A terminal or debilitating diagnosis is never good news. Knowing that you won’t be able to continue working as you had before can leave you with many questions and concerns.
When you have a debilitating or terminal condition which is expected to last a year or longer or result in your death, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You should notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your intent to file immediately, even if you don’t plan on filing until later. Notifying the SSA establishes a protected filing date, and can affect the amount of back pay you are entitled to when you are approved for benefits.
In most cases, the sooner you start the claims process for Social Security disability benefits, the better. Most cases take six months or more before they are approved, and the process often involves several appeals. It is not uncommon for a claim which is ultimately approved to last 18 months or more.
Of course, if you have a terminal diagnosis, you may not have 18 months, or even 6 months to wrestle with the SSA. Fortunately, the SSA recognizes this, and has taken steps to make sure that people with obviously debilitating or terminal conditions called compassionate allowances are given special consideration. The SSA, as of this writing, recognizes 88 distinct conditions which always qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
You don’t need to do anything special to qualify if you have one of the listed conditions. The SSA’s system is designed to pick out applicants who qualify for a compassionate allowance by keywords which are included in the diagnosis and medical findings. If you have a condition which qualifies and you have not received an approval within three weeks of application, you should contact the SSA (and in most cases, a Social Security disability lawyer as well).
Peritoneal Mesothelioma – Condition and Symptoms
A rare cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen, Peritoneal Mesothelioma is generally caused by exposure to asbestos. It is considered to always be fatal, generally within a year of diagnosis. This form of cancer is most common among people who have had prolonged exposure to asbestos in the workplace, though it may also affect family members, or those who have had less frequent exposure to asbestos.
The cancer often does not present itself until several years after exposure to asbestos has ceased. Those who have ever had prolonged exposure to asbestos would be well advised to be screened regularly for Peritoneal Mesothelioma, as early diagnosis offers the only real hope of surviving this condition.
Even when the disease is detected early, it is usually fatal. Radical resection is attempted in cases where the cancer has been caught early enough for the treatment to be viable. One of the major problems associated with peritoneal mesothelioma is that its symptoms often mimic the symptoms of other, less serious conditions. Common symptoms include abdominal swelling, weight loss, abdominal pain, fluid buildup in the abdomen, abnormal blood clotting, anemia, bowel obstruction, and fever.
Unless the cancer is caught before it metastasizes (spreads), treatment is generally limited to relieving pain and treating symptoms in order to improve the quality of life. Chemotherapy is often used to treat the symptoms, but is not generally considered effective in actually eliminating the disease or improving survivability.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Peritoneal Mesothelioma
If you have been diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma, you qualify for Social Security disability benefits through the Compassionate Allowances program. In most cases, your diagnosis will cause Social Security adjudicators to flag your claim for automatic approval and you will begin receiving Social Security disability benefits within a month of your initial application.
If you have any doubts concerning your ability to accurately fill out all of the claims paperwork, or would like a professional to make sure that all of the necessary medical documentation is in order and is presented in such a way that your claim will receive a compassionate allowance, you should consult a Social Security disability lawyer. At the very least, you will want to make sure that your medical files include a clear diagnosis of mesothelioma and the results of the biopsy which was used in making this determination.
Your Peritoneal Mesothelioma Social Security Disability Case
If you have been diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma, there is no question whatsoever regarding whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Furthermore, because you qualify for a compassionate allowance, you should start receiving your benefits very soon (generally less than a month after your claim has been filed).
If you have any questions or problems regarding your Social Security disability claim, consider contacting a Social Security disability lawyer. An initial consultation is free, and any the attorney is not paid unless your disability claim is successful.