Mesothelioma Compensation

Mesothelioma compensation is a term used to describe financial assistance available to people affected by the asbestos cancer known as mesothelioma. Compensation for mesothelioma can help offset some of the burdens that arise following a diagnosis, such as medical bills and lost income. Mesothelioma cancer is caused by corporate negligence, and the responsible companies are often required to pay compensation to victims and their families.

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Troy E. Walton

Personal Injury Attorney

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Troy E. Walton

Personal Injury Attorney


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Important Facts About Mesothelioma Compensation

  • Asbestos companies knew asbestos was dangerous but continued to use it due to its low cost. This led to asbestos exposure for workers, consumers and the general public, causing a steep rise in the number of mesothelioma diagnoses each year.
  • Exposure to asbestos does not immediately lead to mesothelioma. It often takes 20-50 years after initial exposure for the cancer to develop, which means anyone who was exposed toward the end of the 20th century might be developing mesothelioma today.
  • People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and, in some cases, loved ones can file legal claims to seek the compensation they deserve. Compensation amounts range from thousands of dollars in asbestos trust fund payouts to multi-million-dollar lawsuit verdicts.
  • Types of mesothelioma legal claims include lawsuits (personal injury or wrongful death) and asbestos trust funds. The amount of compensation received depends on the type of claim filed.
  • Veterans can also receive mesothelioma compensation from the VA. It is important to note that this is not a legal claim but a government benefit.

Who Is Eligible For Mesothelioma Compensation?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer caused solely by asbestos exposure. The companies responsible for manufacturing and distributing asbestos are also responsible for the number of mesothelioma cases each year. There are less than 3,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. The prognosis is typically very poor with an estimated 10-12 month survival at the time of diagnosis. 

The link between mesothelioma and asbestos is why victims are eligible to file for compensation. The companies that exposed people to asbestos are responsible for compensating the victims of asbestos exposure who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, which include:

Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma qualify for compensation through the U.S. legal system. Receiving mesothelioma compensation is accomplished by filing a complaint against the asbestos manufacturing companies responsible for your asbestos exposure.

Other people eligible to receive mesothelioma compensation are the surviving loved ones of someone who died of mesothelioma. These surviving family members have been significantly impacted emotionally and financially by the cancer diagnosis and the loss of life.



The surviving loved ones eligible for financial assistance in legal claims vary from state to state. However, in every state, the deceased’s spouse, children or parents can file a legal claim for compensation.

How Much to Expect in Mesothelioma Compensation

The amount of mesothelioma compensation received depends on the type of claim filed. For instance, verdicts from lawsuit trials can lead to $10 million or more in compensation. Lawsuit settlements usually lead to less since it’s a negotiation between all parties involved in a claim. Asbestos trust fund payouts bring the least amount of financial assistance but are the quickest payout.

According to a legal report, the average mesothelioma compensation for legal claims is $1 million to $1.4 million. This statistic is just a reference for people and should not be expected for their claim, as theirs may lead to a higher or lower amount.

Types of Mesothelioma Compensation Claims

There are two types of legal claims applicable to mesothelioma victims: 

  • Asbestos trust funds – Bank accounts created by bankrupt asbestos manufacturers to compensate people who file claims against the manufacturers after they’ve gone bankrupt.
  • Lawsuits – Claims filed with courts against asbestos companies that are still in operation, and they can lead to settlements or trial verdicts.



There is a statute of limitations for filing legal claims. The statute of limitations is a law that establishes a time limit for how long someone has to file a legal claim. For filing lawsuits, it ranges from 1-6 years from the date of diagnosis (personal injury) or the date the victim passed away (wrongful death) depending on the state. For asbestos trust fund claims, the trusts set a standard statute of limitations at three years.

Mesothelioma compensation is available to veterans with mesothelioma and their surviving dependents through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA offers several benefits for both veterans and their surviving dependents, such as disability, pension, survivor benefits and more. 

For more information on VA benefits, contact our lead patient advocate, VA-accredited claims agent, retired LCDR Carl Jewett. 

LCDR Carl Jewett - VA Patient Advocate

Contact LCDR Carl Jewett

Commander Jewett helps veterans with mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer file for VA benefits. As a VA-accredited claims agent, he knows the VA system and helps veterans understand the benefits and compensation options available to them.

Commander Jewett can help you file for:

  • VA Disability Compensation (starting at $3,737.85 per month)
  • VA Pension
  • Survivor benefits for spouses and children
  • Aid and Attendance
  • Housebound benefits

We value your privacy and will never sell or rent your personal information to any third party.

Asbestos Trust Funds

Many companies responsible for manufacturing asbestos-containing products have declared bankruptcy due to the high number of asbestos legal claims filed against them. The courts required bankrupt asbestos companies to set up trust funds to compensate current and future victims exposed to their asbestos products.

There is approximately $30 billion set aside in over 70 asbestos trust funds. The amount will fluctuate, but trustees of these various trusts ensure the trusts remain solvent to protect current and future victims of asbestos-related diseases.

The trust funds do not distinguish between the types of mesothelioma. So, whether you have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma (near the lungs) or peritoneal mesothelioma (near the abdominal cavity), the standard trust amounts will be the same.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Lawsuits can lead to substantial compensation for people affected by mesothelioma. Many mesothelioma victims are reluctant to file a legal claim because they are not the type to file lawsuits. However, mesothelioma is a result of negligence by greedy corporations, so you have the right to hold these negligent corporations accountable.

Lawsuits for mesothelioma can be either:

  • Personal injury – Applicable when someone has been directly injured by a person or entity; the victim files the claim.
  • Wrongful death – Applicable when the person diagnosed with mesothelioma has passed away; the surviving loved ones file the claim.

To file a mesothelioma lawsuit, victims should connect with an attorney specializing in asbestos and mesothelioma claims. The best law firms that focus on helping mesothelioma victims will travel to the victim’s home and evaluate their work history, which will help determine possible instances of exposure. Therefore, you will never be inconvenienced by traveling to meet with anyone from your law firm.

Process of Receiving Compensation for Mesothelioma

Each mesothelioma compensation claim is unique, but the general process for receiving compensation is usually the same. There are several steps to the process:

  1. Find a mesothelioma law firm with experience in cases of your type of exposure (military, construction, factory work, etc.).
  2. Compile evidence showing how you were exposed to asbestos. This is the most important aspect of receiving financial compensation. Providing proof of your exposure is the main job of your lawyer, as they have expert investigators to determine how you were exposed.
  3. File documents for the mesothelioma lawsuit or asbestos trust fund claim you will be filing. Your mesothelioma lawyer handles all paperwork filings with the courts.
  4. Give a deposition, which is a taped account of how you were exposed, what you were exposed to, and to what extent. Note: If you do not have a claim against any viable asbestos companies, then you are likely eligible to receive compensation through an asbestos trust fund, which does not require a deposition.
  5. If you’re filing a lawsuit, your lawyer will begin negotiating mesothelioma settlements on your behalf. Most mesothelioma lawsuits end in a settlement agreement and do not go to trial. In rare cases, neither side can reach an agreement, so the lawsuit proceeds to trial. If you’re filing an asbestos trust fund claim, the claim will proceed to the review process and will be assigned a monetary value.
  6. The victim receives payment, either through a settlement agreement or asbestos trust fund payout. In the rare case that a settlement agreement is not reached, the lawsuit will proceed to trial and a jury will decide a verdict.

Mesothelioma Compensation for Veterans

Veterans make up a very large percentage of mesothelioma patients, mainly due to the vast quantities of asbestos-containing products used by the military.

VA claims are not legal claims. Therefore, they do not lead to the same type of compensation as legal claims do. The compensation from VA claims is a government benefit for veterans with disabilities, including cancers like mesothelioma.

The process for receiving mesothelioma compensation through VA includes: 

  1. Finding a VA claims agent to help you file your claimOur VA-accredited claims agent specializes in filing for VA benefits related to asbestos diseases, and there is no charge for assistance.
  2. Determining the type of compensation for which you qualify – Veterans with service-connected mesothelioma can file for VA Disability Compensation. Wartime veterans with non-service-connected mesothelioma may qualify for VA Pension. Surviving spouses and dependents of veterans who died from mesothelioma may also qualify for VA Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC) or Survivor Pension. Your VA claims agent can help you determine the benefit for which you are eligible.
  3. Compiling evidence showing the majority of your asbestos exposure occurred in the military – Your VA claims agent can help you to identify your exposure to asbestos and craft an Asbestos Exposure Summary Letter for the VA. This is crucial in getting a claim for VA Disability or DIC approved but is not required for VA Pension claims.
  4. Filing the appropriate claim forms and supporting documentation – Your VA claims agent can ensure you have all the necessary forms and supporting documentation for your claim and can file it for you.

Myths About Seeking Mesothelioma Compensation

Filing a claim for asbestos exposure compensation can seem like a stressful, lengthy process. This is why it is very important to find an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to help file a legal claim. Some people hesitate to start the legal process and pursue compensation for themselves and their families due to common misconceptions. 

Some of the top myths associated with mesothelioma lawsuits and trust fund claims are:

  • “Hiring a mesothelioma attorney is expensive.” This is false. Working with a mesothelioma attorney costs nothing out of pocket. Asbestos lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they receive payment only if their client receives compensation from their claim or lawsuit.
  • “An asbestos lawsuit takes up too much personal time and resources.” This is false. Your attorney can protect you from devoting your mental and physical energy toward the case. The best mesothelioma law firms have resources to handle most of the case work, meaning their clients can focus on treatment and spending time with family.
  • “You cannot take legal action if you are unsure of the responsible party.” This is false. Mesothelioma law firms can figure out which companies are responsible based on the victim’s work history and where they lived. Therefore, you don’t need to have all the answers about which companies are responsible prior to talking with a lawyer.
  • “Compensation amounts will not make this worth my time.” This is false. Depending on the type of compensation pursued, victims can receive millions of dollars through a settlement or a verdict. Even if the claim is with a bankruptcy asbestos trust fund, the payout is usually hundreds of thousands of dollars and received quicker, which is significant for paying medical bills and preserving the family’s financial stability amid a loss of wages and other hardships.
  • “Claims must be filed against the government if your condition is related to military service.” This is false. Veterans can file VA claims to receive benefits from the government, but legal claims are made against the companies that produced and sold asbestos to the military for use in ships, barracks, on-base housing and more. Veterans and their families do not file lawsuits against the government if the exposure is linked to military service.

What to Expect From an Experienced Mesothelioma Law Firm

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Attorneys Help Determine Asbestos Exposure

Most people do not know which asbestos products led to their exposure, on which jobs they were exposed, or even when they were exposed. Experienced mesothelioma attorneys help determine the types of asbestos products relevant in a case based on the person’s work history, where they lived, which products they used and the companies responsible for making the specific products.

Asbestos compensation and the claims process are considered a complex type of litigation, which is why an experienced asbestos attorney is highly recommended. They will take on the burden of the legal process so victims and their families can focus on their medical treatment.

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No Out-of-Pocket Legal Fees

While pursuing treatment, the last thing a person with mesothelioma cancer needs to worry about is more expenses. Fortunately, mesothelioma attorneys work on a contingency basis where they only receive a percentage of the funds they secure for their clients. This means the lawyer must recover money for the client in order for the firm to receive any payment.

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Lawyers Travel to You

Travel should never be a concern for a victim of asbestos exposure who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Asbestos attorneys from top mesothelioma law firms will travel to the victim’s home to gather all necessary information. Victims will never be inconvenienced by travel or unnecessary meetings. 

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Legal Claims Are Not Filed Against the Military

Any type of mesothelioma legal claim is filed against the asbestos product manufacturers who sold their deadly products to the military. Many companies had contracts with the government to supply asbestos-containing products. These companies are ultimately responsible for asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases because they were aware of the dangers of their products but did not disclose the dangers.

Get Help With Your Mesothelioma Compensation Claim

Navigating the mesothelioma compensation process can be especially challenging for anyone without a legal background. People diagnosed with mesothelioma do not need to go through the legal claims process without expert assistance.

The lawyers working at top mesothelioma law firms are on the side of the victims – the people exposed to asbestos and who have been with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. The best asbestos lawyers are determined to secure compensation for their clients. They will fight the asbestos manufacturing companies and take them to court if necessary. 

The purpose of Mesothelioma Guide is to help people affected by mesothelioma get access to the free resources they need, which includes connecting with experienced mesothelioma attorneys. Talking with our patient advocates is free of charge, and they offer many helpful resources for victims and their loved ones, such as mesothelioma treatment information, mesothelioma survivor stories, caregiver resources, information on financial assistance programs and much more. 

If you’re still unsure about the compensation claims process, request a free case evaluation from a top law firm. This free, no-hassle resource provides you with information about the validity of your case and an estimate of how much your case might be worth.

Contact our patient advocates today to learn which of the top asbestos law firms you can connect with to begin your case process or receive a free case evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma Compensation

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What Is the Average Compensation for a Mesothelioma Legal Claim?

The average mesothelioma compensation claim is between $1 million and $1.4 million. However, your compensation may be higher or lower. The amount of compensation in an asbestos case will vary depending on job type, amount of exposure, and place or places an asbestos victim may have been exposed. Each claim is unique, and you should connect with one of the top mesothelioma law firms to learn how to get compensation.

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Who Is Eligible for Mesothelioma Compensation?

Mesothelioma benefits are available for people who develop mesothelioma as well as family members of the victim. The first step is determining how the exposure to asbestos occurred and which companies are responsible. If a person diagnosed with mesothelioma has passed away, then their surviving family members are able to pursue compensation.

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As a Veteran, What Are My Options for Mesothelioma Compensation?

There are different types of mesothelioma compensation for veterans. Veterans seeking compensation for a mesothelioma diagnosis can file for monthly compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This compensation comes from filing for either Disability Benefits or Pension. In addition to VA benefits, veterans can get legal compensation through asbestos trust funds and lawsuits.

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As a Veteran, Do I File a VA Claim for My Military Exposure and Hire a Mesothelioma Lawyer for My Civilian Exposure?

No. As a veteran, you can always hire a mesothelioma attorney regardless of where your exposure occurred. A veteran-friendly mesothelioma firm will investigate your asbestos exposure, whether it occurred in the military, your civilian employment or at home. Therefore, you should hire a firm with experience in filing claims for people exposed in their civilian life, as well as those exposed in the military. You can also file a VA Compensation claim for disability if most of your exposure occurred in the military. Regardless of where most of your exposure occurred, you should still hire a mesothelioma attorney who can also file with the companies responsible for your exposure in the military.

Sources & Author

  1. Asbestos and the Future of Mass Torts. National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from: https://www.nber.org/papers/w10308#:~:text=The%20paper%20contrasts%20asbestos%20litigation,torts%20larger%20and%20more%20expensive Accessed: 04/06/23.
  2. Veterans asbestos exposure. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/asbestos/ Accessed: 04/06/23.
  3. Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts and Tort Compensation. RAND Institute for Civil Justice. Retrieved from: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2011/RAND_MG1104.pdf. Accessed: 10/23/19.
  4. Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Tables. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/resources_comp01.asp> Accessed: 03/20/19.
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About the Writer, Retired LCDR Carl Jewett, VA Claims Agent

LCDR Carl Jewett is a retired Naval Officer who serves as the Veterans Department Director and Patient Services Director at Mesothelioma Guide. He is a VA-Accredited Claims Agent with more than 14 years of experience filing asbestos-related VA claims. He has helped over 1400 veterans who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses get approved for VA Disability Compensation, VA Pension, and/or Aid & Attendance benefits. Because veteran’s are also entitled to compensation through the legal system, Carl has communicated with many mesothelioma law firms across the country. He has gained extensive knowledge of asbestos trust funds, mesothelioma lawsuits, settlements, and the claims process. He provides both veterans and civilians with information regarding their legal options.