What Type of VA Disability Compensation Claim Can Veterans Injured by Asbestos Exposure File?

by Channika DeSilva Gonzalez on April 22, 2018

Because the health effects of asbestos inhalation or ingestion do not ensue immediately after exposure, veterans harmed by this carcinogenic mineral will have to file their VA compensation claim for post-service disability.

Diseases caused by asbestos exposure may take up to five decades to occur, which is why veterans can only claim post-service disability

The VA has numerous options when it comes to the type of claim a veteran can file to receive financial compensation for their disability. However, those who struggle with diseases caused by military asbestos exposure may apply only with a claim based on post-service disability. Since the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers results in a disease in 10 to 50 years after exposure, veterans with diagnoses such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, pulmonary fibrosis, pleural plaques, or asbestosis meet the criteria of post-service VA disability compensation claims. Veterans whose health was affected by Agent Orange, mustard gas, or radiation, those who suffer from Gulf War Syndrome, as well as Prisoners of War, also meet the requirements.

Regardless of what type of disability compensation claim a veteran files, the VA will classify it as follows upon submission:

  • Original claim. Veterans who seek disability compensation for the first time file original claims.
  • Reopened claim. Sometimes, a veteran cannot be granted disability compensation after filing a claim due to failure to provide adequate evidence. If they do not appeal the VA’s decision within one year, their claim will be pending until they are able to submit additional proof. When the VA reviews the new evidence, the claim is referred to as a reopened claim.
  • New claim. A veteran may file a new claim for a VA benefit they may or may not have requested priorly. Unlike what reviewing a reopened claim entails, the VA’s decision will be taken based on entirely new evidence in this case, since no other proof has been submitted before.
  • Secondary claim. This type of claim is to be filed by veterans who already have a disability caused by military asbestos exposure and develop a second one, as well as by those whose initial disease has worsened over time. Following submission, they will receive additional compensation for their recent service-related disability.

Applying for VA disability compensation is a complex and time-consuming process, the more so when you suffer from a debilitating illness. Our lawyers, who have been handling primarily asbestos exposure cases since 1990, also provide assistance to veterans injured by this hazardous mineral. We will gladly take the burden of collecting evidence and preparing the necessary paperwork off your shoulders so that you can continue focusing on your wellbeing. If you would like to file a VA disability compensation claim, please contact us at 205.328.9200 and we will promptly help you.