, you can complete a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment and provide medical evidence to show that your mesothelioma is as disabling as what's described in the listing.
Medical Evidence to Include With Your Application
Even though mesothelioma usually qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance, if your SSDI application doesn't have enough evidence, doesn't have the right kinds of evidence, or the evidence isn't from acceptable medical sources (AMS), you could still be denied benefits. Don't risk it. Make sure your application includes as much evidence as possible, specifically, things like lab results, biopsies, pathology reports, and operative records. Including notes and other documentation from your treating physician is especially important when applying for SSDI.
Our Boston Disability Lawyers Help Clients With Mesothelioma Obtain SSDI Benefits
The SSDI application process is notoriously difficult, with nearly two-thirds of applicants denied in the initial stage of review. Working with knowledgeable and experienced disability attorneys when completing your application can help prevent some of the most common reasons for denial of SSDI benefits: errors in the application paperwork and insufficient evidence from acceptable medical sources. Let Keefe Disability Law's seasoned attorneys take the lead and fight for the benefits you deserve.
Schedule a Consultation
Ready to find out how the attorneys with Keefe Disability Law can help you fight for the SSDI benefits you need and deserve? Complete the online contact form or call 508-283-5500 (toll-free 888-904-6847) to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation. For more information on applying for SSDI, request a complimentary download of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process.
Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?
If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.