The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently expanded the Compassionate Allowances program to include Pericardial Mesothelioma. The agency added Desmoplastic Mesothelioma and Peritoneal Mesothelioma a few months ago in addition to the already covered Pleural Mesothelioma.
What is the Compassionate Allowances program?
This program is part of the SSA’s disability benefits programs. Although the funds available through these programs are helpful for those who are disabled as a result of an injury or disease, anyone who has filed their taxes knows that filing for anything from the government takes time. This can include applications to get much needed benefits during some of the most difficult times of our lives. These programs are helpful for those who become ill, but many who suffer from serious illness may not have months or years to wait to get these benefits.
Those who find themselves in this situation can benefit from the Compassionate Allowances program. This program automatically approves certain qualifying conditions, like the mesothelioma diagnosis discussed above. When in this program, the approval process is often based on medical diagnosis alone. This means the applicant can get approved for benefits without having to wait for the feds to complete an otherwise lengthy review process.
What are the benefits that come with this program?
The Compassionate Allowances program through SSA can speed up the approval process for two different programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Once approved, the applicant can receive funds to help cover the costs that come with medical bills, travel expenses, lost income, and end-of-life care.
When can I get benefits?
The answer depends on the program. The SSDI program is available to those who have worked a certain period of time and paid Social Security taxes on their income. Those who do not qualify for this program can still get benefits from the SSI program, which provides financial aid to those with limited income.
The program speeds up the approval process, but it can still take months from the date of the disability to start getting SSDI benefits. This is not true with SSI benefits. SSI benefits generally begin shortly after approval.
It is also important to note that it is possible to qualify for both SSDI and SSI benefits. You do not have to choose one or the other.
Are there any other options?
Mesothelioma victims do not need to rely on federal benefits alone to meet their financial needs and the needs of their family. This disease is often the result of asbestos exposure. Victims can hold manufacturers and distributors of this cancer-causing product accountable for their disease and gain significant financial compensation through a civil lawsuit.