Veterans are the largest group of people who have mesothelioma because asbestos was widely used by the U.S. military for a variety of purposes. If you’re ex-military, there’s good news though. You qualify for special benefits and help. Here’s what you need to know.

The Problems

Many servicemen suffer from mesothelioma from the Navy and other branches of the military. Because the Navy used asbestos in paint that was used both inside and out (for its fireproofing qualities), many servicemen were exposed to the fibers when the paint flaked off and became airborne. Army personnel were exposed to it in military vehicles, bunkers, and even some fireproofing materials used in the Army. They were also exposed through mess halls where they ate, slept, and worked. Asbestos was in the cement foundations and insulation, the pipes, and the flooring. Even when the Army phased out the use of asbestos in the 1970s, the military didn’t completely get rid of existing asbestos for decades.

The Marines and the Air Force were also exposed too. For Marines, exposure comes from armoured tanks and vehicles, planes, and ships that transported them into battle. Mechanics and repairmen unknowingly inhaled asbestos fibers while fixing vehicles. The Air Force was primarily exposed through planes, radar stations, and bases where they were stationed. Even pilots were at risk, sitting in cockpits covered with asbestos lining and coatings.

Many now seek financial compensation to relieve the burden of expensive medical costs. Services of this kind can be available through legal consultation. Others can be free.

Financial Benefits From The VA

Financial benefits from the VA are extensive. Veterans with mesothelioma and asbestos-related injuries or illnesses can file a claim and get help directly from the VA. Many independent organizations also help veterans through complementary services designed to make the filing and claims process easier.

Help Filing A Claim

Free help is available for veterans who are filing claims with the VA. Because this is a complex process, and patients have to show evidence of their illness (and that it was caused by active-duty service), you should get help with the claims-filing process.

You must start by filling out VA Form 21-526. You can also get assistance by calling (888) 888-1136. Once you receive a medical release, your private medical records will be reviewed with your application. The VA will then request a physical examination.

After your exam, your claim will be rated approximately 2 to 3 months after receiving your application. This rating will determine whether you get paid and how much.

Benefits Available And Time Limits You Should Know About

The VA offers benefits including:

  • Disability compensation
  • Pension
  • Survivor benefits
  • Life insurance
  • Cemetery and burial assistance

Time limits to file a claim with the VA vary by state, but are typically limited to 2 years after the date of diagnosis.

If you need legal assistance, you should contact an attorney who specializes in mesothelioma so that you understand your rights. Even though you are or were military personnel, you still have rights as an American citizen.

An attorney can discuss the best way to handle the claims process with the VA and may help you minimize the risk of your claim being delayed or rejected.

Douglas Hynes has spent years working in public health awareness and likes to share his insights online. He has written for a range of health and safety related websites.

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6 Comments

  1. Petronius Arbiter says:

    Very useful for US veterans. Less so for British ex-servicemen. Could you explain its relevance?

  2. Martin Rathfelder says:

    Its a paid advert

  3. I think they should have done some homework on that then publish this kind of article in public.
    http://www.hivrnatest.com/

  4. It looks like a paid advert. I have noticed that many sites now allow paid advertising on their website which sometimes looks misleading.

    1. Martin Rathfelder says:

      It is a paid advert. We need to cover the costs of running the website.

  5. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this article.

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