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Mesothelioma VA Benefits

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

At one point, every branch of the U.S. military used asbestos in its vehicles and equipment. Asbestos was widely used for military installments in the 1900s due to its durability and fire-resistant properties. Unfortunately, this means a high number of veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma from being exposed to asbestos. Military veterans who have mesothelioma can file for Veterans Affairs benefits.

What Is the Connection Between Mesothelioma and the Military?

Statistics show that about 30 percent of all new mesothelioma diagnoses each year are military veterans. Veterans are at high risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases due to a high amount of exposure from military equipment, buildings and structures. Asbestos use in the military peaked between the 1940s and 1970s during the major wars. Since it can take 40 to 70 years for mesothelioma symptoms to arise after exposure, many veterans do not realize that they have been exposed until much later. Veterans benefits are available to active and retired military members who are diagnosed with mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while in the service.

What Financial Benefits Are Available for Veterans With Mesothelioma?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides financial assistance to those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma that is connected by at least 50 percent to asbestos exposure while in the service. As of 2022, a veteran with mesothelioma can qualify for up to $3,500 per month for medical and disability care. The list of benefits available for a veteran with mesothelioma may include:

  • Disability benefits
  • Health care
  • Housebound benefits
  • Pensions
  • Aid and attendance
  • Dependency and indemnity
  • Funeral and burial
  • Funeral honors
  • Free military headstone
  • Health care for dependents
  • Survivor pension

If you qualify for special monthly compensation as a patient who needs assistance from someone else, such as a nurse or aid, you could receive additional pay. The VA views mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers as 100-percent disabilities, meaning the highest amounts of disability benefits are available. If a veteran passes away due to mesothelioma, his or her surviving loved ones can receive a burial allowance of $2,000 from the VA, plus other benefits.

How to Get VA Benefits for Mesothelioma

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another disease related to asbestos and have reason to believe that you were exposed while in the military, start your claim by contacting a New York mesothelioma attorney who can assist you. A lawyer can help you with every step of the process that it takes to collect financial benefits from the VA. This includes determining whether you are eligible. You will only be eligible if you served on active duty or had active-duty training, developed mesothelioma because of your time in the military, and were not dishonorably discharged.

Once you have determined your eligibility, begin to gather evidence to support your claim before you file. This can include information about your time in the military, such as where you were stationed, what position you held and what products you interacted with the most. You should also gather medical documents proving that you were diagnosed with mesothelioma.

The third step is getting a medical examination unless you already have enough medical evidence to bypass this requirement. The VA will let you know if a medical exam is necessary. Finally, you can file your benefits claim using VA Form 21-526EZ. You can submit this claim in-person to your closest VA office, by mail or online. Have an attorney review your paperwork and evidence before you submit it to help avoid processing delays.

Upon receiving your form and documentation, the VA will review everything and decide if you qualify for mesothelioma VA benefits. If your claim is rejected, an attorney can help you file an appeal to try to overturn the decision. If it is accepted, you can expect your first VA benefits check within about two weeks. For more information about mesothelioma VA benefits, contact an attorney from The Williams Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation.

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