If you are one of the 3000-plus Americans diagnosed each year with a rare and terminal form of cancer called “mesothelioma”, mesothelioma compensation is possible. Depending on the method and type of asbestos exposure responsible for your illness, there may even be multiple routes to reparation.
It’s important for asbestos victims to understand that the different types of compensation, which may be available to them, are not mutually exclusive. In other words, victims of occupational exposure may be eligible for workers’ comp as well as compensatory damages sought through the U.S. court system and so on.
Disability Benefits through the SSA
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits in the form of monthly payments to U.S. citizens who are unable to work due to illness or injury, including some victims of asbestos. In order to qualify, the individual filing a claim must not already be receiving social security checks for retirement and also must have been a documented contributor to the social security program while in the workforce.
Federal or State Workers Compensation
For victims of occupational exposure, workers compensation laws may allow payment of lost wages and/or medical treatment. Employees of the federal government are eligible for federal benefits by filing a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor. Anyone who was not an employee of a federal agency must file for mesothelioma compensation with his or her state of residence. Workers’ comp laws vary, so asbestos victims should find out about specific eligibility requirements by contacting their state’s Workers’ Compensation Board.
Veterans Mesothelioma Benefits through the VA
U.S. military veterans who experienced exposure to asbestos while in the service are eligible for the comprehensive benefit programs provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Available benefits include disability compensation; medical care and treatment provided at VA hospitals around the country; and additional ongoing assistance for dependents. Eligibility requirements include military documentation confirming enlistment and acceptable discharge status. If you need assistance with filing a claim, you can go to your local VA Office and or contact a qualified asbestos attorney.
Personal Injury Mesothelioma Claims
An attorney who specializes in asbestos injury cases can also help you in filing a claim with the appropriate court(s) against the party (or parties) responsible for negligently exposing you to asbestos-usually one or more companies that sold or manufactured asbestos. Often these businesses have gone bankrupt under the crushing financial strain of constant litigation; in such instances, claims are filed against an asbestos trust fund established by the bankruptcy court to provide mesothelioma compensation for victims like yourself. When going the legal route, you must have a solid case in order to receive a settlement agreement or trial award-making it extremely important to find an attorney who is both experienced and knowledgeable about asbestos injury and the law.