Mesothelioma Disability Claims

Quick Summary

Veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases can file for disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The disability benefit typically starts at over $3,500 per month for married veterans with mesothelioma and could be higher in some cases. Learn how to file mesothelioma disability claims and access compensation.

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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.

Did you know?

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.

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Treatment Options
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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.

$3,500+
VA Disability Compensation
*monthly payment for eligible veterans

In 2022, 100% disability amounts to $3,517.84 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

Almost all mesothelioma cases take 10-50 years to appear after you were exposed to asbestos. 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 both 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, and others can also help explain your condition if needed.

Proving Military Asbestos Exposure

Because it takes 10-50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to appear, you may no longer remember how you were exposed to asbestos in the military. The military used asbestos everywhere, including Navy ships and shipyards, Air Force planes, and bases where service members lived.

Two U.S. veterans stand outside behind a bunch of American flags

Asbestos was also widely used in the private sector until the early 1980s. To access mesothelioma disability benefits, veterans must prove they were exposed to asbestos while they served and not at a civilian job.

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 to asbestos 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:

  • Online at va.gov
  • By mailing documents to a VA claims center
  • In person at a VA office
  • 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 claim and supporting evidence is filed correctly, allowing you to avoid delays or problems that could prevent you from receiving monthly compensation. Get help with filing a 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 by 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.

Once you’re approved for VA disability benefits, you don’t have to do anything else.

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Get Answers on Mesothelioma Disability Claims

  • Compensation Amounts
  • Steps to File
  • VA Benefits

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Start Your 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

The mesothelioma disability claims process can seem confusing, especially if you’re waiting to hear back from the VA. Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions about this process.

How long do mesothelioma VA disability claims take to process?

It takes an average of 133 days (or slightly over 4 months) for the VA to decide on a mesothelioma disability claim, as of June 2022. 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.

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.

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 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.

Veterans Support Team
Eric P.W. Hall (Capt RIANG) PhotoReviewed by:Eric P.W. Hall (Capt RIANG)

VA-Accredited Attorney

  • Fact-Checked
  • Legal Editor

Eric P.W. Hall (Capt RIANG) is an attorney, a former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, and a legal advisor at the Mesothelioma Veterans Center. Today, Eric continues to serve as a Captain in the Rhode Island Air National Guard where he is Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, upholding his dedication to his country and fellow veterans. Eric considers it his duty to help his veteran family and strives to help them navigate the VA and receive the benefits they so bravely earned.

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 6 Sources
  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Compensation - Asbestos Exposure.” Retrieved from: https://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-postservice-exposures-asbestos.asp. Accessed on September 26th, 2017.
  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Claims Process.” Retrieved from: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/process.asp. Accessed on September 26th, 2017.
  3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Veterans Compensation Benefits Rates Table.” Retrieved from: https://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/resources_comp01.asp. Accessed on September 26th, 2017.
  4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Evidence Requirements.” Retrieved from: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/evidence.asp. Accessed on September 26th, 2017.
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). The VA claim process after you file your claim. Retrieved April 29, 2021, from https://www.va.gov/disability/after-you-file-claim/
  6. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). 2021 veterans disability compensation rates. Retrieved April 29, 2021, from https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/
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