Several millions of people have served as United States armed forces members. These people continue to represent the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard throughout the years. In their job as military personnel, they have all encountered various forms of danger while on duty. One such risk that very few discuss is their exposure to asbestos fibers.
Working around asbestos during service has left many veterans at risk of developing health issues like mesothelioma and asbestosis. The former is a severe type of cancer that may originate in the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Since the disease may stay dormant for several decades until it manifests symptoms, it often gets diagnosed in later stages. Due to this, the prognosis is generally poor, and life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is low. Numerous tests and procedures are done for the initial diagnosis until the doctors provide a conclusive result. Additionally, the cost of treatment, medicines, surgery and extra care contribute to heavy medical expenses that can drive anyone to bankruptcy.
As a veteran exposed to asbestos on the job who consequently developed mesothelioma, you can file a legal claim to receive compensation and other VA benefits. Although these won’t improve your chances of fighting cancer, they can alleviate the financial burdens on you and your family. With the help of experts at mesotheliomahope.com, you can get the best value out of your claim.
- VA HEALTHCARE
Mesothelioma treatment is expensive, extensive, and excruciating. It often requires multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, and costly medication. Most retired veterans cannot afford these regimens, so their symptoms worsen. Fortunately, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may provide cost-free or affordable care to veterans with mesothelioma. By partnering with the best mesothelioma surgeons, the VA Health Care System provides access to the top treatment facilities at its healthcare centers. The medical services offered to veterans include regular medical check-ups, medications, chemotherapy, radiation, mesothelioma surgery, clinical trials, and even mental health services.
Any veteran is qualified to receive these services based on their income level and confirmation of service-acquired illness.
- DISABILITY COMPENSATION
The VA provides monthly disability compensation to veterans who get sick while serving in the armed forces. Regardless of a physical or mental condition, the military must pay this monthly benefit to cover essential living expenses and medical costs. The disability compensation is nontaxable and independent of your income or employment history. Based on the veteran’s level of disability, the value of compensation may increase or decrease. Since asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma are considered 100% disabling, veterans with this disease qualify for the maximum amount.
If you are married and have a higher number of dependents, the value of disability compensation will also be higher.
- SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSATION
In addition to the disability compensation, veterans with mesothelioma may even qualify for special monthly compensation payments. These compensations are accessible to those veterans who need the aid and attendance of another individual. The VA deems mesothelioma a total disability, making veterans with the disease eligible to claim this benefit.
Few veterans may even meet the criteria for receiving higher special monthly compensation rates if they are responsible for eligible dependents. Such eligible dependents may include:
- Dependent parents
- Children below the age of 18
- School going children between the age of 18 and 23
- A child permanently disabled before the age of 18
- DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION
Dependency and indemnity compensation is a monthly benefit the VA pays. Unlike other compensations and benefits, the VA offers this payment to the veteran’s surviving spouse who died due to a service-related injury.
Regardless of whether a veteran was receiving disability compensation for mesothelioma or not, their spouse is eligible to file a claim to receive the dependency and indemnity compensation. The VA revises and increases its rates every year to ensure adequate compensation for surviving family members. It is tax-free, and family members of the military servants have a right to survivor benefits for their dependents.
To file a claim for dependency and indemnity compensation, you must be one of the following:
- Surviving spouse
- Unmarried children below the age of 18
- Unmarried children below the age of 23 and attending school
- Children with disabilities
- VA PENSION
Veterans may be qualified to receive a monthly pension by the VA if they meet a specific income limit. The amount received can help decrease the burden of medical bills and other costs that go into constant caring of a mesothelioma patient. Since most cancer patients can no longer work, they depend entirely on pensions and other financial compensations to pay the bills.
Veterans must meet the following VA pension requirements to be eligible for it:
- Be older than 65
- Be permanently disabled (mesothelioma patients are categorized as disabled by the VA)
- Receive supplemental security income or social security disability insurance
- Reside in a nursing home due to their disability
To help care for veterans with mesothelioma, the Veterans Administration provides health care services and other additional benefits to the afflicted personnel.
If you or someone you know is eligible to receive any of these benefits, you can file a claim to do so. Filing for VA benefits is a multi-step process, so it is best to hire experts who can guide you through the procedure every step of the way.