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.

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Written by LCDR Carl Jewett

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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 $3,106 (for no dependents) to $3,406 (spouse and one one child). Each additional qualifying child adds either $86.05 (child under the age of 18) or $277.96 (child under 23 in a qualifying school program) to the monthly amount.

If you have a dependent parent, then your monthly compensation ranges from $3,245 to $3,684.

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, 2019.

  • $3,106.04 for a veteran with no dependents
  • $3,221.85 for a veteran with one dependent child
  • $3,279.22 for a veteran with one dependent spouse
  • $3,406.04 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.

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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:

1

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).

2

A veteran’s service officer or claims agent verifies that forms are filled out correctly and supporting documentation suffices.

3

The claims agent submits the packet to the VA.

4

A VA official reviews the submitted application and sends a letter to the veteran acknowledging receipt of the claim.

5

The VA may ask for additional information to support the mesothelioma disability claim.

6

The VA requests the veteran’s service record and military medical record from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.*

7

The VA determines if the veteran must undergo a physical examination at their local VA hospital.*

8

The VA either approves or rejects the claim.

9

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.

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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 10 years of experience filing asbestos-related VA claims. He has helped over 1300 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.