The aftermath of asbestos usage in the United States has left an often tragic and even devastating path of destruction for exposure victims. For close to 100 years, between the late 1800s and mid- to late-1900s, millions of people were unknowingly exposed to a toxic and potentially fatal material. Many were exposed at work, while others came into contact with asbestos in their own homes-either from building components used during construction or through a process called secondary exposure.
Life after asbestos goes on with no detectable consequences for many people. But for the small and unfortunate portion that develops an asbestos-linked illness-such as asbestosis, mesothelioma or other forms of cancer-life is never the same again. All of these chronic and pervasive conditions cause significant physical and emotional distress for the victim-and in the case of mesothelioma cancers, death.
There is much information available about asbestos, its consequences and options for legal recourses. To offer victims of asbestos an easy and straightforward guide that is designed to cover a myriad of topics-from veteran exposure and cutting-edge treatment options to choosing a legal representative and taking your personal injury case to court.
PART XVI: HELP WITH MESOTHELIOMA FOR VETERANS
There are a few different sources of assistance that help with medical expenses and other needs of those with mesothelioma; veterans can get benefits, including compensation, through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and/or the Social Security Administration (SSA). Filing a mesothelioma claim, with the help of an experienced attorney, is another way to pursue monetary compensation for asbestos-injured vets.
VA Benefits and Disability Compensation
Benefits are available to veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma after military-related asbestos exposure can be verified through service records. The VA provides a variety of benefit types-including housing assistance and automobile or clothing allowances. To receive fully covered medical treatment and care for mesothelioma, veterans can go to any VA hospital anywhere in the country. And two different disability compensation programs provide financial assistance, paid on a monthly basis, to eligible veterans and the families.
To receive any of the above listed military benefits, veterans must file a claim either online or in person at their local VA office. Alternatively, your asbestos attorney may be able to file a VA claim on your behalf.
Social Security Disability Benefits
The SSA has two programs that supply disability benefits to those who meet all eligibility requirements: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Veterans can apply for SSA benefits over the phone or at their local Social Security office and will be required to supply certain documentation verifying eligibility. Your attorney may also be able to help you prepare a Social Security Benefit Application that is submitted electronically.
Compensation through Legal Recourse
Whether or not they’ve already filed a claim with the VA, SSA or both, veterans can also file a claim through the U.S. civil court system. By seeking compensatory damages from any company that manufactured, supplied or installed asbestos to which you were directly exposed, you may be able to collect a substantial settlement or trial award. Those funds can go a long way in covering the expenses of mesothelioma for veterans and their families, significantly reducing financial burden and helping to secure a stable future.