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VA Summary Letter for Asbestos Exposure in the Navy

By Shaniqua Williams

Posted on July 02nd, 2019

The evidence a veteran must provide to the VA consists of a medical nexus letter which explains the connection between the person's illness and military asbestos exposure, as well as of a summary letter in which the veteran describes how they were exposed during service and for how long.

Between 1920 and 1980, asbestos exposure was highly prevalent in the U.S. military, whether one served in the Navy, Air Force or Army. Since asbestos has numerous useful properties, such as fire resistance and remarkable durability, it was the favorite insulating material the U.S. Navy employed, even though they had knowledge of the terrible health dangers of exposure. Asbestos was present on virtually all Navy ships and submarines during the last century. While coming to suffer from a disease due to military asbestos exposure as a veteran is awful and debilitating, the good news is that you can obtain financial compensation from the VA to help you cover the cost of your treatment.

To receive compensation from the VA, you must first file a claim and prove that at least 50% of your asbestos exposure occurred while serving in the military. Additionally, the person requesting compensation must also state the occupations they subsequently had where they encountered asbestos. The evidence a veteran must provide to the VA in order for their claim to be processed consists of a medical nexus letter which explains the connection between the person's illness and military asbestos exposure, as well as of a summary letter in which the veteran describes how they were exposed during service and for how long. The summary must also include information concerning the veteran's assigned duties and name the specific asbestos-containing equipment or materials they handled.

If you are a veteran affected by military asbestos exposure, some of the key information you should write in your summary include:

  • the branch of the military you were in
  • the ships you served on
  • your role and duties
  • the activities you performed which caused asbestos to become airborne
  • whether you were provided with protective equipment
  • the other jobs you had which entailed asbestos exposure, if applicable
  • your diagnosis
  • the treatment you currently receive

Other documents a veteran must submit for their VA claim to be accepted are the following:

  • medical records related to asbestos illness
  • military discharge paperwork
  • marriage and divorce documents, if applicable
  • application for disability compensation

However, the process of filing a VA claim is a complex endeavor. We strongly advise you to seek the professional assistance of a lawyer who specializes in asbestos exposure cases. They will be able to help you with the documents you need to provide, as well as guide you through the entire process, from filing the VA claim to receiving your monthly disability compensation.