All about VA claims for veterans suffering from lung cancer

By Treven Pyles

Posted on July 28th, 2019

30% of our claims are for veterans treated at VA centers, due to the widespread use of asbestos in all the branches of the US Armed Forces. In addition to the VA benefits, veterans or family members can also receive compensation from asbestos trust funds set-up on behalf of bankrupt companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products.

It is important to know that, veterans being treated for lung cancer, COPD, asbestosis, and other lung-related conditions are eligible for asbestos trust funds claims separate from a VA claim. While most VA treatment facilities can diagnose lung-associated diseases and cancer, only a few are fully equipped to correctly diagnose and treat lung cancer and rarely mesothelioma.

What are the necessary documents for a successful VA disability claim

Veterans who have been diagnosed with any lung-associated conditions caused by asbestos exposure during active duty in the military are eligible for disability compensation through a VA claim.

Retired veterans should have been in full-time service in the military and should have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable in order to claim VA benefits. Veterans are 25-75% more likely to develop lung cancer as compared to people who were not serving in the military. In order to claim VA disability compensation, veterans with lung cancer need to file a claim by providing the following supporting documents:

  • Medical records as proof of the lung cancer diagnosis
  • Military records, which must be retrieved, stating the individual's tasks and job sites
  • A doctor's affirmation that lung cancer is connected to the asbestos exposure that occurred during service
  • Social security records from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The VA will rate your level of disability between 0 and 100%. Lung cancer is rated with a 100% disability rate and as a result, veterans with lung cancer are eligible to receive a maximum monthly benefit from the VA and are also eligible additionally to receive compensation through asbestos trust funds claims. The rating is provided based on a pulmonary function test, but a chest X-ray will show that the fibers are present in the lungs (the chest X-rays must be read by a B-reader, radiologists and other doctors often do not see the asbestos fibers).

Generally, it takes about 6-8 months to receive a decision regarding your VA disability compensation claim, however many of our veterans can speed up the VA disability process by also applying for an asbestos trust fund claim with us.

Asbestos-related diseases that have been approved for VA disability claim and also eligible for a secondary asbestos trust funds claim

Veterans with all the above-listed conditions are eligible to claim compensation from asbestos trust funds even if they are receiving VA disability benefits.

Oftentimes, there are circumstances where certain asbestos-caused diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis were misdiagnosed as:

Considering this, third medical opinions are necessary to avoid misdiagnosis which is extremely common among veterans.

What VA centers can diagnose & treat lung cancer?

Veterans who develop diseases such as asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer, and mesothelioma as a result of inhaling asbestos dust while serving in the military can receive treatment from VA medical centers that are well equipped with the latest technology and treatments. Once accepted into the VA Healthcare system, veterans may receive services from any of the centers nationwide. Some of the healthcare services and treatments that are offered at VA centers for veterans with lung cancer include:

  • low-dose CT screening
  • diagnostic tests
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • surgical treatment
  • targeted therapy
  • immunotherapy


VA Center

Lung Cancer Treatment Services


Central Alabama VA Medical Center-Montgomery

medical oncology


West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, Los Angeles
San Francisco VA Medical Center

radiation, surgical oncology

outpatient chemotherapy, inpatient chemotherapy, palliative care, electronic consultation services


Wilmington VA Medical Center

medical oncology


Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center, Miami
Miami VA Healthcare System

targeted therapy

surgery including extrapleural pneumonectomy and pneumonectomy


Atlanta VA Medical Center, Decatur

pulmonary function & imaging, comprehensive cancer center


Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center-Indianapolis

radiation/oncology, pulmonary function laboratory, respiratory therapy, palliative care


Johnson County/Radiation Oncology VA Clinic, Kansas City VAMC

radiation oncology


Alexandria VA Health Care System- Pineville

medical oncology


VA Medical Centers, Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, and Brockton

radiation oncology, surgery including extrapleural pneumonectomy, radical pleurectomy, and decortication


VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor

chemotherapy, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, radiation oncology


Fort Harrison VA Medical Center, Fort Harrison

medical oncology, palliative care

North Carolina

Fayetteville VA Medical Center, Fayetteville

radiotherapy, surgery, oncology, extended care, and rehabilitation

New York

Syracuse VA Medical Center- Syracuse
James J. Peters VA Medical Center (Bronx)
Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany

radiation therapy

immunotherapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, cytoreductive surgery, palliative care


Oklahoma City VA Health Care System- Oklahoma City

medical oncology


Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre

medical oncology


Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston

diagnostic care, radiation, medical oncology, surgery, clinical trials, rehabilitation


VA Puget Sound Health Care System- Seattle division and American Lake Division

radiation, hematology, stem cell transplants, surgical oncology

In addition to VA claims, veterans suffering from asbestos-related diseases can also claim compensation from asbestos trust funds

Veterans asbestos exposure is attributed to the fault of asbestos manufacturers that continued making products though they were aware that asbestos was a carcinogenic mineral. In addition to the VA benefits, veterans can also receive compensation from asbestos trust funds that were set-up on behalf of bankrupt asbestos products manufacturing companies.

It is important to note that veterans do not lose their right to claim VA disability compensation even if they have received money from the asbestos trust funds. There is no lawsuit involved and the process is done through a claim that is prepared by our staff. Typically, asbestos trust funds claims take one month to one year to resolve.

At Environmental Litigation Group, P.C., we have a team of experienced, skillful asbestos experts and staff that specialize in filing asbestos trust fund claims and helping veterans obtain the maximum amount of benefits available for them. We will help with the entire process of asbestos trust fund claims, avoiding any stress or frustration on your end. An asbestos trust fund claim will also help with a VA claim, as there will be more proof and documentation for your VA claim, our staff is always available to help with that as well.