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How to File a VA Claim for Mesothelioma
As a veteran with mesothelioma, you’re entitled to compensation from the VA. Here are the steps for how to file a claim:
Contact a VA claims agent. Carl Jewett, a 24-year Navy veteran, is our on-staff agent who helps veterans file claims and receive compensation. He’s available free of charge to help you or your family member.
Determine the type of claim you’re eligible for. There are various types of VA claims and compensation. You should examine the criteria for each and file appropriately to speed up the process.
Compile the necessary documents and records. You’ll need your Social Security information, veterans records and discharge status, diagnosis and medical documents, and possibly your income and financial statements.
Types of VA Mesothelioma Claims and Compensation
Veterans who file for VA mesothelioma claims usually fall within one of two categories: those with a service-connected disease; and those with heavy civilian asbestos exposure. The VA compensation rate differs depending on which best describes your exposure history.
Veterans with a service-related mesothelioma most likely file a claim for VA Disability Compensation. Veterans who were primarily exposed to asbestos outside of their service can file for VA Pension. Income level is a significant factor in eligibility and monthly payment.
Three other VA mesothelioma benefits are:
- VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which is for the surviving spouse or child/children of a deceased veteran who had service-related mesothelioma
- VA Survivors Pension, which is for surviving dependents (spouse or child/children) of a wartime veteran who passed away due to mesothelioma
- VA Housebound or Aid and Attendance, which is for veterans who are housebound or need caregiver help with daily activities (bathing, cooking, cleaning, getting dressed and more)
VA Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits are not standalone VA mesothelioma benefits. Veterans who receive Disability Compensation or Pension can add either Aid and Attendance or Housebound, but not both, to their compensation.
Mesothelioma VA Disability Claims
VA disability claims, formally known as VA Disability Compensation, are an available benefit for many veterans with mesothelioma. VA Disability Claims for mesothelioma pay a fixed monthly payment to veterans for their cancer.
VA Disability Compensation is based on a disability rating system, which applies a percentage between 10% and 100% to the veteran’s health condition.
Since most mesothelioma VA disability claims have a 100% disability rating, calculating your monthly payment is easy. Your claim will likely receive the maximum amount listed below for whichever dependent description (spouse, parents and children) best applies to your situation.
The amount starts at $3,621 (for no dependents). A veteran with a dependent spouse, child or parent is eligible for a larger payment.
How to Qualify for Mesothelioma VA Disability Claims
Eligibility for a mesothelioma VA disability claim requires proving that at least 50% of your asbestos exposures were service-related. Doing so means you must have evidence that your cancer is linked to military asbestos exposure. Writing an asbestos exposure summary can aid in your case.
Asbestos’ uses in the military include building, repairing and protecting:
- Military housing
The military’s rampant use of asbestos is why many veterans qualify for VA Disability Compensation. You should speak with a VA claims agent to assist you in filing your claim with the proper proof of your military asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma VA Pension Claims
VA Pension claims, the other noteworthy veterans financial benefit, is an alternative for veterans who don’t qualify for Disability Compensation. Its purpose is to assist veterans who developed mesothelioma due to non-military-related asbestos exposure.
The VA recognizes the prevalence of asbestos and offers VA Pension as an added financial benefit for veterans in good standing. The other significant qualifying factor is that they must be a wartime veteran with limited income at the time of their mesothelioma diagnosis.
How to Qualify for Mesothelioma VA Pension Claims
The VA compensation rate for asbestos is complex for VA Pension claims. Qualification for VA Pension is means-tested, or based on your income. There’s a Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MARP) any veteran can receive, and their annual income subtracts from that amount.
For instance, if your MARP is $17,000 and your annual income is $11,000, then you’ll receive $6,000 per year in VA Pension (broken up into $500 monthly payments). You can deduct out-of-pocket medical costs from your income to receive a larger pension.
The MARP fluctuates depending on:
- The number of dependents a veteran has
- If the veteran qualifies for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits
Housebound and Aid and Attendance benefits are for veterans with mesothelioma who are either housebound or need help completing daily tasks. Our staff can help determine your MARP based on your diagnosis, income, out-of-pocket medical expenses and caregiver needs.
VA Compensation Benefits for Surviving Loved Ones
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Mesothelioma
One noteworthy VA mesothelioma benefit includes financial compensation for surviving dependents. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) provides tax-free financial help to the surviving spouse or children of a brave veteran who passed away due to service-related mesothelioma.
DIC claim payments start at $1,562 per month for surviving spouses. The amount may increase due to specific variables and factors, such as whether the spouse has a dependent child. Another variable is if the surviving spouse requires Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits.
VA Survivors Pension for Mesothelioma
The VA ensures that mesothelioma benefits are available to the surviving loved ones of a deceased veteran. While DIC is for veterans who developed a service-related disease, VA Survivors Pension helps the spouse or dependent children of wartime veterans with a civilian-related mesothelioma.
Similar to VA Pension for mesothelioma, Survivors Pension is income-based. Learning your eligible monthly payment requires figuring out your MARP and subtracting your annual income. The calculated amount is broken up into 12 monthly payments.
VA Claims Assistance for Mesothelioma
Navigating the VA claims process can be a nightmare for veterans or their surviving dependents. If you have mesothelioma and are facing health obstacles and treatment appointments, you likely won’t have time to dedicate to properly filing a VA claim.
We at Mesothelioma Guide offer VA mesothelioma claims assistance. Our on-staff Veterans Service Representative, Carl Jewett, is a VA-accredited claims agent who has helped service members with asbestos diseases for more than a decade.
Carl is a retired 24-year Navy veteran with the highest ranking of lieutenant commander. He personally knows many veterans who developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused health issues after their service. And he has helped countless more file VA claims for mesothelioma to keep them and their families financially secure.
If you’d like VA claims assistance for your mesothelioma, reach out to Carl. He’ll explain all facets of the process and provide additional options for compensation.
Common Questions About VA Claims for Mesothelioma
What types of VA claims can I make for a mesothelioma diagnosis?
Veterans with mesothelioma can file one of two VA claims: Disability Compensation or Pension. Disability Compensation is for veterans primarily exposed to asbestos during their service. Pension is for veterans exposed mostly as a civilian. Other types of VA claims are:
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
- Survivors Pension
- Housebound or Aid and Attendance
What evidence or information do I need to get my VA claim approved?
The information you need depends on which VA claim applies to your mesothelioma case. If you’re filing for Disability Compensation, then you’ll need proof that at least half of your asbestos exposure instances occurred while on active duty. For a Pension claim, you’ll need to provide your income to determine your eligibility.
How will compensation from a VA mesothelioma claim help me and my family?
VA compensation can help you and your family in a number of ways. Treatment for mesothelioma is expensive, often draining the bank accounts of victims. Monthly compensation from the VA can cover medical bills, travel costs to see a specialist, lost wages from being unable to work, and future funds for grandchildren.
How do I file a VA claim for mesothelioma?
Filing a VA claim for mesothelioma is a meticulous process, often causing stress for veterans trying to handle it themselves. The best way to eliminate this strain is by asking for help from a VA claims agent. They dedicate their time — at no charge — to helping veterans get claims approved.
Can I file a lawsuit in addition to filing a VA claim for mesothelioma?
Veterans can file both legal claims and VA claims for their mesothelioma. VA benefits and legal compensation, whether from lawsuits or asbestos trust funds, are not exclusive from one another. Additionally, your lawsuit is against the companies that produced and sold asbestos for massive profits, not the U.S. military or government.
Sources & Author
- About VA DIC for spouses, dependents, and parents. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/dependency-indemnity-compensation/. Accessed: 09/25/2020.
- 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: 12/08/2021.
- VA Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound allowance. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/aid-attendance-housebound/. Accessed: 09/25/2020.
- 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.
- Eligibility for Veterans Pension. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/eligibility/. Accessed: 09/25/2020.
- VA Survivors Pension. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/survivors-pension/. Accessed: 09/25/2020.
- VA Survivors Pension Benefit Rates. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/survivors-pension-rates/. Accessed: 09/25/2020.
- 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.