Mesothelioma is a disease that not only involves significant physical health costs but many financial ones as well. People who are diagnosed with mesothelioma often face a multitude of newfound overwhelming expenditures that can quickly send many families into crippling debt.
The good news is that there are several forms of compensation and other benefits that may be available to mesothelioma victims and their families. You can learn how to access all the possible financial resources when you work with an experienced mesothelioma attorney.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with the asbestos cancer mesothelioma, contact us today to learn about the financial help that is available to you. A consultation with a knowledgeable mesothelioma attorney is free, and you will be able to get all your questions answered and make a plan for moving forward.
Where to Find Financial Assistance for Mesothelioma
The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Many people were exposed to this cancer-causing mineral fiber on the job or during their time in the service. Others may have been exposed due to asbestos materials in the home or “take-home” asbestos carried home on uniforms, skin or hair. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, and even one instance of exposure can lead to mesothelioma.
The primary option for obtaining financial compensation after a mesothelioma diagnosis is to hold the companies responsible for your asbestos exposure accountable. You may also be eligible for other benefits and financial relief depending on your circumstances. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can review the details of your case and explain all possible sources for financial assistance, including:
Mesothelioma patients and families who have lost loved ones to the disease can file lawsuits against the negligent companies or other parties responsible for their life-threatening illness. In most cases, the companies involved will be willing to negotiate a settlement to avoid the risk of going to trial. Some mesothelioma settlements may be reached in as few as 30 days.
If a case does go to trial, then your attorney will make a strong case for maximum compensation to cover all medical expenses, lost wages, damages related to pain and suffering, and other losses you have experienced. Because mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable disease, your attorney should work to expedite the trial process with the goal of resolving your entire case within a year.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Many asbestos companies have filed for bankruptcy. These companies have been required to set aside money in bankruptcy trust funds for asbestos-related claims to be allocated for qualified victims.
The process of obtaining money from a trust fund does involve filing a claim, but it is not the same as filing a lawsuit. Trust fund claims may be complicated, but an experienced attorney will know how to navigate the process and ensure that you can recover every dollar that is available to you.
Wrongful Death Claims
If you have lost a family member to mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. State law governs who may file a wrongful death lawsuit, and every state has a different statute of limitations that determine time limits for filing claims.
In most cases, the awards are for the benefit of the deceased person’s surviving spouse and children, although other family members may be entitled to benefits in certain jurisdictions.
The time clock for filing a wrongful death claim typically begins with the date of a person’s death. A court will not hear any case that is filed after the statute of limitations has expired. That’s why it is important to speak with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible.
Government Assistance for Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma victims may be entitled to government benefits depending on their circumstances. Unfortunately, obtaining government benefits requires navigating a frustrating system filled with red tape ─ a task that many mesothelioma patients and their caregivers don’t have the time or energy to take on.
A respected mesothelioma law firm will have the manpower and the resources to handle your additional claim for government benefits, including:
You have an illness believed to be caused by contact with asbestos.
The contact occurred while you were serving in the military.
You did not receive a dishonorable discharge.
Veterans can be entitled to compensation (payments) and health care. To obtain these benefits, a veteran will need to file a claim for disability compensation and provide evidence that includes:
Medical records stating the veteran’s illness or disability
Service records listing the veteran’s job or specialty
A doctor’s statement saying there is a connection between the veteran’s contact with asbestos during military service and the current illness or disability.
A lawyer who is familiar with VA claims can help mesothelioma victims deal with many of the complications that can arise in the handling of these claims. Requests for additional medical records are a common source of frustration for many applicants, but a skilled lawyer can take on these burdens for you.
Social Security Disability Benefits
A person diagnosed with mesothelioma could be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The Social Security Administration uses a publication known as the Blue Book in its consideration of SSDI claims. The listing of impairments for pleura or mediastinum includes malignant mesothelioma of pleura, tumors of the mediastinum with metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes or persistent or recurrent following initial anticancer therapy, or small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma.
Mesothelioma cases may also qualify for the Social Security Administration’s compassionate allowances program, which expedites the handling of a case involving a particularly poor prognosis.
An experienced attorney will know how an SSDI application needs to be completed for a mesothelioma victim to obtain disability benefits. You can spare yourself significant delays by contacting a lawyer as soon as possible.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When you leave a job because of a mesothelioma diagnosis, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Mesothelioma is considered an occupational illness because a majority of victims were exposed to asbestos in the course of their work.
Employers will often challenge claims based on mesothelioma, arguing that the disease was not the result of their employment or an injury suffered on the job. You can benefit from having a skilled lawyer handle your workers’ compensation claim for mesothelioma.
Certain nonprofit organizations may be able to help mesothelioma victims obtain compensation by identifying possible resources.
There are nonprofit organizations that raise money specifically for victims of mesothelioma. Such organizations usually provide services at no cost and may offer other financial assistance.
Some of the prominent nonprofit organizations that offer assistance to mesothelioma victims include the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America, CancerCare, NeedyMeds and the Patient Advocate Foundation.
Drug Assistance Programs (Indigent Drug Programs)
Undoubtedly one of the steepest costs that mesothelioma victims face is the bill for their prescription drugs. There are drug assistance programs (often referred to as patient assistance programs or indigent drug programs) offered by several pharmaceutical manufacturers to help pay for certain medications.
Many pharmaceutical companies’ websites dedicate sections that detail patient assistance programs and can be valuable resources. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a free website that has information about nearly 500 public and private patient assistance programs.
You may be able to contact a pharmaceutical company directly to ask about drug assistance programs. Most companies have toll-free numbers that allow you to request applications.
Travel, Housing and Treatment Grants
Mesothelioma patients could be eligible for grants covering travel, housing and treatment expenses. Different nonprofit organizations offer grants for certain types of medical treatment expenses. For example, The Chain Fund Inc. provides cancer patients grants to help pay for their mortgage, rent, utilities, prescriptions, insurance copays and other expenses.
Factors That Affect Expenses for Mesothelioma Patients and Families
Most mesothelioma victims and their caregivers face extremely complicated financial situations. Several factors contribute additional stress to victims’ and caregivers’ lives.
Treating mesothelioma often involves very costly medical procedures ─ such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and palliative treatment ─ as well as assisted living care.
When negotiating a possible settlement to a mesothelioma lawsuit, it is always important to keep future treatment costs in mind, as well, because total treatment costs can often exceed $1 million over the course of a person’s lifetime.
A November 2017 study published in the BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, estimated an economic burden of $831 million in direct and indirect costs for 427 newly diagnosed mesothelioma cases and 1,904 lung cancer cases attributable to asbestos exposure in 2011. Another $1.5 billion in quality-of-life costs was estimated. “The economic burden of lung cancer and mesothelioma associated with occupational and para-occupational asbestos exposure is substantial,” the study concluded.
Mesothelioma treatment can involve significant travel expenses for the victim. Specialists can be in different cities, and mesothelioma patients and their family members may be required to incur costs for overnight lodging in some instances.
In some cases, specialized care can also involve airfare costs. These travel expenses can often be a tremendous burden for many mesothelioma victims.
Loss of Job
Mesothelioma sufferers are often left in a weakened state. They are no longer able to function under the demands of their previous occupations, labor. Without a job, many mesothelioma victims are left without an income.
The simple truth is that most mesothelioma victims will be permanently unable to return to work in any capacity because of their deteriorating health.
Sometimes, modifications to mesothelioma patients’ homes are necessary to accommodate complex medical equipment. Such modifications often involve expensive home renovation costs.
In other cases, mesothelioma victims may struggle to find a place to live because of an inability to pay rent or find affordable housing. Numerous organizations can assist mesothelioma victims in finding affordable or temporary housing.
Talk to a Top Mesothelioma Attorney About Getting Financial Help
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, do not wait to contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Attorneys handle these cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means you pay absolutely nothing unless you obtain a financial award.
A skilled asbestos lawyer will be able to help you identify all the different avenues to pursue to obtain the compensation or benefits you need and deserve. Your attorney can help you prove which asbestos companies are responsible for your illness and hold those companies accountable. You may be able to recover damages that include awards for all your past and future medical expenses, lost wages and reduced earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
If you are ready to take the next step and learn about the financial compensation you may be entitled to receive, contact us today.
Learn Everything You Need to Know in Our Patient’s Guide to Mesothelioma
If you are trying to decide on your next steps after a mesothelioma diagnosis, our caring team at Mesothelioma Help is here to guide you through this difficult time. When you download our free guide, you and your family will receive:
Free legal advice from nationally respected mesothelioma attorneys
Medical recommendations from specialists in the mesothelioma community
Free information and resources to make informed decisions about your future
A connection to a community of patients and caregivers
Information about the mesothelioma hospitals and doctors near you
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