VA Claims and Benefits
Despite numerous studies that proved the dangers of asbestos exposure, military leaders continued to use it, putting countless military personnel and their families in danger. Veterans make up the largest group of mesothelioma victims because asbestos was a key component in military vessels, machinery, automobiles and construction for most of the 20th century.
Many veterans are entitled to VA benefits that include life insurance, medical care and injury compensation. To be eligible for mesothelioma compensation, veterans must have been diagnosed with the disease by a physician, have the appropriate medical documentation and must not have been dishonorably discharged.
Veterans are also eligible for compensation through asbestos trusts, which were created as a result of corporate negligence. In some cases, veterans are eligible for compensation through both VA and asbestos trusts. Veterans are encouraged to contact a VA Accredited Claims Agent for more information about financial restitution.
Who is Eligible?
Most U.S. military veterans who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease are eligible for VA disability compensation and benefits. Eligibility includes veterans from the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, and other governmental non-military organizations.
For decades, asbestos was widely used in multiple military applications. At one point, the Navy mandated it be used on all ships. The military has acknowledged asbestos can cause multiple illnesses.
VA Claim Process
In filing a claim, U.S. military veterans must be able to document their military service, locations stationed during exposure and extent of disease, among other things. In some cases, veterans must also undergo medical exams to prove the disease is service related.
Only veterans discharged “under conditions other than dishonorable” and their family members can file claims for health care, disability compensation and, in some cases, survivor benefits.
Have your questions answered by a VA Accredited Claims Agent.
Locating a Claims Agent
When seeking a VA-accredited disability claims agent, mesothelioma victims should determine if the agent has accreditation through the VA’s Office of General Council. This accreditation proves the claims agent is proficient in veterans’ law.
Only VA-accredited claims agents are qualified to understand and handle asbestos-related VA disability claims. These agents help veterans through the initial stages of disability claims through the appeals process.
Other Government Benefits
U.S. military veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are eligible for health care services, aid & attendance (A&A), dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), and monthly housebound compensation.
Family members of disabled veterans can also seek spouse and dependent children benefits and survivor pensions. The military also offers funeral honors, free military headstones and funeral and burial reimbursement.
- American Cancer Society. Asbestos. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/asbestos
- Department of Veterans Affairs. Exposure to Asbestos. Retrieved from http://www.warrelatedillness.va.gov/education/factsheets/asbestos-exposure.pdf