May 23, 2018
Diseases like mesothelioma can take normally healthy, strong adults and severely alter their lifestyle and ability to work. These cancers are aggressive and require equally aggressive plans to stop their spread, all of which takes place inside the human body.
Sometimes the side effects of treatment are worse than the initial symptoms of the disease: people who catch mesothelioma in its early stages may be in for a rough bout of chemotherapy, but their cancer symptoms may not be as prevalent as someone fighting a later-stage battle.
If your cancer doesn’t immediately qualify for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), you may have other options. There are ways to qualify for disability benefits under certain conditions or following certain medical procedures, but you’ll need a very specific diagnosis or experience for these types of claims.
Disability Benefits from Mesothelioma Treatment Side Effects
For patients with pleural mesothelioma or specific types of mesothelioma of the mediastinum, you can be automatically approved for Social Security disability benefits following application with valid medical records. This doesn’t mean that other types of mesothelioma are automatically denied, however; it just means your application could benefit from a few more pieces of information.
Side Effects that Prevent You from Working
In rare cases, mesothelioma patients may not qualify for benefits under the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s listing of impairments, but instead may suffer from prolonged side effects of common cancer treatment plans such as chemotherapy and radiation.
This is a difficult claim to be approved for, however, since your symptoms need to be severe enough to keep you from working (or be expected to) for at least a year. In most cases, the side effects from treatment are either not severe enough or not consistent enough to qualify you for SSDI on their own.
However, negative side effects from treatment can strengthen your case for disability. This is why it’s still important to keep a journal of your daily activities and general health throughout treatment if you’re thinking of applying for SSDI.
Long-Lasting Side Effects
Some patients suffer permanent damage from mesothelioma treatment. Because the tissues this cancer typically affects are sensitive (lung tissue and surrounding chest cavity cells), employing brute force chemotherapy or long rounds of radiation treatment can, in some cases, turn into long-term problems.
The SSA will consider certain diseases that can be caused by aggressive cancer treatment as their own reason for applying for disability benefits. Both chemotherapy and radiation have been identified as risk factors for lung, heart, and bone diseases.
It’s easier to prove that these permanent side effects are life-altering compared to temporary side effects that chemotherapy and radiation may have on a mesothelioma patient. However, these permanent side effects are typically rare and difficult to isolate their cause. That’s why it helps to have competent, trustworthy doctors and lawyers to help you file your Social Security disability claim.
Discuss Your Options with a Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you’re suffering from mesothelioma, Social Security disability benefits may be a good option. A Social Security disability attorney can help you gather medical evidence and prepare your case, no matter what stage in the process you’re in.
However, you may have another option to make ends meet. If your mesothelioma is linked to exposure to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether the asbestos was in your home or your workplace, a mesothelioma lawyer may be able to help.
Hensley Legal Group can help Indiana residents get approved for disability benefits, seek compensation for asbestos exposure, or both. If you’re ready to take the next step, give us a call or contact us online today. Your conversation with us is free.