Written by Joe Lahav, Esquire | Legally Reviewed By William A. Davis | Edited By Walter Pacheco

What Is SSDI for Mesothelioma?

You can think of Social Security Disability Insurance as a way to access your retirement benefits before you reach retirement age. This program is an important financial resource for mesothelioma patients younger than 65 who must stop working because of their cancer treatment.

After receiving Social Security disability benefits for two years, recipients also become eligible for Medicare coverage.

If you have to stop working because of mesothelioma, it is almost always better to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, rather than applying to receive retirement benefits early.

When you apply for retirement benefits early, the Social Security Administration permanently reduces the amount of your fixed monthly income. But when you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, your fixed monthly income is calculated at the full amount.

SSDI Eligibility for Mesothelioma Patients

  • You are younger than age 65.
  • You have earned enough work credits to receive Social Security retirement benefits.
  • You must stop working because of your cancer treatment.
  • You can provide medical documentation of your mesothelioma diagnosis.

How Much Is SSDI for Mesothelioma?

Monthly income from Social Security Disability Insurance is calculated the same as regular retirement benefits. It depends on your lifetime average earnings that were subject to Social Security taxes. The more Social Security taxes you paid, the larger your monthly benefit checks.

This program is not intended to provide any type of special compensation for developing occupational cancer.

How to Apply for SSDI

The best way to apply for SSDI is directly with the Social Security Administration. It provides an online tool and a phone number. A specialized mesothelioma lawyer also can help you file for benefits and review all the other financial resources that may be available to you.

Social Security Compassionate Allowance for Mesothelioma

Normally, there is a five-month waiting period to receive disability benefits, but the Social Security Administration makes exceptions for malignant illnesses such as mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma patients automatically qualify for a compassionate allowance, which expedites processing and payment.

The key to securing a compassionate allowance is to make sure your application includes the right medical documentation. The gold standard is a pathology report that positively identified mesothelioma cancer cells in a biopsy sample.

If your claim documents are in order, you could begin receiving your monthly benefit checks within a month of the filing date. Otherwise, the Social Security Administration may order a medical evaluation, or you may have to file an appeal.

Supplemental Security Income for Mesothelioma

Supplemental Security Income can provide financial assistance to mesothelioma patients who have not earned enough work credits to receive Social Security Disability Insurance or retirement benefits.

The medical eligibility requirements are the same as for Social Security Disability Insurance.

Supplemental Security Income is managed by the Social Security Administration, but it is not funded by Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program for disabled people with very little income and assets.

Mesothelioma patients who meet the income requirements for Supplemental Security Income usually are also eligible for their state Medicaid and food stamp programs. These benefits vary by state and claimant’s income level.

When Should Mesothelioma Patients Apply for SSI?

  • You have very little income and assets.
  • You have not earned enough work credits to receive Social Security retirement benefits.
  • You can provide medical documentation of your mesothelioma diagnosis.

How Much Is SSI for Mesothelioma?

As of January 2022, an individual living independently may receive up to $841 per month in Supplemental Security Income. The rate for a couple is up to $1,261. The rates are lower for people living in someone else’s care.

Many states provide additional assistance to supplement the federal program. Even with Supplemental Security Income, however, mesothelioma patients still face significant financial challenges. In many cases, other sources of asbestos compensation for victims provide much greater support.

Recommended Reading

Connect with Our Community

The patient advocates of The Mesothelioma Center

Get in Touch

Have a question? Contact one of our Patient Advocates and get the answers you need.

Elder people sitting in a support group meeting

Join Our Support Group

Connect, share stories and learn from the experiences of others coping with mesothelioma in one of our support groups.

Patient Advocates walking for miles 4 mesothelioma

Giving Back

We help support charities, hospitals and awareness groups working to help people impacted by asbestos and cancer.