Mesothelioma is well known to be a deadly disease, a rare type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The science and medical worlds have recognized this for decades. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) also recognizes this.
The U.S. government agency’s recent action exemplifies how it is willing to help mesothelioma sufferers obtain their Social Security disability benefits. In August, the SSA added sarcomatoid mesothelioma to its list of conditions that qualify as “Compassionate Allowances.” This program allows applicants who suffer from severe medical conditions to have disability claims accepted more quickly and simply on its diagnosis.
Sarcomatoid accounts for up to 20% of mesothelioma cases
A total of 266 medical conditions and diseases are on this Compassionate Allowances list. These diseases include acute leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, esophageal cancer and liver cancer. With the addition of sarcomatoid mesothelioma, five types of mesothelioma are now on the Compassionate Allowances list.
Sarcomatoid mesothelioma usually affects internal organs such as thelungs, heart, and peritoneum. It accounts for 10 to 20% of all mesothelioma cases.
The other four on the list
Here are the four other types of mesothelioma on the Compassionate Allowances list:
- Pleural: The most common type of mesothelioma. Doctors diagnose nearly 2,000 new cases annually. As much as 75% of mesothelioma cases occur in the pleura – the thin lining of tissue that protects the lungs.
- Peritoneal: A rare form of mesothelioma affecting the thin lining of tissue that surrounds the abdominal cavity. About 600 new cases are diagnosed each year.
- Pericardial: Perhaps the rarest type of mesothelioma, accounting for 1% of all cases. This affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the heart.
- Desmoplastic: It too usually occurs in the pleura.type of .
The government likely will continue to add medical conditions to the Compassionate Allowances list.
Providing relief to families
This recent announcement by the SSA provides some relief for people who suffer from mesothelioma. Along with other forms of available compensation, Social Security disability benefits can help asbestos victims and their families.