VA Disability Claims for Mesothelioma
VA Disability Compensation is a monthly, tax-free benefit provided to veterans with a service-connected health condition. Veterans with mesothelioma can easily calculate the monthly payment they’ll receive from a VA Disability claim.
Written by LCDR Carl Jewett
VETERANS SUPPORT GUIDE
Our Veteran Support Guide explains:
- How to qualify for up to $3,000/month
- Your asbestos exposure risk
- How to find top VA doctors
How to Qualify for Mesothelioma VA Disability Compensation
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has one primary stipulation for approving Disability Compensation claims for mesothelioma: at least 50% of your occupational asbestos exposures must have occurred during your military service.
Veterans who meet this qualification almost always get their mesothelioma disability claims approved.
If the veteran’s exposures to asbestos occurred primarily as a civilian, then they likely need to file a VA Pension claim.
In order to convince the VA that your mesothelioma is service-connected, you must submit an exposure summary letter detailing your military exposure history. This must contrast with your civilian employment, both before and after your military service.
We recommend getting assistance for your VA disability claim. Working with a VA claims agent will make proving your case much easier and can significantly increase your chances of getting a mesothelioma VA disability claim approved.
How Much to Expect From a VA Disability Claim for Mesothelioma
The VA disability rating for mesothelioma is automatically 100% if the health condition is service-related. The 100% rating means calculating your monthly payment is easy. You’ll likely receive the maximum amount listed for whichever dependent description (spouse, parents and children) best applies to your situation.
The amount ranges from $3,146 (for no dependents) to $3,450 (spouse and one child). Each additional qualifying child adds either $87.17 (child under the age of 18) or $281.57 (child under 23 in a qualifying school program) to the monthly amount.
If you have a dependent parent, then your monthly compensation ranges from $3,287 to $3,731.
You can also get either Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits as an addition to your Disability Compensation. This benefit is for veterans who need help performing daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, shaving, managing medications and preparing their own meals.
Additional assistance is available if you qualify for mesothelioma Disability Compensation and your (veteran or non-veteran) spouse needs Aid and Attendance.
We’ve listed the most common dependent statuses and the corresponding VA Disability Compensation rates below. These amounts are from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, which last updated them December 1, 2020.
- $3,146.42 for a veteran with no dependents
- $3,263.74 for a veteran with one dependent child
- $3,321.85 for a veteran with one dependent spouse
- $3,450.32 for a veteran with a dependent spouse and child
If your dependent status does not fit one of these descriptions, please reach out to our veterans assistance staff by calling 844-VET-MESO.
How to File a VA Disability Claim for Mesothelioma
There are multiple ways to file a VA disability claim for mesothelioma. You can do so online through the VA website, submit it in-person at a local VA office, or send it via U.S. mail using an application form.
We recommend getting free help from a VA-accredited claims agent who is able to upload your claim and all supporting documentation directly to the VA. They’ll speed up the process and assist in filling out forms and writing an exposure summary letter. This can get you approved much faster than if you attempt to file a claim on your own.
According to the VA website, the average time to process disability compensation claims is 125 days. Your VA claims agent can track the status of your submission and keep you updated on its progress.
The process for filing a Disability Compensation claim for mesothelioma is as follows:
The veteran fills out a Disability Compensation form, along with other applicable forms, writes a summary of their asbestos exposure history, and gathers supporting medical documentation (such as a pathology report).
A veteran’s service officer or claims agent verifies that forms are filled out correctly and supporting documentation suffices.
The claims agent submits the packet to the VA.
A VA official reviews the submitted application and sends a letter to the veteran acknowledging receipt of the claim.
The VA may ask for additional information to support the mesothelioma disability claim.
The VA requests the veteran’s service record and military medical record from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.*
The VA determines if the veteran must undergo a physical examination at their local VA hospital.*
The VA either approves or rejects the claim.
If the claim is approved, the VA sends back pay to the veteran for the time between the claim submission and approval. If the claim is denied, the VA sends a letter explaining the reason along with a description of the appeal process.
* During step 6, the VA would uncover if the veteran was discharged in other-than-honorable conditions. 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 has an asbestos-related cancer, which almost always garners a 100% disability rating.
How a VA Claims Agent Can Speed Up the Process
After receiving your claim, the VA will perform an initial review to determine if they need additional evidence or supporting documents. The most important evidence is the pathology report from your biopsy and an exposure summary letter explaining that at least half of your occupational exposures to asbestos occurred during your military service.
Our veterans department can assist you with your disability claim, streamline the process and help you in filling out all the required paperwork. We know exactly what information the VA needs, which allows us to file your claim for expedited processing, resulting in a decision by the VA in the shortest amount of time possible.
Your VA claims agent will help you gather evidence of your asbestos exposure instances to include in your submission. They’ll also compile supporting medical documents regarding your diagnosis. The intent is to prove that your mesothelioma is connected primarily to your military service.
Our claims agent, 24-year Navy veteran Carl Jewett, can explain further and answer any questions. He has spent more than a decade helping veterans file VA disability claims for mesothelioma.
Common Questions About VA Disability Compensation for Mesothelioma
Who can file for mesothelioma VA Disability Compensation?
Veterans with a service-connected mesothelioma diagnosis are eligible for VA Disability Compensation. Service-connected mesothelioma is defined as an asbestos cancer where at least half of exposures occurred during your time in the service. Veterans who meet this criteria usually get their claims approved.
How much compensation will I get for a VA disability claim for mesothelioma?
The minimum amount for VA Disability Compensation is $3,146 per month. Veterans with a service-connected mesothelioma almost always automatically receive a 100% disability rating, which qualifies them for the full amount listed on the VA website. The compensation increases for veterans with dependents, such as a spouse of child.
How long do VA disability claims take for mesothelioma?
The average time to process a VA disability claim is 125 days. For mesothelioma claims, veterans must go through a multi-step process that includes proving the disease is service-connected. For approved claims, the VA provides back pay for the time between the veteran filing the claim and the VA approving it.
How do you prove your mesothelioma is service-connected?
Proving you have a service-connected mesothelioma requires a written history of your asbestos exposures. Most veterans are unable to compile this evidence without the help of a VA claims agent. LCRD Carl Jewett has helped veterans with this aspect of VA claims for more than a decade.
Does receiving VA Disability Compensation disqualify me from a legal claim?
Receiving disability compensation from the VA does not disqualify you from legal compensation. Veterans with mesothelioma can file VA claims and legal claims independently of each other. VA claims provide monthly disability benefits, while legal claims are lawsuits or asbestos trust fund filings against the asbestos manufacturers who knowingly exposed you.
Sources & Author
- The VA claim process after you file your claim. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/after-you-file-claim/. Accessed: 10/01/2020.
- How to file a VA disability claim. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/how-to-file-claim/. Accessed: 10/01/2020.
- Eligibility for VA disability benefits. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/. Accessed: 10/01/2020.
- 2020 Veterans disability compensation rates. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/. Accessed: 10/01/2020.
- 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: 10/01/2020.