Veterans fought bravely for our country. Unfortunately, many of them now face a new fight: mesothelioma. Military vehicles, ships, and buildings used asbestos as an insulator. At the time, asbestos was widely believed to be safe due to asbestos companies concealing its dangers. As a result, thousands of service members were exposed to this deadly material.
Veterans & Mesothelioma
The link between veterans and mesothelioma is significant. In fact, 33% of all mesothelioma cases involve Navy or shipyard exposure.
All branches of the military were at risk of asbestos exposure, including the:
- Air Force
- Coast Guard
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that resisted fire and heat. For most of its history, asbestos was marketed as a cheap, effective, and safe construction material. As a result, it was used in every ship built by the U.S. military for much of the 20th century. Many trucks, tanks, and Army barracks were also built with asbestos. This widespread use exposed thousands of service members.
The American public now knows the truth: asbestos causes the development of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma a rare form of cancer that develops in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart.
Mesothelioma develops slowly over a period of decades. That is why thousands of veterans are now being diagnosed with mesothelioma even though they were exposed decades ago.
A cancer diagnosis is heartbreaking — but options are available. Veterans suffering from mesothelioma can seek financial and legal assistance from a few different sources.
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Government Aid for Veterans
The first way veterans can get assistance is by reaching out to the U.S. government. Veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases can get financial and medical help through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Veterans cannot sue the government or any branch of the military if they have an asbestos-related disease. Like the victims of asbestos exposure, the government was also misled by asbestos companies. These companies insisted that asbestos-containing products were safe to use.
According to the VA, qualifying veterans with mesothelioma can receive monetary benefits for:
- At-home care and nursing
- Burial and memorial services
- Dependents and next of kin
- Medical treatment
- Mobility and other medical equipment
- Their disability based on the level of impairment
- Therapy and mental health counseling
Disability benefits paid through the VA may range from $140 to $3,626 per month. These benefits are tax free.
Compensation is paid according to the degree of a veteran’s disability and the number of dependents a victim has. Veterans and mesothelioma victims with severe disabilities may be entitled to additional monthly sums, depending on their circumstances.
Applying for VA Benefits
Veterans can apply for benefits:
- Online through the VA’s eBenefits webpage
- In person at a local VA office
Veterans should seriously consider working with a VA-accredited claims agent when pursuing a claim through the VA. Though all veterans will receive a pension, patients with mesothelioma may need more benefits to help pay for their expenses.
Unfortunately, the VA claims system is complicated. Because most veterans are not well-versed in the VA system, they might not know how to get all the benefits entitled to them.
If a veteran or their loved one files a claim improperly, it could be denied or reduced to a smaller amount than what is needed to pay for their medical treatments. As a result, they could lose out on thousands of dollars in benefits and other government-sponsored services.
Fortunately, Sokolove Law has VA-accredited claims agents that are available for veterans with mesothelioma and can explain and assist in filing all paperwork.
How We May Help You
Sokolove Law works for veterans affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. The team at Sokolove Law has the resources necessary to file a veteran’s legal claim to help them get what they need.
We believe firmly that veterans deserve a voice in the American justice system. It is for this reason that we choose to stand up against the companies that put profits ahead of people.
If you have mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease, Sokolove Law may be able to assist you. Our mesothelioma attorneys can help you in many different ways. For VA benefits, we make the claims process simple.
The lawyers of Sokolove Law:
- Know what the VA is looking for when you file an asbestos-related claim.
- May help detail your asbestos exposure summary in your VA claim so you receive benefits.
- May be able to help you secure additional benefits, even if you have already filed a claim.
- May help you through the appeals process if you have previously been denied claims with the VA.
In some cases, you may also be entitled to compensation outside of the VA. We will evaluate your case and recommend other legal action if necessary.
Veterans should know that they can also pursue legal action against companies that made asbestos products. This action does not stop them from getting asbestos-related VA benefits.
The VA has authorized some of our attorneys to handle claims for veterans. An accredited attorney has the experience needed to navigate the complex VA claims-filing process.
The VA has very strict rules about who qualifies for which benefits. Without knowing these rules you could lose out. Veterans need to prove that they were exposed to asbestos while they served and that this exposure caused their illness.
Without legal help, proving that military service led to mesothelioma can be very difficult. There needs to be definitive proof that you came into contact with asbestos while serving. This is especially true for those who went on to work jobs where they could have been exposed to asbestos later on.
An attorney who is authorized by the VA makes the filing process easy.
Our accredited lawyers may help you:
- Prepare a claim
- Present the claim to the VA
- Prosecute claims to secure benefits
- Get additional benefits if you have already filed a claim
- Appeal your case if the VA rejected your claims in the past
VA accreditation is very notable, but other groups may abuse the privilege. Some people will offer financial planning services. These services are not authorized by the VA. Stay alert and make sure you or someone you love does not fall victim to dishonest financial schemes.
Veterans with mesothelioma can visit any of the 1,400 VA medical centers and clinics that offer low-cost treatment options. These centers are found throughout the country. Additionally, there are private and non-profit veteran-service organizations. Some of these organizations can help veterans with mesothelioma learn more about their legal rights and care options.
Other Benefits for Veterans
Though the VA can provide you with a wealth of resources, it may not be able to cover all of your medical and financial needs. This is why many veterans who have asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, choose to take legal action against asbestos companies.
However, when a veteran is diagnosed with mesothelioma, their health and family should come first. But by working with a mesothelioma law firm like Sokolove Law, veterans can focus on these priorities and still receive legal help. While veterans spend their time focusing on the important things in life, our attorneys can work on their behalf.
Legal action can help veterans:
- Get access to government benefits
- Get compensation from asbestos companies
- Pay for medical treatments and other expenses
- Safeguard their family from financial hardship
Though many law firms can help file legal claims, a mesothelioma law firm can get the most compensation for their clients. Law firms that don’t specialize in mesothelioma cases may not have the experience needed to handle your case.
Some veterans also went on to work at jobs that exposed them to asbestos after their service. In these cases, they may qualify for VA benefits and file a claim against asbestos manufacturers as well.
When you work with the mesothelioma lawyers at Sokolove Law, we will document all points of your life where you may have been exposed to asbestos. In these cases, we will identify any chances for exposure outside of the military and recommend any legal action. We may also explore a mesothelioma lawsuit against asbestos companies who sold their products to the government.
Assistance for Veterans
At Sokolove Law, we feel it is now our duty to serve those who have defended us so selflessly. Getting mesothelioma was never a choice.