VA Benefits for U.S. Veterans with Mesothelioma
Former service members of the U.S. Armed Forces who developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may be eligible for veterans benefits and health care through the VA. VA-accredited attorneys and Claims Agents specialize in helping veterans file for VA benefits.
VA Benefits for U.S. Veterans With Asbestos-Related Diseases
Veterans diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease may be eligible to access benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Many veterans like you have suffered health consequences after being exposed to asbestos when they served.
Every branch of the U.S. military used asbestos-containing products, but many service members and the general public did not know that asbestos exposure could lead to deadly health problems — including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis — until the 1980s.
The VA offers health benefits and other forms of compensation to veterans who develop asbestos-related illnesses after serving in the military.
Types of VA Benefits
VA benefits help veterans with mesothelioma pay for many different types of care. For example, you may be able to receive low-cost medical care or financial compensation for lost wages.
The VA will carefully assess your claim to determine whether or not you qualify for certain benefits. They will determine if a veteran can receive disability benefits — and if so, how much — based on the severity of their disease and how their condition is expected to progress.
Aid and Attendance (A&A)
Veterans who require in-home care due to a permanent disability can receive additional monthly compensation.
A&A benefits can pay for monthly in-home nurse care or services to support veterans with daily household activities.
Veterans managing mesothelioma symptoms or recovering from a mesothelioma treatment may have difficulties caring for themselves and their homes. They may have to spend a large portion of the day in bed and have limited mobility, shortness of breath, or pain.
These physical symptoms may make it difficult for veterans to feed, bathe, or dress themselves. Veterans experiencing mesothelioma symptoms may also find it difficult to complete cleaning and maintenance tasks around their home.
Spouses of veterans are also eligible to qualify for A&A benefits if they are interested in providing in-home care themselves.
Disability compensation is a tax-free monthly compensation benefit that provides guaranteed income supplements to veterans. Veterans can receive this benefit if they became disabled due to service-related asbestos exposure.
VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC) is paid to surviving spouses and dependent children of military veterans who died from military-related asbestos exposure.
The Mesothelioma Claims Center can help victims and their survivors determine if they may be eligible for VA DIC benefits and other types of financial compensation.
Funeral & Burial Benefits
VA funeral and burial benefits can help cover the costs associated with funerals and memorial items.
When planning for a burial of a veteran, families can apply for certain memorial items — including headstones, markers, medallions, burial flags, and engraved presidential memorial certificates — to be made to honor their loved one.
Eligible spouses and family members buried in national or military cemeteries may also qualify for monetary support for a marker or headstone.
Veterans who spend the majority of their time at home due to an illness or disability may be eligible for a tax-free benefit called VA housebound benefits.
A veteran is not eligible for both A&A and housebound benefits at the same time.
Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma or recovering from mesothelioma treatment or surgery may not have energy to leave their homes. Mesothelioma symptoms or treatment side-effects may also force veterans to spend most of their time in bed resting.
Veterans may be eligible for VA housebound benefits if their mesothelioma is causing them to spend the majority of their time at home.
VA pensions are tax-free monthly benefits that disabled veterans may be eligible for in addition to other regular income sources.
To be eligible for a VA pension, a veteran must:
- Be older than 65
- Receive in-home nursing care
- Be permanently disabled
- Receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Veterans should speak to a VA-accredited Claims Agent to learn more about these requirements and how they impact VA pensions.
VA pensions can be very beneficial for those suffering from diseases caused by their military service — including mesothelioma. This monthly payment can help cover health care costs.
If a veteran with mesothelioma passes, their loved ones may be entitled to receive what is called the VA survivors pension.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
SMC is a tax-free benefit paid on top of regular VA disability compensation.
Veterans who have incurred the loss or loss of use of specific extremities or organs as a result of military service may be eligible for SMC.
Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure during their military service may be eligible for SMC.
In certain cases, mesothelioma surgery or the disease progression could result in the removal or loss of use of specific organs — such as a lung. Eligible veterans can use SMC payments to help pay for medical bills or in-home care.
VA Health Care
VA health care provides veterans with mesothelioma access to treatments from top mesothelioma specialists who work at VA hospitals.
These doctors can recommend and administer treatments designed specifically for patients with asbestos-related illnesses.
How to Apply for VA Benefits
Since mesothelioma can take 20-50 years to develop after exposure to asbestos, most VA claims are filed after veterans have completed their service.
Veterans can apply for mesothelioma veterans benefits:
- In-person at a VA office
- Online through the VA website
- Through the mail
- With the help of an accredited VA claims agent or lawyer
These options give veterans the flexibility they need to file for mesothelioma veterans benefits, regardless of where they live. There is no statute of limitations (time limit) to file a VA benefits claim.
Proving Your VA Claim
When a veteran makes an asbestos-related VA claim, they must meet certain criteria. to successfully receive benefits.
To receive mesothelioma veterans benefits, veterans need:
- A note from their doctor linking their disease to asbestos exposure
- Medical records showing they were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease
- Occupational or military service documents, which can help show when, where, and how they were exposed while they served
Without these, the VA claim could be denied or rejected.
Working with VA Agents and Lawyers to File VA Claims
Understanding and filing an asbestos-related VA claim to receive benefits can be tricky. If done improperly, veterans may miss out on compensation or mesothelioma veterans benefits that they are entitled to.
Anyone looking to file for mesothelioma veterans benefits should start by connecting with an experienced lawyer. Mesothelioma lawyers can help veterans gather the right information needed to file a claim and connect a veteran with experienced service officers.
Even the VA recommends that all veterans work with an experienced attorney or an accredited claims agent to ensure they get the benefits they deserve.
Other Mesothelioma Compensation Options for Veterans
Veterans can also file legal claims to seek additional compensation for medical costs and other expenses. It’s important to know that military veterans will not sue the United States government or their specific military branch for asbestos-related disabilities.
That said, there is nothing preventing veterans from collecting VA benefits while pursuing or receiving compensation from other sources like asbestos trust funds, or personal injury lawsuits.
It’s recommended that veterans with asbestos-related disabilities work with skilled mesothelioma law firms to help them receive their rightful compensation.
Law firms and lawyers experienced in asbestos litigation work to help their clients get the maximum compensation available.
Loved ones or family members can also file wrongful death claims if the veteran died due to an asbestos-related illness.
Start Your Mesothelioma VA Claim Today
Filing for mesothelioma veterans benefits can be a stressful and confusing process for many veterans, especially those already ill. Retaining an attorney with experience in asbestos cases will help veterans get the maximum compensation possible.
To learn more about VA claims and your other compensation options, get a free case review today.
Easier Than It May Seem
Your individual situation may merit an actual lawsuit. However, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Trusts have been set up to benefit victims of mesothelioma in such a way that lawsuits and court appearances aren’t needed. Contact us today and you’ll see how easy it can be to get the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can file a mesothelioma claim?
A person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma – as well as their spouse, child, or family member – may be able to file a claim to recover compensation from manufacturers of asbestos products. If the mesothelioma patient passes away, a family member or estate representative may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
How much money is in the asbestos trust fund?
An estimated $30 billion has been set aside in asbestos trust funds to compensate mesothelioma patients. Many companies that made asbestos products later filed for bankruptcy, so they created these trust funds to pay out future mesothelioma claims. If the company responsible for your asbestos exposure no longer exists, you may be entitled to money from their trust fund.
How do I file a mesothelioma claim?
To file a mesothelioma claim, contact an attorney who is experienced with these types of lawsuits. They will know where and when to file your claim, how to build the strongest case possible, and the best way to maximize compensation on your behalf.
What is the statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims?
The statute of limitations (deadline to file) for mesothelioma claims will vary depending on the state in which you file. In many states, it’s 2-3 years from the date of the mesothelioma diagnosis – though it may be longer if the mesothelioma patient has passed away. A mesothelioma lawyer can make sure your claim is filed within the required time frame.
How long do mesothelioma claims take?
Every mesothelioma claim is different, with circumstances and factors that are unique to that mesothelioma patient’s story. Though there’s no way to predict exactly how long a claim will take, an experienced mesothelioma attorney will ensure the process is handled as efficiently as possible.
Many claimants start to receive compensation in as few as 90 days after settling their mesothelioma claims.
What is the average payout for mesothelioma?
There is no guarantee of compensation when you file a mesothelioma claim, and countless factors affect how much money you might be able to recover (assuming your case settles). That said, 95% of these lawsuits are settled out of court, and the average settlement amount is $1-1.4 million.
How much is my mesothelioma claim worth?
Your mesothelioma case value depends on the specifics of your situation, such as the duration of your asbestos exposure, and the total cost of your mesothelioma treatment (as well as travel expenses and other related losses). The best way to figure out how much your claim is worth is to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer.
What type of mesothelioma claim do I have?
Most mesothelioma claims fall under one of four categories:
- Personal injury: You were exposed to asbestos (often through your job, or your loved one’s), so you file a lawsuit against the company that made the asbestos products.
- Asbestos trust fund: Similar to a personal injury claim, only the company in question went bankrupt, so you can’t sue them – but you may be able to access a trust fund they set aside for mesothelioma victims.
- Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits: U.S. military veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their service may qualify for related health care benefits through the VA.
- Wrongful death: When a mesothelioma patient passes away, their family member or estate representative may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf, seeking money to pay for past medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, etc.
A mesothelioma attorney can determine which type of claim makes the most sense for you and your family. (Some clients qualify for more than one.)