Over the next several weeks, we’ll continue to explore some of the key topics of interest for veterans of the military regarding exposure to asbestos and the possible consequences to their health and finances that can result from the exposure.
Veterans at risk for potentially fatal levels of asbestos exposure typically are those who served between the years of the First World War and Vietnam. Those individuals were not made aware of the risks to their well being at their time of service, and some may not even be aware of them now. The purpose of these next several articles is to educate and inform those who may have been affected by toxic levels of asbestos about their medical, legal and financial options in the years following exposure.
More information about the risks and consequences of asbestos exposure for veterans of the U.S. Military, including a free consultation of your possible case against those responsible for exposing you to a known dangerous carcinogen, you can contact Shrader Law and Associates, LLP directly anytime of the day TOLL-FREE at 1-877-637-6347.
PART X: A GUIDE TO FILING MESOTHELIOMA CLAIMS WITH THE VA
There are two primary types of mesothelioma claims that injured veterans can file: one in the U.S. Court System and one with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Often, an asbestos attorney can help with both; but the VA also makes it possible for those who wish to file their disability claim themselves to do so either at a regional office or online. Below is a step-by-step guide to filing for VA benefits without the assistance of a representative or agent.
Step 1: Meet all eligibility requirements
In order to qualify for disability compensation and other VA benefits (including full-coverage medical care), you must satisfy three requirements. First, you have to have been discharged from the service under conditions besides “dishonorable.” Second, you have to have been exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Military. And third, you must be suffering from an illness (such as asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma or another related cancer) that can be directly linked to the exposure experienced while serving in the military.
Step 2: Gather and make copies of all required evidence
Mesothelioma claims through the VA require evidence of all of the above. Proof of military exposure requires record of your occupational role and all locations where you were stationed during your tour(s) of duty. You must also have documentation showing a current diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness, which can be connected to your time in the military. In most cases, a VA doctor will have to confirm this diagnosis before your benefits application can be approved.
Step 3: Apply (online or at a local VA Office)
Mesothelioma claims must be completed and submitted to the VA either online, using the eBenefits portal, or in person at one of the department’s regional offices. Those completing the application on-site will be able to receive assistance from a VA employee in completing all necessary requirements for filing.