Mesothelioma can be financially devastating to a family. Care options can include multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, palliative care, pain management, and often round-the-clock nursing. Concern for a seriously ill loved one can override concern for the family’s bottom line, but the financial welfare of surviving family members is an important consideration. There are a number of steps you can take to deal with financial concerns when you or a family member is diagnosed with this deadly – and expensive – disease.
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma and are still working, the first thing to do is contact Human Resources at your place of employment. Even if you are well enough to continue working, there will be doctor visits, major or minor surgical procedures, and declining health resulting from chemotherapy. Meet with your employer immediately after diagnosis to look into health benefits, arrange a leave of absence when it becomes necessary, verify the details of sick pay or disability, and explore any other benefits your company may offer. Depending on your job, you may even be able to arrange to work from home to make the most of your time.
Examine your financial portfolio to determine what your assets are and whether you can withstand a prolonged and expensive battle with cancer. A financial or investment planner can help you determine how to maximize the assets you already have.
Make a Will
Death is a difficult concept to confront, but making a will protects your family from prolonged court issues, excessive taxation, and arguments that can effectively destroy family relationships. Ensure that your legacy will not end in bitterness and high tax bills by making a will and spelling out very clearly what your wishes are. You may also make out a living will to define how and where you wish to be buried or cremated, and whether you wish to be kept alive by artificial means.
Consult a Social Worker
You need help negotiating the murky waters of government programs. A social worker can advise you about what’s available, and a lawyer can help you get it. Social workers can also point you in the direction of charitable organizations that can help you and your family cope by providing volunteer care, household help, and groceries.
Get a Lawyer
The brutal truth is that if you have mesothelioma, your on-the-job asbestos exposure in the past was the cause. The dangers of asbestos have been documented for many years. There is no defendable excuse. Don’t hesitate. Contact a lawyer immediately following diagnosis. We here at Allen Stewart, P.C. are here to help. Please give us a call and tell us your story. We will be happy to help you figure out who is responsible for your condition and to seek the compensation you deserve.