Mesothelioma is a serious form of cancer that only affects the lungs. If either you or a loved one has this disease, Social Security disability (SSD) benefits may be able to provide financial support. In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes certain forms of mesothelioma as so severe that they are listed as Compassionate Allowances Conditions (CAL). Conditions on this list always meet the SSA’s definition of disability. Plus, in most cases, eligible applicants will experience faster approval times for disability.
CAL Eligibility Requirements for Mesothelioma
The types of mesothelioma the SSA recognizes on the CAL list include both peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma. Both are very rare and severe lung cancers. The SSA’s policies almost guarantee that any applicant with one of these conditions will get disability benefits.
When applying it’s important that you make the SSA aware of your condition. You can do this by stating on your application that your condition is listed as a compassionate allowance. If you forget to mark your status, the evaluator examining your claim will likely recognize your condition as a CAL qualifying illness.
Other Ways to Qualify For SSD Benefits
Don’t worry if you don’t meet the mesothelioma CAL list requirements. Meeting the SSA’s criteria outlined for disability could help you potentially receive benefits. According to the SSA, this includes:
- You worked in full-time jobs where you paid Social Security payroll taxes for at least 5 in the last 10 years
- Being unable to hold gainful employment for at least a year due to a medical condition
Submitting compelling medical documentation can also help with your claims approval. This may require collecting lab results, notes from medical examinations, and proof pertaining to your inability to work. If this process becomes overwhelming the SSA allows for you to seek assistance from a qualified disability advocate or attorney.
What Can Legal Assistance Do For You?
Many people will retain legal assistance from an experienced disability advocate or attorney. Representatives know the ins-and-outs of the disability process and can help qualified applicants obtain monthly finical support. Most advocates require no out-of-pocket fees and work on a contingency basis. This means if the SSA won’t approve your claim, you pay $0 for legal assistance. But if you do win benefits, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
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