Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis can result in significant emotional stress, and the last thing victims want to deal with is the financial complexity of receiving proper treatment. The good news is that numerous financial programs exist to assist patients throughout their treatment process, including possible financial compensation in the case of asbestos exposure. Here’s what you should know about the financial assistance options for mesothelioma patients.

A Sobering Prognosis

Mesothelioma is the most severe disease associated with asbestos exposure. Almost every case of mesothelioma is caused by being exposed to asbestos in some form, whether it relates to first-hand exposure as an industry worker, or even secondhand exposure as a spouse or child of someone who worked in the asbestos industry. 

A mesothelioma diagnosis can be sobering because of the relatively short survival rate for those who have contracted this rare and aggressive form of cancer. 

Most mesothelioma victims only go on to live one to two years after the time of diagnosis, though there are some exceptions to this timeframe. Regardless, the timeline for mesothelioma is critical due to the aggressive nature of the disease. Since asbestos exposure has a long latency period, those who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis have often lived their lives for decades without any noticeable symptoms. In some cases, this latency period lasts as much as fifty years from the time of exposure. 

But by the time mesothelioma symptoms begin to occur, the cancer has aggressively taken over the body, causing significant health defects and discomfort. Because of this, victims who are experiencing symptoms, especially after the time of diagnosis, need to act quickly in order to receive proper medical care. 

Besides being given a short survival rate, patients often feel crippled and unable to respond in a timely manner, particularly due to the rising costs associated with medical treatment. However, having a sufficient understanding of the programs and compensation options available for mesothelioma victims can make all the difference in the world. 

Options for Financial Assistance in Mesothelioma Treatment

Social Security Benefits

First, victims should know that there are social security benefits for illnesses caused by asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma. The process for receiving this financial assistance can be complicated, but in order to qualify for this type of monthly financial assistance, victims must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain amount of time. 
  • How long you worked in this format will determine if and how much compensation you qualify for. 
  • You must be diagnosed with a disability that prevents you from working. 

In short, this means demonstrating to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you cannot work due to your asbestos illness, considered a disability. 

The SSA rules include asbestos illnesses as qualifying circumstances that deem you disabled, including mesothelioma. This process requires applicants to submit proper documentation, including a medical diagnosis and a pathology report that shows evidence of malignant growth, particularly a mesothelioma diagnosis for those who have contracted this form of cancer.  

As is the case for many Federal programs, there is a long waiting period for receiving approval of disability benefits. 

The good news is that aggressive forms of cancer like mesothelioma allow patients to qualify under the SSDI compassionate allowance, meaning that mesothelioma patients are prioritized in the approval and benefits process. This is especially the case for those over the age of 62 who have to stop working because of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness. 

However, because of the timetable involved, patients need to work with an asbestos attorney to ensure that the proper documentation is submitted in a timely manner, without errors or other issues that might slow down the process. 

Supplemental Security Income

Not everyone qualifies for the above scenario, so it is important to know about another method of financial assistance, known as supplemental security income (SSI). This provides for individuals who have few assets and a low annual income and have not earned enough credits under the SSA programs to qualify for financial support. SSI parameters are determined by annual income and state of residence, which again means that a qualified asbestos attorney should be consulted for proper filing and documentation. 

It is helpful to know that whether patients utilize an asbestos attorney for SSI or SSA programs, they may do so with a free consultation without any obligations, making this crucial step a risk-free option without financial complications or added stress. 

Asbestos Trusts: Faster, Easier, and Greater Compensation Options for Mesothelioma Treatment

Dealing with the Federal Government can be a headache, even with all the proper documentation, specifically because federal programs are notoriously slow-moving. In the case of mesothelioma treatment, time is of the essence, and that’s why you should know about other options that can potentially be easier and faster for receiving adequate compensation. 

Asbestos Compensation Trusts: Financial Assistance Without A Lawsuit

By far the easiest and potentially the fastest option available for mesothelioma victims to receive compensation is the option known as filing an asbestos trust claim. Asbestos companies that dealt with the developing trend of lawsuits ended up losing significant money when their victims began taking them to court, holding them responsible for their various types of work-related diseases as asbestos workers. These companies went on to found bankruptcy trusts with their insurance providers, setting billions of dollars aside to provide compensation to victims. 

Asbestos trusts are preserving billions of dollars, still unclaimed.

Most clients qualify for financial assistance from numerous asbestos trusts.

There are numerous court-established asbestos trust funds available today, with billions of dollars in unused funds. Since these funds have already been set aside, these trust funds serve as the fastest option for receiving the necessary compensation to pay for medical treatment, especially costly treatment associated with mesothelioma. 

Further, asbestos trust claims are easier than dealing with federal programs or court cases, since they do not require the need to file a lawsuit or appear in court. There are specific criteria for qualifying for these asbestos trust claims, but a qualified asbestos attorney can help you determine which programs apply to your situation. In many cases, asbestos attorneys can find multiple asbestos trust funds for each victim to receive compensation from. 

Asbestos Lawsuits

Despite these litigation-free options, mesothelioma compensation is also possible to pursue by filing a lawsuit. This option is likely to result in the largest amount of compensation for victims, but it requires a significant amount of time and documentation. Suing an asbestos company and seeking to hold them liable for an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma requires documentation, expert witness testimony, and a solid case that can stand against scrutiny and defense in court. 

As is the case in many court situations, filing a lawsuit for your asbestos claim can be very time-consuming. 

But you can also apply for trust compensation and receive money from both streams.

Due to the nature of mesothelioma, this need for time and patience is not always possible for victims who need timely treatment and care. With short survival rates, this option is normally not the best option for those who need to begin treatment and get their affairs in order. Working with an asbestos attorney is essential in this situation since they can help you navigate the challenges and determine if this option is in your best interest. 

Going Forward

Mesothelioma is a substantial blow, not only to victims suffering from the illness but also to families who are impacted by a disease that stops a main source of household income. Further, mesothelioma victims are victims, and the drastic impact of this disease is no fault of their own. 

Regardless of what kind of compensation option you pursue, it is worth noting that each compensation option can result in significantly reducing the burden in an already stressful situation. Ultimately, a mesothelioma attorney can help you navigate the challenges and take the burden away from you. They exist to help you, and their involvement can result in making a grim circumstance far more hopeful.