Asbestos Exposure and VA Benefits – What’s Out There?

A topic that was just brought to our attention was Navy Veterans that were exposed to Asbestos and who decades later are diagnosed with Cancer, to include Mesothelioma.  For decades, the DOD used Asbestos in many things, and Service Members were exposed, even with documentation that states that the DOD knew the risks to exposure.

Many work fields in the military were exposed to Asbestos, to include:

  • mining
  • milling
  • shipyard work
  • insulation work
  • demolition of old buildings
  • carpentry and construction,
  • the manufacturing and installation of products such as:
    • flooring
    • roofing
    • cement sheet
    • pipe products
    • servicing of friction products such as clutch facings and brake linings.

Also,  some have the misconception that only older era Veterans were exposed to Asbestos, but that is not the case.  OIF/OEF/Global War on Terror Veterans could have been exposed to Asbestos when older buildings were damaged and the contaminant was released into the air.

A Veteran that was exposed to Asbestos and has developed cancers associated with it can apply for disability compensation to obtain a VA Disability Rating and access to VA Health Care at little to no cost.

Eligibility Requirements for Disability Compensation:

  • You must be a Veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable
  • You must have been exposed to asbestos while in military service
  • You must have a disease or disability related to the asbestos exposure that occurred in military service

Evidence Requirements:

  • The evidence must show asbestos exposure while in military service. This may include your military occupation specialty and/or where you were stationed.
  • The evidence must show you have a disease or disability related to asbestos and a relationship exists between the exposure to asbestos in military service and the disease/disability.
  • You must claim a disease or disability. Exposure, in and of itself, is not a condition that is subject to service connection.

Points Where the VA Will Push Back On:

  • The VA will want additional proof that you were not exposed to Asbestos in any other way outside of your military service – if the VA can find another way a Veteran was exposed, they will use it to deny the claim.

If you are the Surviving Spouse of a Veteran who died from cancer from asbestos exposure, you can also apply for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation based on the same evidence.

Also, many Veterans and family members have consulted lawyers that specialize in Mesothelioma and Asbestos exposure in order to file a lawsuit for their exposure.  If you feel you may be eligible for a lawsuit, please seek out a lawyer that specifically practices on cases for Mesothelioma and Asbestos-related diseases and conditions.

 

Links for more information:

If you have any topic that we have not covered, please message us through our FaceBook page, and we will be more than happy to find answers.  If you think you may be the only one dealing with an issue involving what’s out there for any conditions for Veterans, you are probably not alone, and you can help us get content together to post for everyone in the Veteran Community to find.

 

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