Veterans with mesothelioma linked mostly to their civilian lives often believe they don’t qualify for financial help from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
This is often an incorrect assumption, as the VA in many cases will pay a monthly amount to veterans suffering from this cancer.
Veterans with these cases are eligible for mesothelioma VA Pension. The VA set new Pension rates on Dec. 1 to be used for the remainder of 2021 and most of 2022.
The VA updates the Pension rates every year around the same time. These updates usually coincide with cost-of-living increases.
Criteria for VA Pension Qualification
The criteria for VA Pension includes having a disease, such as the cancer mesothelioma, linked to time outside of active duty. The veteran must also be in good standing (no dishonorable discharge) and served during a wartime period.
The applicable wartime eras are:
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Gulf War
Pension Rates for Veterans With Mesothelioma: No Dependents
VA Pension is an income-based benefit. This means the veteran’s income affects the monthly amount. The VA subtracts the annual income from the applicable Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR), with the difference split into 12 monthly payments.
The new MAPR for veterans with no dependents is:
- $18,029 for veterans needing Housebound benefits
- $24,610 for veterans needing Aid and Attendance
Pension Rates for Veterans With Mesothelioma: Spouse and/or Dependent Child
Veterans with a dependent spouse or child receive higher MAPRs. The more dependents they have, the higher the annual rate they qualify for.
The new MAPR for veterans with one dependent is:
- $22,596 for veterans needing Housebound benefits
- $29,175 for veterans needing Aid and Attendance
Veterans with more than one dependent $2,523 to their MAPR for each additional dependent. The income of dependent children is excluded from MAPR deductions up to $12,950 in wages.
How Income and Assets Affect VA Pension for Mesothelioma
The net worth limit for a veteran and their spouse is $138,489. This is the maximum household income and assets to qualify the veteran with mesothelioma for Pension payments. Examples of assets are: investments (stocks and bonds); furniture; and boats. The veteran’s car and home are not considered assets.
The VA considers deductions to income and assets for specific expenses, notably education and medical bills. Since veterans with mesothelioma have high medical bills for treatment and care, they can get deductions to their annual income. This increases their MAPR and monthly Pension payment.
The best advice we can give is speak to a VA claims agent before filing for VA compensation. Our claims expert, retired 24-year Navy veteran Carl Jewett, has helped many veterans with mesothelioma file for Pension payments. He can help you determine your MAPR based on your family situation, income and assets, plus deductible medical expenses.
Email Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the VA claims process.
Sources & Author
- 2022 VA pension rates for Veterans. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates/. Accessed: 12/08/2021.
Sources & Author