Veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases can file for disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Disability compensation typically starts at $3,823.89 per month for married veterans with mesothelioma and could be higher in some cases. Learn how to file mesothelioma disability claims and access compensation.
VA Disability for Veterans With Mesothelioma
VA disability compensation is a monthly tax-free payment granted to veterans who developed malignant mesothelioma due to military asbestos use. Disability helps disabled veterans and their families afford basic living expenses and medical care.
Many veterans were at a high risk of asbestos exposure since all branches of the military used the toxic substance between the 1930s and early 1980s.
Asbestos-based products were sold to the military by companies that knew the dangers but failed to warn service members or the public for decades.
Today, the VA usually offers full disability compensation benefits to qualifying veterans with mesothelioma.
Get our Free Veterans Packet to learn about VA disability and other benefits you may qualify for.
Get information on:
- Treatment Options
- Mesothelioma Specialists
- Veterans Benefits
How Much VA Disability Can You Get for Mesothelioma Cancer?
Your total disability compensation depends on your mesothelioma VA disability rating.
Veterans with mesothelioma are almost always granted a 100% disability compensation rate. This is the highest rating and awards the greatest amount of money.
In 2023, 100% disability amounts to $3,823.89 per month for a veteran with a spouse. Veterans with dependents or those who need aid and attendance from a caregiver can receive higher payments.
Our in-house Veterans Advocate Eric Hall can help you pursue disability benefits and get the highest mesothelioma VA disability rating. Start the process now: Call (877) 450-8973.
Is My VA Disability Compensation Taxable?
No. According to the VA, disability compensation is not taxed. This means you and your family will get this monthly benefit without worrying about taxes reducing the amount you receive.
How to File Mesothelioma Disability Claims
The steps to receive veterans disability benefits are fairly straightforward but involve proving your eligibility for mesothelioma compensation. Below are the steps in the application process.
1. Check Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for VA disability, you must have:
- A mental or physical injury/illness AND
- Served in active duty OR
- Undergone active/inactive duty training
In addition, your disability must also be connected to military service.
At least one of the following must be true:
- You were injured during active service
- You had a pre-existing condition that became worse because of service
- You developed a disability after leaving the military due to your service
You could have developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during your service. However, almost all mesothelioma cases take 10-50 years to appear after asbestos exposure. Thus, you’ll likely file your mesothelioma disability claim long after you have left the military.
2. Fill Out the VA Disability Claim Form
If you are eligible for VA disability compensation, you can fill out a claim form online or print the form and send it to the VA.
The form (called the “VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits”) can be found on the VA’s official website.
Fellow veteran and VA-accredited attorney Eric Hall can help you file a mesothelioma disability claim right now.
3. Gather Medical Evidence
You must also submit medical evidence that proves your mesothelioma diagnosis and directly connects it to your military service.
Several types of evidence can be presented, including:
- Official medical documentation of a mesothelioma diagnosis
- Military records showing when and where you served
- Proof that you worked around asbestos (such as records of specific job duties)
Mesothelioma specialists can provide the medical records that you’ll need to prove your diagnosis. Supporting statements from family members, clergymen, or others can also help explain your condition if needed.
Proving Military Asbestos Exposure
Since it takes 10-50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to appear after asbestos exposure, you may no longer remember how you were exposed to asbestos in the military. The military used asbestos everywhere, including in Navy ships and shipyards, Air Force planes, and bases where service members lived.
To file a successful mesothelioma disability claim, veterans must prove they were exposed to asbestos while they served in the military. Exposure as a civilian won't count, even though asbestos-containing products were used in the private sector through the 1980s.
The Mesothelioma Veterans Center team can find out when, where, and how you were exposed to asbestos if you now have mesothelioma. Contact us today even if you were exposed decades ago. We can help you gather the evidence needed to support your VA claim.
4. Filing the Claim
The VA gives several options for filing a disability claim, including:
- By mailing documents to a VA claims center
- In person at a VA office
- Online at va.gov
- With the help of a VA-accredited representative (such as a mesothelioma lawyer)
If filing through the mail or in person, you must also submit an “intent to file” form. Online claims do not require this additional document.
We can help make sure your mesothelioma disability claim and supporting evidence are filed correctly. This will allow you to avoid delays or problems that could prevent you from getting compensation. Get help with filing a VA claim now.
5. VA Review and Distribution of Benefits
Once your claim is filed, the VA will review it and decide whether or not to award mesothelioma disability compensation.
The time it takes to process a veterans benefit claim may vary depending on the disability in question and the type of claim(s) filed. The VA must collect all necessary evidence, and you may be instructed to attend a medical exam, which can also add to the wait time.
However, our team can help make the process go by faster in some cases. Once you’re approved for VA disability benefits, you don’t have to do anything else.
Start Your VA Mesothelioma Disability Claim Now
If you are a veteran suffering from mesothelioma, contact us.
Our experienced and knowledgeable team can help you:
- Find out if you’re eligible for VA benefits
- Determine your mesothelioma VA disability rating
- File a mesothelioma disability claim
- Connect with top doctors at civilian or VA hospitals
- Access additional forms of mesothelioma compensation
File for mesothelioma VA benefits like disability compensation with our help right now.
Mesothelioma Disability Claims: Common Questions
How long do mesothelioma VA disability claims take to process?
It takes an average of 103 days (or slightly over 3 months) for the VA to decide on a mesothelioma disability claim, as of January 2023.
However, mesothelioma patients trying to get VA benefits may have shorter wait times since this cancer is so aggressive.
Veterans can get a better idea of how long they’ll wait by speaking with a VA-accredited claims agent or a mesothelioma law firm.
Our team may also be able to help veterans with mesothelioma access VA compensation faster.
What happens if my mesothelioma disability claim is denied?
If your VA claim is rejected, you may request a decision review through one of three VA appeal options: a supplemental claim, a higher-level review, or a board appeal.
Certain appeal options may be more or less effective depending on the VA’s reason for rejecting your mesothelioma disability claim.
How do I check on my mesothelioma VA disability claim?
You can check the status of your VA mesothelioma disability claim online or by calling the VA. You can also use the same methods to check the status of a VA appeal.
Can loved ones file mesothelioma disability claims?
Yes. Your loved ones may be able to file a VA mesothelioma disability claim on your behalf if they have proper authority.
Your spouse or other family members cannot file a mesothelioma disability claim for themselves. However, they can pursue VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
VA DIC provides monthly payments to surviving spouses and loved ones of veterans who passed away while on active duty or from a service-related illness or injury like mesothelioma.
Can you get VA disability for asbestos exposure?
The VA offers disability compensation if you were exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos lung cancer.
You can get financial compensation for these asbestos-related illnesses through the same process used to file for VA mesothelioma disability claims.
You can also pursue free medical treatment from the VA Health Care System, access financial compensation from asbestos trust funds or legal action, and get many other benefits as well if you have an asbestos-related disease. Call (877) 450-8973 now to learn more.
You cannot pursue VA disability compensation if you were exposed to asbestos but didn’t get sick.