It is a fact that, amongst U.S. veterans that served between the 1930s and 1970s, mesothelioma rates are disturbingly high. In detail, today’s vets make up about 30 percent of all diagnosed cases. That’s as many as 1000 veterans diagnosed with a rare, aggressive and terminal cancer each year. Sadly, many of these victims survived combat-sometimes through multiple deployments-only to be fatally wounded back on domestic soil by toxic asbestos exposure.
Occupational Exposure in the Military, PART V:
For the thousands of veterans that were injured by this exposure, there is help available. In Part I of our series, we discussed how filing a disability claim with the VA’s office could help lessen the financial burden for both vets and their families.
In part V, we will further outline various options for veteran assistance that are available to victims of military-based asbestos exposure.
For any victim of mesothelioma, help can come from a range of sources. For veterans affected by the disease, there are even more opportunities for receiving assistance-both financial and otherwise. Mesothelioma legal advice is also easily accessible to any affected veteran, through an experienced and qualified asbestos-injury attorney.
Financial Assistance through Government Agencies
The VA is an obvious outlet, which provides disability compensation to injured veterans in addition to a myriad of other benefits available to all former servicemen and women.
Another source of financial assistance can come from the Social Security Administration, which also provides disability benefits to qualifying veterans and others who have been injured by asbestos. In order to qualify, the claimant must not already be receiving social security checks from retirement and must have paid into the social security program during his or her years in the workforce.
Support from Advocacy Groups and other Non-profit Organizations
For military victims of mesothelioma help in the form of emotional support, guidance and information regarding the asbestos epidemic is available through victims’ advocacy groups like the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. In addition to raising funds for cancer research and lobbying on victims’ behalf, the organization operates four online and telephone support groups for those living with mesothelioma.
Support groups are also available through online community organizations like the Cancer Survivors Network, which functions exclusively over the web, allowing victims all over the world to connect virtually for fellowship and the sharing of both information and inspiration.
Medical Care through Top Research and Treatment Facilities
Veterans with mesothelioma have help and care available through medical facilities dedicated exclusively to the purpose of battling cancer-individually, for each patient, and on a larger scale. These research centers are located primarily in major U.S. cities but treat patients from all over the world, often offering mesothelioma clinical trials and other opportunities for receiving burgeoning or cutting-edge treatment methods.
For any veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma, help in choosing both the type of treatments to use and where treatment should take place will be provided by the medical care team assigned to his or her case. VA hospitals and medical centers are available to provide treatment and care for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related conditions caused by military exposure.