All branches in the 20th century
1930 – 1980
VA claims, trust funds & mesothelioma lawsuits
01. VA Benefits
Veterans’ Benefits for Mesothelioma
Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma can seek a variety of benefits. One way is through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).The VA offers healthcare benefits to veterans, as well as options for financial compensation. Eligible veterans can choose to seek VA disability benefits. They may also pursue compensation through other options.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation?
Any veteran diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease may be eligible for compensation. Family members of a veteran who died from an asbestos-related disease may also be eligible for VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC).
Compensation Options for Veterans With Mesothelioma
Veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases may be eligible for compensation. Depending on an individual’s case, they may be able to pursue different compensation options.
The VA offers compensation options for veterans with mesothelioma.
Veterans may be eligible to file a claim against an asbestos trust fund.
Veterans may be able to file a lawsuit against a solvent asbestos company.
Some companies may settle with a veteran to avoid going to court.
Compensation Options for Dependents of Veterans
Dependents of veterans may also be eligible for VA benefits. The family of a veteran who passed away from a service-related asbestos disease may be eligible for special VA benefits.
Dependency and indemnity compensation is a monthly benefit paid to the surviving spouse, child or other dependents of the veteran.
Asbestos-Related Diseases Qualified for VA Benefits
VA benefits may vary according to the severity of the asbestos-related disease. Veterans diagnosed with one of the following diseases may qualify for VA benefits:
Veteran compensation from the VA may vary based on the asbestos-related disease. Monthly VA disability compensation depends on a disability rating. The VA rates mesothelioma at 100% disability rating. With this rating, individuals with no dependents may receive upwards of $3,000 a month. A mesothelioma lawyer can help veterans determine the best benefit, or combinations of benefits, for their situation.
VA Rating for Common Asbestos-Related Diseases
Mesothelioma: 100% disability rating
Asbestos Lung Cancer: 100% disability rating
Asbestosis: 0 – 100% disability rating, depending on testing
02. Filing VA Claims
How to File a VA Claim
Veterans with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease will most likely file a claim for a post-service disability. Veterans filing a claim related to asbestos exposure file according to the VA’s “Exposure to Hazardous Materials” process. Veterans should speak with a mesothelioma lawyer to begin the process of filing a VA claim. Experienced mesothelioma law firms should have VA-accredited lawyers on their team to assist veterans through the VA claims process.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
We offer assistance to those navigating mesothelioma treatment decisions and medical-related financial difficulties. Click the links to learn more about help for veterans, experienced lawyers and financial support options.
03. Veteran Asbestos Exposure
Veterans and Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos was commonly used in U.S. military bases, naval ships, equipment and vehicles. The mineral was largely used for fireproofing, heat resistance and durability purposes. The widespread use of asbestos puts veterans at higher risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Military Locations With Asbestos Use
Asbestos was used to increase resistance to high heat, friction and chemical reactions. The need to combat these situations was common across all branches of the United States military in the 20th century. Some of the most dangerous locations with asbestos exposure were within sleeping quarters and on ships. These areas were often tight, small spaces, where asbestos fibers easily became highly concentrated when disturbed.
Researchers suggest ships were among the most dangerous sources of asbestos exposure for service members. Asbestos was widely used on ships. Damage to the asbestos materials could create highly concentrated areas of the carcinogenic fibers. Veterans in the U.S. Navy and other branches that spent time aboard ships, such as the U.S. Marine Corps, may have been exposed while at sea.
All veterans may have experienced exposure to asbestos products while in the military. However, common exposure scenarios may vary between military branches.
04. Exposure by Branch
Asbestos Exposure by Military Branch
Asbestos was used widely across the branches of the armed forces in the 20th century. Each veteran’s asbestos exposure scenario is unique. However, some common instances of exposure have occurred among members of the same service branch.
05. Other Asbestos Exposure
Other Asbestos Exposure Related to the Military
Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. The health risks related to asbestos exposure were well-known as early as the 1920s. However, veterans continued to be exposed for decades. The asbestos exposure didn’t end with the veterans or after their service commitment. Asbestos exposure among veterans harmed their families. Risk of asbestos exposure for veterans often continued after military service.
Secondary Asbestos Exposure From the Military
Secondary exposure involves asbestos fibers brought home on a person’s clothing, hair or body. Veterans may have exposed their loved ones to asbestos.
Examples of Secondary Exposure From the Military:
- Riding in cars containing asbestos fibers
- Cleaning military uniforms or other clothing worn during service, training or anytime on base
- Hugging the veteran in their uniform or otherwise asbestos-contaminated clothing
Veteran Asbestos Exposure Following Service
Many service members found employment after the military in related fields. Veterans may have worked in the private sector as construction workers, mechanics or engineers, among others. These occupations are at high risk of asbestos exposure. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Continued long-term exposure can increase the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
06. Treatment for Veterans
Mesothelioma Treatment for Veterans
Veterans with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease are eligible for medical treatment at one of the many VA treatment centers across the United States.Due to the prevalence of veterans with asbestos diseases, many VA treatment centers specialize in the treatment of these diseases.
California has one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma in the country and was the site of many military bases. Currently, California has 32 military bases.
Veterans diagnosed with asbestos diseases in California may receive care from Dr. Robert Cameron at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.
Florida has more than 20 military bases. Veterans who served at other bases across the country may find themselves retired in the area.
Floridians affected by asbestos exposure related to the military may receive care from Dr. Nestor R. Villamizar Ortiz. He treats patients at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a short drive from the Miami VA Medical Center.
Veterans may also opt to receive care outside the VA system.
The VA may also provide financial assistance to veterans for travel and lodging related to treatment.
Treatment Options for Veterans Who Don’t Want to Travel
Veterans who do not want to travel or are unable to travel for treatment may participate in the Veterans Community Care Program (an updated version of the Veterans Choice Program).
The Veterans Community Care Program allows eligible veterans to receive care from a neighborhood provider or another mesothelioma specialist instead of through a VA facility. Program eligibility requirements are on the VA website.
VA Treatment Centers
There are more than 1,000 VA health care facilities in the United States. Veterans diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease may receive care at any of these specialized facilities. Many of these facilities collaborate with other expert cancer centers nearby. Many veterans were exposed to asbestos during their military service. Treatment and compensation options are available to those suffering after asbestos exposure.
Common Questions About Mesothelioma and Veterans
What claim options are available specifically for veterans?
- Veterans may file a VA claim to receive disability compensation as a result of their asbestos exposure and related diagnosis. Veterans may also be eligible to file a mesothelioma claim.
What is the time limit for filing a mesothelioma claim with the VA?
- VA claims to receive disability compensation can be filed at any time. VA claims are separate from mesothelioma lawsuits, which involve a statute of limitations that varies by state.
Who is eligible for VA benefits?
- Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma may be able to receive compensation through a disability claim. Spouses of veterans who have died from an asbestos-related illness as a result of their service may be eligible for dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC).