A fifth type of mesothelioma has been added to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowances (CAL) list. The CAL program hastens the process of awarding disability benefits. Applicants suffering from severe medical conditions have their disability claims accepted based on confirmation of the diagnosis.
On Aug. 10, the SSA announced that the agency added sarcomatoid mesothelioma to its list of CAL conditions.
Usually attributed to asbestos exposure
Here are the five mesothelioma conditions on the CAL list:
- Sarcomatoid: This type of cancer may occur in many internal organs such as the kidneys, lungs, uterus and peritoneum and accounts for 10 to 20% of mesothelioma cases.
- Pleural: This is the most common type of mesothelioma as 70 to 75% of the cases occur in the pleura – a thin tissue that lines the chest cavity and protects the lungs. In the U.S., physicians diagnose about 2,000 new cases of pleural mesothelioma each year. As much as 80% of these cases occur through asbestos exposure at work.
- Peritoneal: Considered a rare form of cancer of the stomach lining. The U.S. reports roughly 600 such cases each year.
- Pericardial: This is among the rarest types of mesothelioma as it accounts for less than 1% of malignant cases of this disease.
- Desmoplastic: An aggressive cancer usually occurring in the pleura. This type of mesothelioma stands out because unlike the four others on this list, desmoplastic is not closely associated with asbestos. Less than 20% of such cases have ties to asbestos exposure.
These five types of mesothelioma are among the nearly 270 medical conditions to qualify for the government’s CAL program.
Program reduces obstacles
Launched in 2008, the CAL program reduces obstacles for eligible applicants in order for them to quickly receive the much-needed disability benefits. Today, more than 800,000 people who suffer from severe disabilities such as mesothelioma have gained approval through the CAL program’s enhanced process.