VA Announces New Pension Rates for Veterans with Mesothelioma
Nicole Winch | March 3, 2021
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced an increase in the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) for 2021. The new rates were determined in December 2020 and went into effect immediately. They will remain active until a new decision is made by the VA at the end of the year.
The VA will determine and adjust pension rates according to any cost-of-living increases. Compared to the previous year, veterans will now receive a larger monthly payment of their pension benefits. While the MAPR increase only went up a small percentage, the support will still help thousands of veterans with mesothelioma.
VA Pension is a benefit given to veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma from non-service related asbestos exposure. However, veterans with service-related mesothelioma can apply for VA Disability Compensation and may receive higher monthly payments.
Asbestos was a mineral used throughout every branch of the military for decades. It is also the only scientifically proven cause of mesothelioma. Unfortunately, for this reason, veterans make up ⅓ of all diagnosed cases of this rare and aggressive cancer each year.
While most veterans experienced their exposure while serving, this toxic substance was also prevalent in many other occupations. Veterans who worked in professions such as construction, insulation, auto repair and electrical were also in danger of exposure daily.
What Are the New VA Pension Benefits?
In order to receive VA Pension compensation, a veteran must have served during a “wartime period” and meet certain income requirements. Veterans who qualify for these benefits, will receive a tax-free monthly payment.
A mesothelioma veteran with no dependents and no Aide and Attendance benefits will now receive a MAPR of $13,931. This is an increase of almost $200 compared to last year’s rate of $13,752.
Here are the other MAPRs effective this year:
- $16,805 increased to $17,024 (no dependents, qualify for Housebound benefits)
- $18,008 increased to $18,243 (one dependent, no extra benefits)
- $21,063 increased to $21,337 (one dependent, qualify for Housebound benefits)
- $22,939 increased to $23,238 (no dependents, qualify for Aid and Attendance)
- $27,195 increased to $27,549 (one dependent, qualify for Aid and Attendance)
- $2,351 increased to $2,382 added on for each additional dependent
The MAPR is determined and then used to calculate the veterans compensation amount. The veterans annual income is subtracted from the MAPR and the remaining amount is what is owed annually.
There are some expenses that can be deducted from annual income, such as out-of-pocket medical costs. This can increase a veterans VA compensation.
At BCBH Law, we want veterans and their families to know that there are financial options available. Contact us today to learn more about the VA claims process or to get free assistance filing your VA claim.