Written by: Devin Golden
VA Compensation for Asbestos Lung Cancer
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Important Facts About VA Compensation for Asbestos Lung Cancer
- Veterans with any asbestos disease connected to their military service, including asbestos lung cancer, is eligible for 100% disability rating and the maximum monthly compensation.
- Veterans who were exposed to asbestos while serving in the military almost always have an asbestos lung cancer connected to their service.
- Veterans who weren't exposed to asbestos during active military service can still get VA Pension compensation if they meet specific criteria.
- The surviving family members of veterans who died of asbestos lung cancer can receive asbestos lung cancer compensation. These family members are usually the spouse and children.
Why Veterans Receive VA Compensation for Asbestos Lung Cancer
Asbestos was used often in the military to build ships, aircraft and barracks. Asbestos is a fire-resistant mineral that could protect ships and planes from catching fire while at sea or in the air.
Asbestos can cause cancer, including lung cancer. Asbestos fibers are sharp and can affect lung tissue when inhaled or swallowed by accident.
Veterans asbestos exposure happened without the veterans knowing because of their duties on ships or planes. Asbestos exposure also happened at shipyards used by the military.
Speak with a VA claims agent to learn which you qualify to file a claim for. Your claims agent can also help file the claim for you and explain which paperwork you need to get approved.
VA Disability Compensation for Asbestos Lung Cancer
VA Disability Compensation is for veterans exposed to asbestos mostly during their military service. If you or a loved one has lung cancer due to military asbestos exposure, Disability Compensation is the benefit to ask your VA claims agent about.
The VA sets a maximum monthly payment amount for Disability Compensation. The VA uses a percentage scale to determine how much of that amount veterans such as yourself receive each month. This percentage scale is called the disability rating.
Fortunately, the VA gives a 100% disability rating to veterans with asbestos diseases. This means you will receive the maximum monthly amount based on your family situation.
The monthly VA Disability Compensation rates for lung cancer are different if veterans have dependents. The rates for veterans with no dependent children are:
- $3,481.16 with only a dependent parent
- $3,517.84 with only a spouse
- $3,630.26 with two dependent parents
- $3,666.94 with a spouse and one dependent parent
- $3,816.04 with a spouse and two dependent parents
If a veteran’s spouse needs Aid and Attendance, the monthly payment goes up $170.
The rates for veterans with at least one dependent child are:
- $3,605.40 for a child and one dependent parent
- $3,653.89 for a child and spouse
- $3,754.50 for a child and two dependent parents
- $3,802.99 for a child, spouse and one dependent parent
- $3,952.09 for a child, spouse and two dependent parents
Each additional child gives the veteran $92.31 more per month. Any child over 18 years old in a qualifying school program (college) gives the veteran $298.18 extra in VA compensation each month.
VA Pension for Asbestos Lung Cancer
VA Pension is for veterans exposed to asbestos mostly as a civilian. Most veterans are exposed as civilians through work. This includes civilian jobs such as construction, insulation, automobile repair and electrical work.
Qualifying for VA Pension requires a disease, such as asbestos lung cancer, plus the veteran being in good standing and serving during a wartime period. The wartime eras that apply are;
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Gulf War
VA Pension rates are based on a maximum annual pension rate (MAPR). The VA sets MAPR for each veteran based on if they have a spouse or dependents. The veteran’s annual income is subtracted from the MAPR to decide the monthly benefits.
The MAPR for veterans with no dependents is:
- $18,029 for veterans needing Housebound benefits
- $24,610 for veterans needing Aid and Attendance
The MAPR for veterans with one dependent is:
- $22,596 for veterans needing Housebound benefits
- $29,175 for veterans needing Aid and Attendance
Each additional dependent adds $2,523 to the MAPR. Up to $12,950 of the dependent child’s income is excluded from the veteran’s annual income for the purposes of determining their Pension.
VA Compensation for Surviving Family Members
When veterans die from asbestos lung cancer, their surviving loved ones often are left with a mountain of medical bills, debt, funeral costs and more struggles. The VA offers monthly benefits to these families to help with the loss of their loved one and the significant change in their lives.
DIC goes to veterans who were exposed to asbestos mostly during their military service. This is similar to VA Disability Compensation. The VA offers a fixed monthly payment of $1,437.66 to a surviving spouse. Spouses receive an extra $356.16 if they have dependent children under 18 years old. If the spouse doesn’t qualify for DIC, then children under age 18 receive $607 per month.
Survivors Pension is for family members of deceased veterans who were exposed to asbestos mostly during their civilian time. Similar to Pension for veterans, this benefit adjusts based on the family member’s income.
The MAPR for spouses with no children is $9,896. A dependent child increases the MAPR to $12,951, and each additional child adds $2,523. Additional requirements like Aid and Attendance increase the MAPR for surviving loved ones.
Common Questions About VA Compensation for Asbestos Lung Cancer
How do I know if I am eligible for VA compensation for my asbestos lung cancer?
Any veteran who served in the military and can prove they were exposed to asbestos during their active military service has a chance of receiving VA compensation. The criteria is a little more complex, though. You must prove at least 50% (half) of your exposures to asbestos occurred in the military. If so, you’ll receive VA Disability Compensation.
What if I don’t qualify for VA Disability Compensation?
You may still qualify for VA compensation benefits even if you don’t qualify for VA Disability Compensation. If you have an asbestos cancer such as asbestos lung cancer, served in the military during an active wartime period, and are in good standing, then you can receive VA Pension payments.
Are the surviving loved ones of veterans who died of asbestos lung cancer eligible for VA compensation?
The surviving loved ones of veterans who died of asbestos lung cancer are eligible for VA compensation. They must either prove their spouse, child or parent was exposed to asbestos in the military and during active service or meet the criteria for VA Pension. The surviving loved ones can receive either Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or Survivors Pension.
Sources & Author
- 2022 Veterans disability compensation rates. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/. Accessed: 12/07/2021.
- 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.
- 2022 VA DIC rates for spouses and dependents. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/survivor-dic-rates/. Accessed: 12/23/2021.
- 2022 VA Survivors Pension benefit rates. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/survivors-pension-rates/. Accessed: 12/23/2021.