Written By: Devin Golden

VA Pension for Mesothelioma

VA Pension for mesothelioma offers a compensation option for veterans who do not qualify for Disability Compensation. Pension provides a monthly payment for service members who were exposed to asbestos primarily in their civilian jobs.

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

VA-Accredited Claims Agent

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

VA-Accredited Claims Agent


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Important Facts About VA Pension

  • To qualify for VA Pension, the veteran must have served on active duty for at least 90 days, with one day during a wartime period.
  • Each veteran’s maximum annual pension rate (MAPR) may vary. The payable amount fluctuates depending on other benefits the veteran receives and how many depends they are responsible for.
  • The best way to file a VA Pension claim with a VA Claims Agent. They have the experience to understand the VA’s complex process, know which forms are required and how much pension to expect.

Am I Eligible to Receive VA Pension for Mesothelioma?

VA Pension is for veterans who aren’t eligible for VA Disability Compensation benefits. Any veteran wishing to receive VA Pension must be in good standing, meaning they cannot have received a dishonorable discharge. Additionally, VA Pension eligibility for mesothelioma is based on two factors: income and service time.

Service time is based on the length of the veteran’s active duty and the time period they served.

To qualify for VA Pension, you must:

  • Have served on active duty for at least 90 days
  • Be a “wartime veteran,” meaning you served at least one day during a wartime period

According to the official VA website, the following wartime periods qualify a veteran for mesothelioma VA pension:

  • World War II (December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946)
  • Korean War (June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955)
  • Vietnam War period (February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975 for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam); (August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975 for veterans who served outside the Republic of Vietnam)
  • Gulf War (August 2, 1990 through an undetermined future date)

Your income also impacts your mesothelioma VA Pension claim: whether it’ll be accepted, and if so, how much you’ll receive. In order to calculate your Pension amount, the VA subtracts your annual income from the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR). You’ll receive the difference, broken up into 12 monthly payments.

As an example, let’s say your MAPR is $25,348 as a veteran with one dependent spouse/child and receiving Housebound benefits. Let’s also say your income is $14,000. You’ll receive $11,348 per year broken up into monthly payments. So you’ll receive approximately $945.67 each month for your mesothelioma VA Pension

The maximum net worth for a veteran and their spouse is $155,356 as of Dec. 1, 2023. This amount will be in effect until Nov. 30, 2024. The maximum net worth means a claimant with a net worth higher than this amount of $155,356 won’t qualify for Pension. This is the maximum household income and assets to qualify the veteran with mesothelioma for Pension payments.

Along with annual income, certain assets also are added to the net worth. Examples of assets counted are: investments (stocks and bonds); land; and boats. Automobiles, houses and household appliances are not considered.

You can deduct out-of-pocket medical costs from your income to increase your mesothelioma pension claim payment. Medical deductions start once they are in excess of 5% of the claimant’s MAPR.

Treating mesothelioma often requires expensive medical payments, and our VA claims agent can show you how to add your medical expenses to your application.

How to File a VA Pension Claim for Mesothelioma

You can file a VA Pension Claim online (through the VA website), in person (at a local VA office or hospital) or via U.S. mail (with an application form). Another option is relying on a VA claims agent to compile paperwork, fill out the forms and submit the claim for you.

The VA states that the claims process takes 3-4 months. Your VA claims agent can monitor your application’s progress and potentially speed up the approval.

In order to properly submit a VA Pension claim for mesothelioma, you’ll need your:

  • Social Security Number or VA file number
  • Medical information proving your diagnosis
  • Financial details (and for your dependents)
  • Bank account information for direct deposit

The process for a mesothelioma pension claim usually is as follows:

  1. The veteran fills out a VA Pension form and gathers the above information.
  2. A claims agent checks the forms and supporting documentation, and then submits the packet to the VA.
  3. The VA reviews the application, informs the veteran that it has received the claim and may ask for additional information.
  4. The VA requests the veteran’s service record from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.*
  5. The VA determines if the veteran must undergo a physical examination at their local VA hospital.*
  6. The VA either approves or rejects the claim.
  7. If the claim is approved, the VA sends back pay to the veteran for the time between the between the claim submission and approval and begins paying the veteran their monthly pension payment on the 1st of each month. If the claim is denied, the VA sends a letter explaining the reason.

* In order to qualify for VA benefits, you cannot have received a dishonorable discharge.

* Mesothelioma claims rarely require examination by a VA doctor. A pathology report is sufficient to determine that the veteran is totally disabled.

We recommend getting help from a claims agent to receive VA Pension for mesothelioma. This expert will determine if you’re eligible for this compensation, help you gather paperwork and monitor your claim. If you want more information about mesothelioma VA Pension claims, our free Veterans Support Guide can answer any lingerie questions.  You can also call 844-VET-MESO for immediate help.

How to Tell Your MAPR for VA Pension

The VA provides the maximum amount of pension payable (MAPR) for each dependent description. These rates are the maximum amount available to veterans filing mesothelioma pension claims.

This number fluctuates depending on whether a veteran qualifies for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits. These types of compensation are for veterans with mesothelioma who are either confined to their home or require the assistance of another person to perform daily tasks.

As of December 1, 2023, the MAPR for veterans with no dependents is:

  •  $16,551.00 without Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits
  • $20,226 with Housebound benefits
  • $27,609 with Aid and Attendance benefits

The MAPR for veterans with at least one dependent (spouse or child) is:

  • $21,674 without Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits
  • $25,348 with Housebound benefits
  • $32,729 with Aid and Attendance benefits

The MAPR for two married veterans filing together is:

  • $21,674 without Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits
  • $25,348 with Housebound benefits for one of you
  • $29,021 with Housebound benefits for both of you
  • $32,729 with Aid and Attendance benefits for one of you
  • $43,791 with Aid and Attendance benefits for both of you and your spouse

As a married couple, you’ll receive $36,395 with Housebound benefits for one of you and Aid and Attendance benefits for the other. You can add $2,831 to your MAPR for each additional dependent child. If you have a dependent child who works, you can exclude up to $14,600 of their annual wages from the income subtracted from the MAPR.

The VA updates all of these MAPR amounts every year to reflect cost-of-living increases, so these amounts are in effect until Nov 30, 2024. Check the VA website for the most up-to-date MAPR pension rates if you have any questions.

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Find out where you may have been exposed to asbestos

A nation wide list of sites where you or a loved one may have come in contact with asbestos.

Frequently Asked Questions About VA Pension for Mesothelioma

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Who is eligible for mesothelioma VA Pension?

Wartime veterans who don’t have a service-connected mesothelioma can file for VA Pension. This benefit is for veterans who don’t qualify for VA Disability Compensation, which means their mesothelioma is mostly due to civilian asbestos exposure. “Wartime” refers to specific wartime periods, such as the Vietnam War and Gulf War.

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What is the VA Pension MARP for mesothelioma?

VA Pension is based on the maximum annual pension rate (MARP). The minimum MARP is $16,551, for veterans with no dependents and not needing any additional benefits. The highest MARP amount listed on the VA website is $43,791, which applies when a veteran and their spouse both need Aid & Attendance.

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Is VA Pension income-based?

A veteran’s income affects their VA Pension payment. Income is subtracted from the veteran’s MARP, resulting in an annual amount. This amount is divided into 12 monthly payments. Veterans can receive additional Pension benefits to offset out-of-pocket medical bills.

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Does receiving VA Pension disqualify me from filing a mesothelioma lawsuit?

VA benefits and legal compensation are mutually exclusive from one another. A veteran with mesothelioma can receive VA Pension and also file a lawsuit against the company responsible for their cancer. This legal claim is not made against the government or military, but rather the asbestos manufacturing companies.

Sources & Author

  1. Eligibility for Veterans Pension. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/eligibility/. Accessed: 10/06/2020.
  2. How to apply for a VA pension as a Veteran. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/how-to-apply/. Accessed: 10/06/2020.
  3. 2024 VA pension rates for Veterans. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates/. Accessed: 12/08/2023.
Devin Golden

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is a content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.