Top 5 Myths About Filing for Mesothelioma VA Benefits
Nicole Winch | November 24, 2020
Understanding your rights and benefits as a veteran with mesothelioma can be a challenge after receiving a cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, many veterans are reluctant to file a VA claim since working with the VA can be a confusing and lengthy process.
While this can sometimes be the case, veterans should never shy away from receiving the compensation they rightfully deserve. At BCBH Law, we can put you in touch with a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) who is an accredited VA claims agent. Our VSR has years of experience and specializes in all asbestos-related disease claims.
We understand that veterans may not be experts when it comes to filing VA claims. To help you get a better understanding, we have compiled a list of common misconceptions around the VA claims process and getting compensation as a veteran with mesothelioma.
Myth #1: You automatically qualify for benefits as a veteran with mesothelioma
Unfortunately, not all veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma will qualify for VA disability benefits, but most do with the help of a VSR. In order to receive VA disability benefits for mesothelioma, you must provide proof that at least 50% of your asbestos exposures occurred while on active duty.
The VA has determined that mesothelioma disability claims will receive a 100-percent disability rating. This means that if you provide the proper proof and are approved you can receive the following disability compensation:
- Single veterans: $3,106.04
- Married veterans:$3,729.22
- Married veterans with a dependent: $3,684.01
Myth #2: Veterans with VA benefits can only receive treatment at VA hospitals
It’s usually assumed that if you receive VA benefits then you must also receive treatment at a VA hospital. Fortunately, that is just a major misconception. Veterans are allowed to use their benefits at almost any facility they choose, especially if the VA hospital local to them does not have a mesothelioma specialist.
This allows veterans to make the best decision possible when looking for a mesothelioma specialist and treatment program. The United States has some of the most renowned mesothelioma cancer programs in the world.TheMayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Brigham & Women’s Hospital are just a few of the centers of excellence.
Myth #3: Only Active Duty service members qualify for benefits
Veterans who served in the military at any time may qualify for VA benefits as long as their exposure occurred while on active duty. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that takes 20-50 years to develop. As a result, many veterans aren’t diagnosed until they are retired and out of the service.
Since mesothelioma has such a long latency period, the VA will take full responsibility for exposure that occurred all those years ago as long as the veteran meets the eligibility criteria.
Myth #4: You can’t file a lawsuit if you receive VA benefits
Veterans can file a mesothelioma lawsuit along with a VA claim. Compensation through the VA will come in monthly installments where a lawsuit or trust fund payment would be paid out in large amounts.
In most cases, veterans will file a legal claim while receiving VA benefits in order to fully cover their treatment costs and other expenses caused by their illness. While VA benefits provide some sort of financial relief, many veterans still lack the funds to cover their medical bills or lost wages entirely.
Hiring a lawyer can ease both the burdens of filing a VA claim and possible lawsuit making sure you are eligible for the compensation you deserve.
Myth #5: Veterans can sue the government
You cannot sue the government. Veterans who were exposed to asbestos while serving their country do not have all the same rights as civilians. While civilians can sue their employers for being exposed to asbestos on the job, unfortunately, the same does not go for veterans.
The government utilizes the Veterans Affairs benefits and programs to compensate veterans and assist them with their disease and disability. When hiring an attorney and filing a mesothelioma claim, the asbestos manufacturing companies are held liable not the government.
If you or your loved one is a veteran with mesothelioma, there are a variety of compensation options available for you. At BCBH Law, our attorneys have helped hundreds of veterans successfully submit their mesothelioma VA claims. Fill out our free case evaluation form today and see what financial options are available for you and your family.