Veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses may be eligible to receive disability benefits from the federal government’s Department of Veterans Affairs.
VA disability benefits are tax-free cash payments that are designed to assist disabled veterans with costs incurred because of their disabilities, including medical care and lost wages. Accessing VA disability benefits is done by making a claim directly to the VA with appropriate documentation to prove eligibility.
Our team of attorneys and legal staff has experience in assisting veterans and their families in accessing VA disability benefits. We believe that American veterans represent the very best of our citizens, and assisting veterans is work that we’re extremely proud to do.
VA Disability Compensation for Veterans With Mesothelioma
VA disability compensation is a monthly tax-free payment issued by the VA to veterans with qualifying service-related disabilities. As of 2023, eligible veterans receive $3,621.95 per month if single, and $3,823.89 if married, with larger amounts available for veterans who have dependent children or who may require in-home medical care.
VA disability benefits are some of the most commonly accessed benefits available to veterans from the VA. Every year, more than 1,000 American veterans are diagnosed with service-related mesothelioma, and VA disability benefits provide these veterans and their families with much needed financial assistance.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Conditions
While VA disability compensation is available to all veterans with a service-related disability, veterans affected with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related conditions are equally eligible to receive disability benefits, as these conditions are qualifying disabilities. More specifically, the following asbestos-related conditions may qualify veterans for VA disability compensation:
- Other cancers linked to asbestos exposure, including colon cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, rectal cancer, throat cancer, and stomach cancer
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Pleural plaques and thickening
Eligibility for VA Disability Compensation
In addition to having a qualifying service-related disability, VA disability benefits have other requirements for eligibility. Oftentimes, assessing a veteran’s eligibility can be one of the most difficult parts of applying for VA benefits, and an attorney can assist you in doing so. In order to be eligible for VA disability compensation, a mesothelioma-affected veteran must:
- Be an honorably discharged veteran of active duty or active/inactive duty training in the United States Armed Forces
- Have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition, with appropriate medical documentation that the condition was caused by exposure to asbestos
- Have been exposed to asbestos during military service
Asbestos Exposure in the Military
While it may be difficult for veterans to demonstrate that they were exposed to asbestos during their military service, this alone should not deter a veteran from seeking benefits. In the many years since we’ve learned that asbestos is harmful to humans, the military has documented known sites of asbestos exposure. A mesothelioma benefits attorney can assist applicants and their families in determining if, when, and where they were exposed to asbestos during military service.
Because mesothelioma is only caused by exposure to asbestos, unless a veteran has another known exposure to asbestos, an applicant for benefits can be nearly certain that the exposure occurred during military exposure. That’s because asbestos was used heavily by the United States Armed Forces during the 20th century, and in every branch of service. While affected veterans come from all branches of the Armed Forces, Navy veterans are generally affected at higher rates because of asbestos being used as insulation in ships and submarines.
How to Apply for VA Disability Benefits
Applying for VA disability benefits can be a complicated process, but an attorney can assist you and your family in gathering the required documentation and submitting your application. Because these applications can take long amounts of time to be processed by the VA, you should take every step to ensure that your application is successful on the first time you submit it.
Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during their service deserve to be compensated for their injuries, and these benefits exist solely for that purpose. To make a successful application for VA disability benefits, a qualifying veteran should take the following steps:
Contact an experienced mesothelioma benefits attorney.
An experienced mesothelioma veterans’ benefits attorney can assist you in many ways, including by assessing your eligibility, gathering documentation, submitting your application, and if necessary, arguing an appeal of an adverse decision. To ensure that your application has the highest chances of success, you should consult with a team of attorneys with a proven track record of working on behalf of American veterans and their families.
Assess your eligibility.
To begin, you and your attorney will assess your eligibility for VA disability benefits. As previously stated, applicants must be veterans of active duty who have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition that can be traced back to their military service. Mesothelioma doesn’t manifest until long after an exposure to asbestos – sometimes, more than 50 years later. Thus, because so much time may have passed in between the exposure and the illness, assessing eligibility may be a difficult process that involves obtaining military records and conducting background research. An attorney can assist you in that process.
Gather documentation of your eligibility for benefits.
Submitting an application for VA disability benefits requires that the applicant submit ample documentation to prove the applicant’s eligibility. That documentation can be in the form of medical records to prove a mesothelioma diagnosis, in addition to documents about the applicant’s military service. An attorney can assist you in gathering and procuring this documentation to ensure that your application is fully supported by evidence.
Submit your application and await a decision.
An application for VA disability benefits is submitted by filling out a standard form provided by the VA, and it can be submitted online or by mail. After an application is submitted, the only thing left to do is await a decision, which can take a varying amount of time depending on the type of claim. In some cases, the VA may contact a claimant to provide additional information or complete a VA sponsored medical exam. After an application is approved, the veteran will receive benefits for the remainder of his or her life.
Get Started on Your VA Disability Benefits Claim Today
If you are an eligible veteran, there is no reason to wait on filing a claim for benefits to which you are legally entitled to receive. If you have concerns about your eligibility or if you need assistance in completing the application process, our team is ready to assist you and provide more information.
Contact us today to set up an appointment to start your VA disability benefits claim today.