3 Tips For Veterans Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
Nicole Winch | September 16, 2020
After bravely fighting for our country, thousands of veterans often return home with physical and mental ailments. Most times, these conditions are a direct result of their time in the service.
Mesothelioma is one of those service-related diseases that has affected countless American military veterans — with more cases still being diagnosed each year.
The widespread asbestos exposure in the military is the top reason why veterans make up the largest group of people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Unfortunately, many veterans were exposed to this toxic substance for years and knew nothing of the damage it was doing to their health.
Veterans with mesothelioma have legal options at their disposal, but many refrain from taking action. Some don’t want to file a claim against the military or their country. Others are nervous about a lengthy legal process.
Neither should be a concern for veterans with mesothelioma. The process does not require years of stressful litigation, and the claims are made against the companies that manufactured and sold asbestos products to the military, not the government.
Those are just two of the facts that veterans should keep in mind. While you navigate your cancer journey, here are three other important tips to help you as a veteran with mesothelioma.
Learn More About Your Asbestos Exposure
After receiving a cancer diagnosis, your mind is probably racing with many unanswered questions:
- How did this happen?
- What are my next steps?
- Can I afford treatment?
With so many unanswered questions, it may be hard to decipher where you could’ve been exposed to asbestos all those years ago.
Fortunately, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acknowledges that the only known cause of mesothelioma is from asbestos exposure. Asbestos was widely used throughout all branches of the military for most of the 20th century. This extremely durable and heat-resistant material was used in military buildings, ships and vehicles.
Any veteran who worked or lived near this toxic substance is at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. However, regulations limiting the use of asbestos were established in the late 1970s. Around this time, the military started phasing out the production of any new buildings, ships or vehicles with this toxin.
However, current military personnel may still come in contact with asbestos, as many buildings, ships and other structures with asbestos are still in use and have not been destroyed.
At Bullock Campbell Bullock and Harris, we understand how difficult it is recalling your asbestos exposure. For this reason, we have developed a tool to make your search a little easier. Our asbestos exposure database can help you search possible locations and ships where you could’ve been exposed.
Find a Mesothelioma Specialist Through the VA
If you haven’t already seen a mesothelioma specialist, it’s important that you do. Fortunately, the VA works with a few of the top mesothelioma specialists and cancer centers. These doctors have treated thousands of veterans and have conducted years of renowned mesothelioma research.
If your local VA does not have an associated mesothelioma program or specialist, you can get a referral to a VA hospital that does, such as the one in Boston, Los Angeles or Houston. Getting a second opinion with a specialist is an important step in accurately diagnosing your mesothelioma and treating your disease.
Seek Legal Help From an Asbestos Firm
As a veteran with mesothelioma, you and your family have a variety of financial options. Regardless of if your mesothelioma is service-related or not, a mesothelioma lawyer can determine what you are eligible for.
Veterans with mesothelioma can receive compensation from either VA Disability or VA Pension. Both are monthly payments to assist service members with life-altering conditions.
If you acquired mesothelioma due to service-related asbestos exposure then you will qualify for VA Disability. You’ll qualify for 100% of a monthly compensation amount that varies based on your number of dependants. The minimum payment is $3,106.04.
What many veterans may not know is that they can still file for compensation even if their disease is not service related. In this case, they may qualify for VA Pension.
The VA claims process is complicated and confusing. This is why some veterans opt for not filing a claim for their mesothelioma at all. However, that should never be the case.
The top mesothelioma lawyers can help you with filing a VA claim for Disability or Pension along with a legal claim. Most have connections to VA-accredited claims agents who specialize in helping veterans with mesothelioma. At BCBH Law, our veteran services representative has helped numerous veterans get their VA claims approved.
Hiring us to handle your case ensures that you and your family receive the justice that you deserve.
Our attorneys want you to receive your compensation as quickly as possible. With help, you or your loved one can focus more getting better and less on the VA claims process. Fill out one of our free case evaluation forms today to see how our lawyers can help you.