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Am I Eligible to Receive VA Pension for Mesothelioma?
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: If your MAPR is $27,000 and your income is $15,000, then you’ll receive $12,000 per year broken up into $1,000 payments each month.
The maximum net worth for a veteran and their spouse is $138,489, which means a claimant above this 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); furniture; 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 Tell Your MAPR for VA Pension
The VA provides the 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, 2021, the MAPR for veterans with no dependents is:
- $14,753, without Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits
- $18,029, with Housebound benefits
- $24,610, with Aid and Attendance benefits
The MAPR for veterans with at least one dependent (spouse or child) is:
- $18,243, without Housebound of Aid and Attendance benefits
- $21,337, with Housebound benefits
- $27,549, with Aid and Attendance benefits
The MAPR for two married veterans filing together is:
- $19,320, without Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits
- $22,596, with Housebound benefits for one of you
- $25,870, with Housebound benefits for both of you
- $29,175, with Aid and Attendance benefits for one of you
- $39,036, with Aid and Attendance benefits for both of you and your spouse
As a married couple, you’ll receive $32,443 with Housebound benefits for one of you and Aid and Attendance benefits for the other. You can add $2,523 to your MAPR for each additional dependent child. If you have a dependent child who works, you can exclude up to $12,950 of their annual wages from the income subtracted from the MAPR.
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:
The veteran fills out a VA Pension form, and gathers the above information.
A claims agent checks the forms and supporting documentation, then submits the packet to the VA.
The VA reviews the application, informs the veteran that it has received the claim and may ask for additional information.
The VA requests the veteran’s service 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.
* 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.
Common Questions About VA Pension for Mesothelioma
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.
What is the VA Pension MARP for mesothelioma?
VA Pension is based on the maximum annual pension rate (MARP). The minimum MARP is $14,753, for veterans with no dependents and not needing any additional benefits. The highest MARP amount listed on the VA website is $39,036, which applies when a veteran and their spouse both need Aid & Attendance.
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.
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
- Eligibility for Veterans Pension. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/eligibility/. Accessed: 10/06/2020.
- 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.
- 2022 VA pension rates for Veterans. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates/. Accessed: 10/06/2020.