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Mesothelioma Veterans Benefits

U.S. military veterans who developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may be eligible for benefits and health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As of 2024, married veterans with mesothelioma can get $3,946.25 monthly and more from the VA if they’re eligible for 100% disability. Mesothelioma Hope can help you file for VA benefits or increase your VA payouts.

Legally reviewed by: Brian J. Cooke

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VA Benefits for Veterans With Mesothelioma

U.S. veterans diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma may be eligible to access benefits through the VA. These include financial and medical benefits that can greatly help veterans after a diagnosis.

Common mesothelioma veterans benefits include:

  • Disability benefits
  • Health care coverage
  • Mesothelioma treatments at VA hospitals

Veterans with mesothelioma can access these benefits if they were not dishonorably discharged, were exposed to asbestos during military service, and got sick as a result.

The Mesothelioma Hope team can help you start pursuing VA benefits and other financial payouts right now. Download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide for more information.

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Types of VA Benefits for Mesothelioma

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 you qualify for certain benefits.

Disability Compensation

Disability compensation is a tax-free monthly benefit that provides guaranteed income supplements to veterans. The VA 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.

For 2024, married veterans with mesothelioma can receive $3,946.25 per month (or more) in compensation if they qualify for 100% disability.

It takes an average of 159 days for the VA to decide on a disability claim as of January 2024, so veterans should work with Mesothelioma Hope to file their claims as soon as possible.

Our team can help file disability claims for those not receiving benefits or increase existing VA disability payouts for veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Aid and Attendance (A&A)

Veterans who require in-home care due to a permanent disability can receive A&A compensation each month. A&A benefits are tax-free payments covering in-home nurse care or other services to support veterans with daily household activities.

A health care provider comforts a veteran with mesothelioma

Veterans managing mesothelioma symptoms or recovering from cancer treatments may have trouble caring for themselves and their homes, which is why they may qualify for this benefit.

Spouses of veterans with mesothelioma might also be eligible for A&A benefits if they are interested in providing in-home care.

Funeral & Burial Benefits

Mesothelioma VA burial benefits can help a veteran’s loved ones plan a memorial service at a military cemetery and cover the costs associated with funerals.

When planning for the burial of a veteran, families can apply for certain memorial items — including headstones, markers, medallions, burial flags, and engraved presidential memorial certificates — to honor their loved one.

Eligible spouses and family members may also qualify for monetary support for a marker or headstone if the veteran is buried in a national or military cemetery.

Mesothelioma VA Benefits Video Thumbnail

Veterans with mesothelioma a wide range of VA benefits after a diagnosis. Call us today at (866) 608-8933 to learn about these benefits and how to access them. View Transcript.

Duration: 00 min 51 sec

Veterans diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases are entitled to several different types of benefits from the VA to include disability benefits, health care benefits, [and] there are even survivor benefits for those with asbestos-related diseases.

Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of their service in the military are likely to receive a benefit of $3,500 of monthly income tax-free to the veteran.

Veterans with mesothelioma who are exposed while they were in the service are also entitled to private benefits as well, and we encourage veterans to call Mesothelioma Hope so that we can work together to help them file for VA benefits.

 

Housebound Benefits

Veterans who spend most of their time at home due to an illness or disability may be eligible for tax-free VA housebound benefits.

Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma or recovering from cancer treatments like surgery may not have the energy to leave their homes and thus may qualify for this benefit.

A veteran is not eligible for both A&A and housebound benefits simultaneously, though.

Pensions

VA pensions are tax-free monthly benefits that disabled veterans may be eligible for if their income is below an amount set by Congress. As of 2024, a veteran’s net worth must be under $155,356 to qualify for a VA pension.

VA pensions can be very beneficial for low-income veterans suffering from mesothelioma. This monthly payment can help cover health care costs. Further, if a veteran with mesothelioma passes, their loved ones may be entitled to receive a VA survivor’s pension.

The Mesothelioma Hope team can help you pursue a pension and other VA benefits. Connect with our compassionate Patient Advocates to learn more.

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Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)

SMC is a tax-free benefit paid on top of regular VA disability compensation available to veterans who have lost the use of specific extremities or organs due to military service.

A VA-accredited claims agent can help determine if a veteran with mesothelioma may qualify for SMC.

VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC)

VA DIC is paid to surviving spouses and dependent children of military veterans who died from a service-related injury or illness like mesothelioma. Spouses can receive $1,612.75 if the veteran passed away on or after January 1, 1993.

Did You Know?

Mesothelioma Hope can help surviving family members determine if they may be eligible for VA DIC and other types of benefits. Contact us now to learn more.

VA Health Care

VA Health Care provides veterans with mesothelioma access to treatments from top mesothelioma specialists who work at VA hospitals. These specialists, such as Dr. Robert Cameron, are some of the best providers treating mesothelioma patients today.

Doctor checking a veteran's breathing with a stethoscopeFor example, Dr. Cameron invented a lung-sparing surgery for pleural mesothelioma that has since become a gold standard for treating this cancer.

Further, veterans can receive these mesothelioma treatments for free or at a reduced cost with VA health care.

VA Health Care Requirements

Veterans must meet specific requirements to be eligible for VA health care benefits.

For example, the veteran must have served for at least 24 months or the full period they were called to serve. This is the case for veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981.

These requirements may be waived if the veteran was discharged early for a family hardship, a disability that was caused or made worse by active duty, or if they received an “early out.”

How to Apply for Mesothelioma Veterans Benefits

Veterans can apply for mesothelioma VA 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 allow veterans to file for mesothelioma VA benefits, regardless of where they live.

Further, there is no statute of limitations (time limit) to file a mesothelioma veteran benefits claim. This is important because mesothelioma can take 10 to 50 years to develop after asbestos exposure. As a result, most mesothelioma VA claims are filed long after veterans have completed their service.

Our team of fellow veterans can help you apply for mesothelioma VA benefits — call (866) 608-8933 right now to get started.

Proving Your Mesothelioma VA Claim

When veterans make an asbestos-related VA claim, they must meet certain criteria to receive benefits.

To receive mesothelioma VA benefits, veterans need:

  1. Medical records showing they were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease
  2. A note from their doctor linking their disease to asbestos exposure
  3. Occupational or military service documents showing when, where, and how they were exposed while they served

Without these, the VA claim could be denied or rejected.

The Mesothelioma Hope team can help you gather the information needed to file for VA benefits successfully. Learn more in our Free Mesothelioma Guide, shipped overnight to you.

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Military Jobs With a High Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Some military service duties presented higher risks of asbestos exposure than others. Those in these high-risk occupations were likelier to be exposed to airborne asbestos fibers.

Service occupations with the highest asbestos exposure risk are:

  • Aircraft mechanics & flight crews
  • Armored vehicle operators & support
  • Automotive mechanics
  • Boilermakers
  • Carpenters
  • Construction & demolition workers
  • Drywallers
  • Electricians
  • Engine & boiler workers
  • Heavy equipment mechanics
  • Insulators
  • Millwrights
  • Painters
  • Pipefitters
  • Propulsion room workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Welders

U.S. Navy veterans who worked on ships or in shipyards were arguably at the highest risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos use on Navy ships was rampant since the Navy used the mineral more than any other military branch.

U.S. Military Products and Asbestos Exposure

The VA also recognizes that certain asbestos-containing products put service members at risk of developing diseases.

Asbestos-containing products used by the military included:

Call (866) 608-8933 to learn if products you used during or after military service contained asbestos and may have caused you to develop mesothelioma.

Checking the Status of a Mesothelioma VA Claim

The VA takes 3 to 4 months to process a disability claim. The processing time will depend on the type of claim a veteran filed, their diagnosed illness, and how much evidence was provided to support the VA claim.

With the help of VA claims agents or attorneys, veterans can avoid any problems that delay their claims, allowing them to receive mesothelioma VA benefits as soon as possible.

Working With VA Agents to File for Mesothelioma Benefits

Fling an asbestos-related VA claim to receive benefits can be tricky. If done improperly, veterans may miss out on compensation or benefits they are entitled.

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 who can guide the claim along.

Even the VA recommends that veterans work with an experienced attorney or an accredited claims agent to get the benefits they deserve.

The Mesothelioma Hope team can help you contact experienced VA-accredited attorneys who can help you strengthen your claim.

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Common Myths About Mesothelioma Veterans Benefits

When veterans are diagnosed with mesothelioma and seeking benefits, they may have questions or concerns based on what they’ve heard or read from others.

Learn more about common VA benefit myths — and get the correct information — below.

Myth: I served too long ago to qualify for mesothelioma VA benefits.

No matter how long ago they served, eligible veterans can still receive benefits for mesothelioma. Even if they served decades ago, they may still be eligible and are encouraged to apply.

Myth: I have private insurance, so I can’t file for VA benefits.

Even if a veteran has other insurance coverage, they can still use VA Health Care for support relating to their medical diagnosis.

Myth: VA Health Care isn’t as good as private medical care.

The health care system within the VA is equal to (and sometimes better than) the health care that may be received in the private sector.

Other Mesothelioma Compensation Options for Veterans

Veterans can also file private claims to seek additional compensation for medical costs and other expenses.

  • Asbestos trust fund claims are filed against manufacturers of asbestos-containing products that declared bankruptcy and put money into funds to help victims. A veteran may qualify for money from several asbestos trust funds depending on the products they were exposed to.
  • Legal claims demand compensation from the makers of asbestos-based products that are still in business. The average mesothelioma legal claim awards between $1 million and $1.4 million.
  • Wrongful death claims can be filed by loved ones or family members to seek financial compensation if a veteran died from mesothelioma.

Military veterans will not sue the United States government or any military branch through these claims. Further, veterans can collect VA benefits and compensation from private claims simultaneously.

Learn more about your financial options — download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide.

Start Your Mesothelioma VA Claim Today

Filing for mesothelioma veterans benefits can be stressful and confusing for some, especially those already ill. However, Mesothelioma Hope is here to make the process easier.

Our skilled patient advocates can put you in touch with fellow U.S. veterans and VA-accredited attorneys to help you get VA benefits for mesothelioma faster. Further, we have connections with skilled mesothelioma law firms that can help you receive private benefits and additional compensation.

Call us now at (866) 608-8933 to start the process — we’re standing by 24/7 to serve you.

Mesothelioma Veterans Benefits FAQs

Is mesothelioma a VA disability?

Yes. The VA provides benefits to U.S. veterans with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases since the military used so much asbestos before the risks were well known.

Before the 1980s, military service members and the general public did not know that asbestos exposure could lead to deadly health problems like mesothelioma. Makers of asbestos-based products hid the risks.

Veterans account for about 33% of all mesothelioma cases due to widespread military asbestos use.

The VA hopes to right at least some of the wrongs by offering monthly financial aid and medical care for free or at a reduced cost to affected veterans.

What is the VA disability rating for mesothelioma?

The VA almost always gives veterans with mesothelioma a 100% disability rating. This means veterans can get the most amount of disability compensation following a diagnosis. 

If eligible, Mesothelioma Hope can help you or a veteran with mesothelioma that you love get a higher VA disability rating. Call (866) 608-8933 to get started.

How much is a mesothelioma claim worth?

Mesothelioma VA claims are worth a significant amount of compensation. Married veterans with mesothelioma who qualify for 100% disability can receive $3,946.25 per month from the VA as of 2024.

Veterans may be able to access more compensation if they have dependents or if they qualify for other VA benefits like Aid and Attendance or a pension.

The Mesothelioma Hope team can help determine if you can access these benefits right now. Call (866) 608-8933 for more information.

Does the VA offer coverage for other asbestos-related diseases?

Yes, if you can prove you were exposed to asbestos during your military service.

The VA currently offers financial and medical benefits for asbestos lung cancer, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases.

Attorney Brian CookeReviewed by:Brian J. Cooke

Partner at Simmons Hanly Conroy & U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

  • Fact-Checked
  • Legal Editor

Attorney Brian Cooke is a partner at Simmons Hanly Conroy and a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran. With over 20 years of experience fighting for justice on behalf of his clients, Brian has successfully secured millions in compensation for mesothelioma patients and their families.

  • Practicing Attorney Since 2000
  • Handled Hundreds of Asbestos Cases
  • Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps
Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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References
  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022, November 29). 2023 VA Special Monthly Compensation Rates. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/special-monthly-compensation-rates/
  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022, November 29). 2023 veterans disability compensation rates. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/
  3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022, October 12). About VA DIC for spouses, dependents, and parents. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/disability/dependency-indemnity-compensation/
  4. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (October 12, 2022). Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound allowance. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/pension/aid-attendance-housebound/
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022, October 12). How to apply for a veterans burial allowance. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/veterans-burial-allowance/
  6. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (November 23, 2021). VA Burial Benefits and Memorial Items. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/
  7. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). (2022, December 2). The VA claim process after you file your claim. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/disability/after-you-file-claim/
  8. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (October 12, 2022). VA Health Care and Other Insurance. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.va.gov/health-care/about-va-health-benefits/va-health-care-and-other-insurance/
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