Home   >   Our Official Blog  >  Eligible Claims for Lung Cancer Veterans Treated at the VA Treatment Centers

Eligible Claims for Lung Cancer Veterans Treated at the VA Treatment Centers

By Treven Pyles

Posted on April 02nd, 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.

With over 1,400 treatment centers nationwide that come under the VA system, veterans 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.

VA Medical Centers Treat Lung Problems Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Veterans who develop lung problems such as asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer, and mesothelioma as a result of inhaling asbestos dust while serving in the military will 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. As most of the specialist doctors are associated with VA healthcare facilities, they are able to communicate with the patients from all over the country.

List of VA Centers That Can Better Diagnose & Treat Lung Cancer

State

VA Center

Lung Cancer Treatment Services

Alabama

Central Alabama VA Medical Center-Montgomery

medical oncology

California

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

Delaware

Wilmington VA Medical Center

medical oncology

Florida

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

targeted therapy

surgery including extrapleural pneumonectomy and pneumonectomy

Georgia

Atlanta VA Medical Center, Decatur

pulmonary function & imaging, comprehensive cancer center

Indiana

Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center-Indianapolis

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

Kansas

Johnson County/Radiation Oncology VA Clinic, Kansas City VAMC

radiation oncology

Louisiana

Alexandria VA Health Care System- Pineville

medical oncology

Massachusetts

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

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

Michigan

VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor

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

Montana

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

Oklahoma City VA Health Care System- Oklahoma City

medical oncology

Pennsylvania

Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre

medical oncology

Texas

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston

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

Washington

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

radiation, hematology, stem cell transplants, surgical oncology

Healthcare Services that Lung Cancer Diagnosed Veterans Receive at the VA Centers

Here is a comprehensive list of the healthcare services and treatments that are offered at VA centers for veterans with lung cancer:

  • low-dose CT screening
  • diagnostic tests such as chest X-ray, MRI, PET, needle biopsy, sputum cytology, bronchoscopy, thoracoscopy, and mediastinoscopy
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • surgical treatment: lobectomy, pneumonectomy, segmental or wedge resection, and sleeve resection.
  • targeted therapy
  • immunotherapy

VA Disability Compensation for Lung Cancer Diagnosed Veterans

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 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.
  • Service records that state the individual's tasks and job sites
  • A doctor's affirmation that the lung cancer is connected to the asbestos exposure that occurred during service.

VA disability claims for veterans with lung cancer are not subjected to the statute of limitations, which means that there is no time limit within which the VA disability claim should be filed. However asbestos trust funds claims for veterans or family members have a 2-3 years statute of limitation, it is best to start the process as soon as you have been diagnosed with lung cancer. 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 lungs (the chest X-rays must be read by a B-reader, radioligists 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 asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, rounded atelectasis, tuberculosis, and pleural effusion, hence second and third medical opinions are necessary to avoid misdiagnosis which is extremely common among veterans. Seeking a second and third opinion from an expert is the best possible way to avoid such cases of misdiagnosis and it is essential to prove the presence of asbestos fibers in the lungs to be eligible for VA disability compensation. We can help with accurate medical evaluations as well with asbestos trust funds claims, a process that will help your VA disability claim get an expedite processing.

Asbestos Trust Funds for Eligible Veterans Receiving Medical Care at any VA Center

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 3-6 months 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 funds 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.

Asbestos Trust Funds Claims Filed by Family Members of Veterans Receiving Treatment at a VA Center

In circumstances where the veterans are unable to file their claim with asbestos trust funds on their own, for instance, if they get hospitalized due to serious illness, their family members can always help and be involved in filing an asbestos trust fund claim on the behalf of the ailing veteran. At Environmental Litigation Group, P.C., we handle the claims entirely and make the process stress-free and easy for all our clients and their close family members.