Applicants with the most debilitating conditions, including mesothelioma, are typically awarded benefits without going through the process that usually determines eligibility. If you have sufficient documentation of your diagnosis, it shouldn’t be a problem. You should bypass the process used for most applicants and be awarded expedited benefits.
What are Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs?
SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs help those meeting benefit requirements.
- SSDI pays benefits to you and certain family members if you are considered “insured.” This requires that you worked long and recently enough while paying Social Security taxes on your earnings
- SSI pays benefits to those considered disabled and who have limited incomes and resources. It allows people who have been unemployed long term or who “worked under the table” and didn’t pay Social Security taxes on their wages to receive disability benefits
There are different qualifications, but the medical requirements are the same. If you pass them, you should receive monthly benefits if your medical condition’s expected to last at least one year or cause your death.
What is the Compassionate Compliance Listing?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) gets more applications for disability benefits than it can comfortably handle. Severely disabled applicants waited for extended periods for their application to be decided while those less afflicted filled the system.
The agency created the Compassionate Compliance Listing to cut some of the backlog and provide benefits to those most deserving. If an applicant’s condition is on the list, the application gets a shortcut to approval. Decisions would be made in weeks, not months or years. This listing includes pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial mesothelioma.
Typically applicants need to establish their diagnosis and how it prevents them from performing any paid work for at least a year to get benefits. That’s not the case if you have mesothelioma.
How Do I File for Benefits?
Satterley & Kelley, PLLC, can help you through the process. You’ll get benefits faster if you take your time and provide the necessary information and documentation with the first application instead of re-filing applications and filling in gaps. A complete application has a better chance of approval.
You can apply online, on the telephone, or at the local SSA office. You can start the online application, stop, and start again later. The SSA provides this Starter Kit so you can learn what information is needed. Part of it is a medical and job worksheet to fill out.
No matter how you file for benefits:
- Thoroughly answer all of the questions
- Make detailed explanations and avoid general answers
- Submit any relevant medical evidence. Your oncologist should be familiar with what the SSA is looking for both in the types of documents and the information on them
Though the SSA will want a lot of information, don’t be intimidated by filing for benefits. If you have mesothelioma and take a systematic approach to the application, the information, and the documents being sought, you should be awarded benefits. If not, we can solve problems with the application, and the decision can be appealed.
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At Satterley & Kelley PLLC, we aim to take action in asbestos exposure cases. We help victims and their families in whatever way we can. You may have a valid compensation claim if you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your case in a free initial consultation.