Mesothelioma Resources for Veterans

Quick Summary

Veterans and civilians who develop malignant mesothelioma deserve high-quality health care and financial compensation. Fortunately, there are dozens of medical and financial resources that mesothelioma patients can access. Veterans with mesothelioma can also find exclusive resources through the VA. Explore some of the top mesothelioma resources below.

Get a FREE Veterans Packet

VA Resources

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) understands that veterans have a higher risk of mesothelioma due to widespread military asbestos use between the 1930s and 1980s. To that end, veterans with mesothelioma can receive both medical and financial VA benefits.

You may be able to access these resources by filing a VA claim.

Getting VA Benefits can be simple.
  • VA Disability Claims
  • Survivor Benefits
  • Finding Veteran Doctors

Help with VA Benefits

VA Health Care for Mesothelioma

Through the VA Health Care System, veterans can work with top doctors to get an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis and receive the best treatments available. These medical services often come at little to no cost to the veteran.

VA hospitals employ some of the world’s best mesothelioma doctors, including Dr. Robert Cameron and Dr. Avi Lebenthal. Veterans can receive treatment for both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma through the VA.

Visit the UCLA Health website to learn more about Dr. Robert Cameron.

Disclaimer

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Robert B. Cameron. The contact information above is listed for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Cameron directly.

Local VA Mesothelioma Treatment Options

As of 2020, there are only three mesothelioma treatment centers within the VA, and you may not live within driving distance to any of them. However, you may be able to get care closer to home through the Office of Rural Health.

The Office of Rural Health:

  • Offers telehealth services
  • Trains doctors to serve veterans in rural areas
  • Funds projects that improve veterans’ access to health care

Other services are also available to help veterans with mesothelioma get the care they need. For example, the MISSION Act allows veterans to access care from local, non-VA doctors with prior approval.

Veterans who need to travel to a mesothelioma cancer center within the VA may also be able to get the costs of their trip reimbursed in some cases.

VA Financial Benefits

In addition to health care, the VA offers financial assistance to veterans who became sick from military asbestos exposure. These benefits can pay out thousands of dollars each month for those who qualify.

Financial VA benefits include:

  • Pension plans: Veterans may qualify for a VA Pension if their income is below the established rates set by Congress. A veteran’s spouses may also qualify for a Survivors Pension.
  • Aid and Attendance (A&A): If a veteran lives in a nursing home or needs another person’s help with basic living activities (like bathing or getting dressed), they may be eligible for Aid and Attendance compensation. This is extra money paid as part of a pension plan.
  • Disability compensation: This benefit pays out $3,100 — or more — every month to veterans who developed mesothelioma due to military service. VA disability compensation is tax-free.

These benefits can help veterans afford other expenses not covered by VA Health Care, such as paying a live-in caregiver, mortgages, or grocery bills.

Some VA benefits are also available to family members. For example, burial benefits can help loved ones pay the cost of a veteran’s funeral. There are also survivor pensions for spouses of veterans.

Geriatrics & Extended Care Services

Roughly 66% of mesothelioma patients are over the age of 65, as this cancer takes decades to develop after exposure to asbestos. If you are an older veteran with mesothelioma, you may benefit from the VA’s Geriatrics & Extended Care Services.

Through this program, veterans can access:

  • At-home care from a doctor-supervised team
  • Hospice care
  • Palliative cancer treatments

Respite services are also available, allowing mesothelioma caregivers to get well-deserved breaks to recharge.

All veterans can access these services by applying for VA Health Care. However, it must be shown that the veteran has a medical need for the care they want to access.

Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line allows those thinking about self-harm or suicide to get help from trained responders, including fellow veterans. If you’re feeling hopeless or despondent after a mesothelioma diagnosis, this free 24/7 line may be able to help.

You can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by:

You do not need to be receiving VA benefits to access this confidential line.

Mesothelioma & Cancer Organizations

Both private and government-based organizations offer trustworthy health information about mesothelioma. Some of these groups can also provide financial aid and medical advice. Learn about some of the top mesothelioma organizations.

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 by cancer specialists.

Led by Mary Hesdorffer, a Nurse Practitioner with 20 years of experience helping mesothelioma patients, the foundation supports both cancer research and the patients themselves.

Benefits available from the Meso Foundation include:

  • Travel grants to qualifying patients
  • Mesothelioma support groups
  • Info about mesothelioma treatment options
  • Ways to connect with top doctors

To learn more, visit the Meso Foundation website or call (877) 363-6376.

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

Since 2004, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has advocated for a ban on the toxic substance and provides free information about mesothelioma.

With the ADAO’s help, mesothelioma patients can:

  • Find a list of doctors and medical centers that treat mesothelioma
  • Take action by signing petitions to ban asbestos
  • Share their story and read about others fighting this cancer

Connect with this organization by going to the official ADAO website.

Pacific Mesothelioma Center

In addition to his work with the VA, Dr. Robert Cameron also spearheads research into mesothelioma treatments at the Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) in California.

Dr. Cameron and the PMC focus exclusively on treating pleural mesothelioma by using surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and new treatments being tested in clinical trials.

Visit the PMC website or call (310) 470-8980 to see if you can receive treatments from Dr. Cameron or learn how to donate to the organization’s research efforts.

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is run by the U.S. government and sponsors research on all types of cancer, including mesothelioma.

You can use the NCI website to learn more about mesothelioma, see how to manage your emotions after a diagnosis, and find clinical trials that are currently recruiting patients.

American Cancer Society

Since its creation in 1913, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has become one of the nation’s leading resources on cancer.

Through the ACS, you can access:

  • Detailed information about mesothelioma and other cancers
  • Free transportation and lodging if you need to travel for cancer treatments
  • Online cancer support groups

The organization has also donated billions of dollars toward cancer research and funds programs to help all cancer patients get the care they deserve.

Veterans Foundations

Veterans foundations are private groups that focus on the needs of veterans, and many offer financial aid and other helpful services.

Wounded Warrior Project

Founded in 2003 by a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) assists veterans who were injured in combat.

Today, this nonprofit organization offers a wide variety of programs to veterans and their families, including rideshare programs, help with accessing VA benefits, job training, and more.

Learn more on the Wounded Warrior Project website or by calling (877) 832-6997.

The American Legion

The American Legion (AML) was chartered by Congress in 1919. More than a hundred years later, the organization has raised millions for veterans and started programs to help address their needs.

Veterans can visit the AML website to get help applying for VA benefits, pursue temporary financial aid, and learn about military health care options.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is the oldest veterans support organization, founded in 1899.

Through the VFW, veterans can:

  • Access mental health resources
  • Apply for grants worth up to $1500
  • Connect with Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) to file for VA benefits

The VFW also advocates for new laws that will help improve the standards of care and quality of life among veterans. Learn more on the VFW website.

Mesothelioma Legal Resources

It’s helpful to explore your legal options after a mesothelioma diagnosis, as manufacturers of asbestos-based products knew the health risks of exposure but hid them for decades.

With help from attorneys, you can file legal claims to get justice and mesothelioma compensation from these manufacturers.

Legal compensation can be accessed through:

  • Settlements

    A lawsuit settlement allows you to receive money without your case going to a trial before a judge or jury. The average mesothelioma settlement awards $1 million, and you may start to receive money within 90 days after your case is filed.

  • Verdicts

    If a case is not settled, you still may be able to get money from a trial verdict. However, trials take longer to reach a conclusion than settlements and are much riskier, as you could lose and get nothing.

  • Asbestos Trust Funds

    Asbestos companies that filed for bankruptcy were court-ordered to create special trusts to compensate those harmed by their products. Today, over $30 billion is available in asbestos trusts, and you may be entitled to a portion of this money.

A good way to explore your legal options is to work with a mesothelioma lawyer.

These specialized attorneys have deep knowledge of the asbestos industry, noting what products contained asbestos, how long they were used, and what job sites had a high risk of exposure. They can help you build a case and pursue compensation.

Don’t worry — you will not take legal action against the U.S. military, the government, or your former employers. Your lawyers will be suing the manufacturers of asbestos-based products that concealed the deadly facts about their products.

Learn More About Mesothelioma Resources for Veterans

We are proud to help veterans with mesothelioma get the care and financial help they deserve. Today, our team of Patient Advocates and VA-accredited mesothelioma attorneys can help you access VA benefits, legal aid, top treatments, and additional resources.

Get started right now: Call (877) 450-8973 or request a free Mesothelioma Veterans Packet today.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

View 12 Sources
  1. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Malignant Mesothelioma. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.cancer.gov/types/mesothelioma
  2. Pacific Mesothelioma Center. (n.d.). Pacific Mesothelioma Center. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.phlbi.org/pacific-mesothelioma-center/
  3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2012, January 29). Geriatrics and Extended Care. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.va.gov/geriatrics/pages/Home_and_Community_Based_Services.asp
  4. Veterans Health Administration (Director). (2015, January 30). Office of Rural Health: Caring for Rural Veterans [Video file]. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyIjKAa-kv0
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2016, January 13). Office of Rural Health. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.ruralhealth.va.gov/providers/promising_practices.asp
  6. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2014, December 08). Asbestos and Mesothelioma. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.boston.va.gov/services/surgical/Asbestos_and_Mesothelioma.asp
  7. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. (2020, September 18). Find a Mesothelioma Specialist. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.curemeso.org/mesothelioma-treatment-plan/find-a-mesothelioma-specialist/
  8. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. (2019, October 29). ADAO Medical Resource: How To Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility Specializing in Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Diseases. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/newsroom/blogs/adao-resource-medical-institutions/
  9. American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Road To Recovery. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/support-programs-and-services/road-to-recovery.html
  10. American Cancer Society. (n.d.). American Cancer Society Hope Lodge: What is Hope Lodge? Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/support-programs-and-services/patient-lodging/hope-lodge.html
  11. Shavelle, R., Vavra-Musser, K., Lee, J., & Brooks, J. (2017). Life Expectancy in Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Retrieved October 02, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5292397/
  12. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019, June 20). VA Long Term Care Services. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://www.va.gov/geriatrics/pages/VA_Long_Term_Care_Services.asp
Back to Top