What Are Mesothelioma VA Pensions?
A VA pension is a tax-free benefit paid out to U.S. veterans who make less than a certain amount of money each year. It’s one of many VA benefits that may be available to U.S. veterans fighting mesothelioma.
For 2023, a veteran’s net worth must be less than $150,538 in order to receive a VA pension. How much money a veteran receives depends on what other financial benefits they qualify for, how many dependents they have (if any), and other factors.
Veterans with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease should see if they qualify for a VA pension. This cancer is very aggressive and can be expensive to treat, but with a VA pension and other financial benefits, veterans won’t have to worry. Family members can also sometimes receive pensions if a veteran passes away.
Download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide to learn more about mesothelioma VA pensions and other benefits.
How Much Money Will I Receive from a VA Pension?
This depends on how much money you make each year, your overall net worth, and your Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) — the highest amount of money the VA is willing to pay out. The base MAPR for 2023 is $16,037 .
Your MAPR may be higher if you:
- Are married to another veteran
- Have dependents like civilian spouses or children
- Qualify for additional VA benefits
The VA then pays out the difference between how much you make per year and your assigned MAPR.
For example, a veteran’s MAPR is $21,001 if they have a dependent spouse. If the veteran and their spouse made $12,100 this year in income, the veteran will receive $8,901 from their pension.
The Mesothelioma Hope team — which includes fellow U.S. veterans, Patient Advocates, and VA-accredited personnel — can help you pursue a VA pension and other military benefits at no cost to you. Call us today at (866) 608-8933 for more information.
Eligibility for Mesothelioma VA Pension Benefits
U.S. veterans with or without mesothelioma can receive a VA pension, as long as they meet certain eligibility requirements.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Age: Veterans who apply for a VA pension must be 65 or older. There are exceptions for younger veterans who are severely disabled, living in a nursing home, or who are receiving Social Security benefits.
- Countable income: Veterans must disclose all income sources such as other pensions, earnings from employment, and interest or dividends from savings or investments.
- Disability rating: The VA will look at a veteran’s disability rating (level) when determining pension rates. Veterans who are severely disabled and qualify for other benefits may have a higher MAPR.
- Discharge status: Veterans who were dishonorably discharged are not eligible to apply for disability pensions or any other VA benefits.
- Length of service: Monthly pensions are paid to U.S. military service members who completed a minimum specified service length. These service length requirements vary depending on when a veteran served.
- Medical proof: Veterans with mesothelioma must submit medical records that outline their diagnosis, and a provide statement from their doctor that notes how service-related asbestos exposure could be to blame for the cancer.
- Net worth: Applicants also have to disclose their net worth including stocks, bonds, real estate holdings, and mutual fund annuities. In 2023, a veteran’s net worth must not exceed $150,538 to qualify for a VA pension.
- Service documents: Veterans must present records related to their military service (such as discharge papers or government IDs). It’s helpful to have records showing service occupations and posting locations to determine when, where, and how a veteran was exposed to asbestos.
- Wartime service: Veterans applying for a VA pension must have served at least 1 day of active duty during a period of wartime. This requirement is waived if the veteran began active service after October 16, 1981.
The Mesothelioma Hope team can help determine if you can get a mesothelioma VA pension and other benefits. Reach out to a Patient Advocate now to get started.
VA Survivors Pension and Mesothelioma
If a veteran with mesothelioma passes away, their spouse may be entitled to receive what is called the VA survivors pension.
If the spouse of a deceased veteran has no children or dependents, their base MAPR rate is $10,757 for 2023. If the spouse has one dependent child, the base MAPR changes to $14,078. More money may be available depending on the situation.
The veteran must not have been dishonorably discharged for their dependents to receive this payment. Survivors must also meet certain criteria based on their marital status, age, income, and net worth. The most important is that spouses and children must not get remarried or married after the veteran has passed.
Mesothelioma VA Pension Benefits
Pensions have the ability to help veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in multiple ways.
By filing a mesothelioma VA pension claim, veterans can:
- Cover living expenses, medical costs, and other bills that stem from a mesothelioma diagnosis
- Get a source of monthly income that’s tax-free
- Know that surviving loved ones will also receive financial aid if they qualify
Call (866) 608-8933 now to learn about all the ways a mesothelioma VA pension can help you and your family.
Other Veterans Benefits Related to VA Pensions
Other benefits — including Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound benefits — may be available to veterans and survivors based on their disability or illness. These benefits increase the MAPR available through a mesothelioma VA pension.
- Aid and attendance (A&A): This is extra money paid to veterans who require help with daily activities within the home (like getting dressed or bathing).
- Housebound benefits: Veterans who receive a VA pension and are unable to leave their homes due to an illness or disability may qualify for this benefit. Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma or recovering from mesothelioma treatments may not have the energy to leave their homes.
Veterans aren’t eligible to receive both A&A and housebound benefits at the same time, but either can be a very helpful supplement to a mesothelioma VA pension claim.
We can help you pursue mesothelioma VA benefits like these and other types of financial compensation. Download a Free Veterans Compensation Guide now to learn more.
Filing Mesothelioma VA Pension Claims
Veterans with mesothelioma and their surviving spouses and dependents may be eligible to file for VA pensions, survivor pensions, and other benefits.
Veterans and their families have a few different options when it comes to applying for a VA pension. You can apply by mail, in person at a local VA office, or online through the VA’s website.
VA pensions can provide immense aid at a time when you need it most. It can also give you comfort knowing that assistance is available for your loved ones when they need it as well.
Filing a mesothelioma VA pension claim can be confusing, but Mesothelioma Hope is here to help. Our VA-accredited claims agents, on-staff veterans, and Patient Advocates are here to walk you through the claims process.
Contact us today to get started — we’re standing by 24/7 to serve you.
Mesothelioma VA Pension Claims FAQs
Are mesothelioma VA pensions the same as standard military pensions?
No. VA pensions are entirely different from regular service pensions. They can apply to veterans who left their branch of the military early and fell short of qualifying for standard retirement pensions.
Our team can help determine which military pensions you may qualify for.
How are mesothelioma VA pension rates determined?
Congress sets the amount of funding that veterans may be able to receive from the veterans pension and survivors pension benefit programs.
Congress also strikes a balance between countable income and net worth to ensure veterans who legitimately need the program are able to access it.
How can I get help to apply for a mesothelioma VA pension?
The VA recommends working with a VA-accredited claims agent or attorney to file a pension claim.
Mesothelioma lawyers can be particularly helpful when trying to receive a VA pension. These attorneys help veterans identify where and when they may have come into contact with asbestos-containing products while serving.
A claims agent can take this information and use it to file a strong VA claim that will hopefully award the veteran with a pension.
Our team can connect you with VA-accredited mesothelioma lawyers that can help you pursue a pension and other benefits.