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Can I Get a Handicap Parking Permit if I Have Mesothelioma?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on November 16, 2021

Being diagnosed with mesothelioma will impact your life in many substantial ways. Anything that can help make your life even a little bit easier could be valuable. Not having to tire yourself out by walking so far across parking lots, for example, can help you conserve your energy while you are going through chemotherapy treatments. Learn how to obtain a handicap parking permit in your state if you have mesothelioma to make your condition a little more manageable.

Does Mesothelioma Qualify as a Handicap?

Yes. Although the qualifications for obtaining a handicap parking permit vary from state to state, mesothelioma and other types of cancers are typically viewed as handicaps, especially while the patient is undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments. While many people assume that handicap parking permits are only available to people with mobility issues, such as wheelchair or walker users, this is not the case. In most states, chronic illnesses, terminal cancers and health conditions requiring aggressive forms of treatment qualify as handicaps for permitting purposes.

If you experience any of the following short-term or long-term issues connected to mesothelioma or your treatment plan, you could qualify for a handicap permit:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Pain
  • Trouble walking or moving

Anything that can make it difficult, tiring, or painful to walk long distances can make you eligible for a permit. Obtaining a handicapped parking permit as someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma can allow you to use spots that are closer to storefronts and elevators, helping you save your energy when you need it the most. It can also have benefits such as free or reduced-rate parking and more relaxed time limits. Something as simple as better parking opportunities can help make your life easier when you are struggling with a serious illness such as mesothelioma.

How Do You Get a Handicap Parking Permit?

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, make it a priority to obtain your handicapped parking permit so that you can start enjoying the benefits related to this special permit right away. Take the following steps to obtain this type of permit in New York and most other states:

  1. Research the rules in your state. The application form and official process for obtaining a handicapped parking permit vary from state to state. You can conduct research online or visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles for assistance.
  2. Identify the type of permit that you want. There are temporary and permanent disability placards. Since mesothelioma is a chronic illness, you are most likely eligible for a permanent handicap parking permit.
  3. Gather the required documents. Download the required forms to apply for a disability parking permit online or get them from your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
  4. Talk to your doctor. You and your doctor can fill out the application together. You can also have your doctor give you a statement that describes your disabling condition on his or her letterhead and submit this with the application.
  5. Submit your application. You may also be eligible to apply for a license plate with the disability symbol if you have a qualifying permanent disability.

It is free to obtain a handicap parking permit. The placard will apply to the individual with the disability, not the vehicle. This means it can be used in any vehicle that the permit holder uses for travel. If your application is approved, hang your parking permit from the rearview mirror when you are parked but remove it while driving your vehicle. You will be allowed to park in any spot reserved for people with disabilities, usually marked with blue paint. In New York City, you can also park at most curbsides on the street with a permanent disability permit.

For more information about the benefits and opportunities that may be available to you as someone living with mesothelioma, consult with your doctor or a mesothelioma attorney in New York.

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