Mesothelioma victims and their families have a lot to deal with. Thankfully, they don’t have to deal with everything all by themselves. With some assistance, they may be able to access many of the available benefits.
While the circumstances of your case will shape the benefits for which you qualify, here are five resources that many victims and their families can access—and for which you may also qualify.
Mesothelioma treatment is costly, and victims will want all the financial help they can get. One of the first places to look is at your health insurance policy. You’ll want to know what it covers and to make sure your doctors provide all the information needed to support your claims.
However, coverage gaps and deductibles may still leave you with some big bills. That’s where some of these other resources may come into play.
Asbestos trust fund money
Many asbestos manufacturers set aside money to pay for the damages caused to victims of asbestos exposure. People suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases may be able to access these funds without ever needing to file a lawsuit.
Depending on your circumstances, you may have good cause to take legal action. Generally, these claims need to show that someone knowingly or through negligence exposed you to asbestos. Then you need to prove the exposure caused you real harm.
Notably, a successful claim may help you recover more than the funds you need for your medical expenses. The law recognizes multiple forms of damage, and these may include:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing treatment
- Loss of income
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
Everyone’s situation is different, so you may need to speak to an attorney to understand if you have a solid case.
Veterans benefits and other occupational benefits
Veterans have long been among the people most at risk for asbestos exposure. As part of their service, many veterans worked with paints, gaskets, insulation and other materials that contained asbestos. Others may have suffered exposure from their contact with buildings in the Middle East or Southeast Asia. As a result, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) maintains a fund to help veterans with medical treatments and disability compensation.
The first responders who suffered exposure during 9/11 may apply for similar compensation from a dedicated fund.
There’s more to consider than finances, and mesothelioma victims often benefit from access to support groups of people who can listen and understand. While groups commonly offer in-person attendance, some also allow you to connect online or over the phone.
As the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports, participation in a support group often helps people:
- Feel less alone in their journey
- Work through their feelings with people who share similar experiences
- Cope with the side effects of treatment
- Deal with their daily lives and tasks
If you feel a support group might be right for you, you can explore your options through this database maintained by the NCI.
Additional guidance and resources
These may not be the only resources available to you. However, it’s often difficult for people to navigate the available resources on their own. If you’re curious what resources may be available to you, it can be good to contact someone who has experience in the field. A specialist doctor, counselor or an attorney with a history of asbestos-related cases may be able to help you find the resources you need.