Veterans’ mesothelioma has been one of the greatest tragedies in the asbestos-toxicity debacle of the 20th century. After the dangerous carcinogen-or cancer-causing matter-was utilized by literally every branch of the U.S. Military (and in especially high amounts by the U.S. Navy) for most of the 1930-1960s, it resulted in thousands of cases of exposure-related illnesses among vets. The most serious of those, mesothelioma cancer, is considered universally terminal-and navy veterans alone make up one-third of those given the diagnosis each year.
Veterans’ Mesothelioma Can Cost Military Families Millions in Financial Losses
In most cases, veterans fall ill decades post-exposure, resulting in delayed diagnoses that are usually made after the cancer has progressed into latter stages-making treatment efforts very difficult, often even futile. That costly treatment can easily place a burden well into the millions on just one single military family.
For such victims and their families, extraordinarily heavy medical debt is unsupportable. Many veterans are retired by the time they are diagnosed. And when living on a fixed income, the costs of medical treatment and care can swiftly become crushing.
On top of treatment costs-for chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other modalities-patients also receive bills for consultations with specialists, frequent hospitalizations and palliative medications or therapies. And because getting the best possible care at the nation’s top exclusive cancer treatment centers can require a cross-country pilgrimage, travel expenses only add to the pile.
Monetary Support is Available to Veterans and Their Families
Three primary sources of compensation in the wake of an asbestos-related illness are: legal recourse through the U.S. Court System with the help of an asbestos law firm, benefits including disability pay from the U.S. Department of Veterans Services (or, the VA) and assistance via certain military-oriented charity organizations.
Because exposure to asbestos is known to be the direct cause of 90 percent or more of mesothelioma cases, filing a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for exposing you is one of the most effective routes to recouping losses related to medical expenses, as well as for pain and suffering. To date, more than 700,000 claimants have won trial awards or received settlements averaging in the million-dollar range.
The VA offers many general benefits to U.S. Military veterans like low-interest home loans and assistance for surviving spouses and dependants, in addition to some exclusive benefits available only to veterans conclusively documented to have been exposed to asbestos and other occupational hazards. Free regular heath assessments and screenings are available for potential victims of veterans’ mesothelioma, and medical treatment and care for any given diagnosis is provided free of charge at VA hospitals and medical centers located around the country. Disability compensation through the VA is achievable by filing and getting approval of a claim, which any mesothelioma-specialized attorney can help compile.
Some charity organizations offer assistance to veterans and their families, particularly those suffering from military-related illness or injury. The Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust raises funds to give out grants, which are intended to help cover things like transportation costs related to medical treatment, etc. And the Fisher House Foundation provides housing accommodations to families of veterans that are receiving treatment at any VA hospital or medical facility.