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Veterans & asbestos exposure

Many men and women in the U.S. military forces who protected our country came back suffering from severe conditions for which our own domestic industrial practices are at fault. U.S. veterans were highly exposed to many toxic chemicals including asbestos, and now represent a large group of individuals who developed lung disease years later after their service, with nearly one-third of COPD and lung cancer cases in the U.S. being diagnosed in our veterans.

Call 205.328.9200 Asbestos Screening

30% of veterans will develop asbestos diseases after they served

Since asbestos was highly prevalent in the U.S. military throughout the last century, preponderantly between 1935 and 1975, U.S. veterans are highly likely to develop serious diseases as a result of asbestos exposure and also from exposure to other chemical agents. Every year, asbestos exposure is the culprit behind the death of approximately 10,000 veterans. According to estimates, nearly 20 million former soldiers are at great risk of developing a disease as a consequence of military asbestos exposure today. While each military branch made use of hazardous asbestos-containing products, people who served in the U.S. Navy underwent by far the most severe exposure, as asbestos would be present in over 300 different products commonly found on ships.

Immediate eligibility for cancer diseases for veterans or family members:

If you are a veteran you may or may not experience asbestosis symptoms such as shortness of breath or a persistent cough, however, we strongly encourage you to give us a call and we screen over the phone. Having your health evaluated by a specialist is crucial, as you are at high risk for developing pulmonary issues, cancer, and many asbestos-related diseases. Being misdiagnosed or having a different diagnosis is a common mistake when getting diagnosed at the VA center or even at an outside doctor, the diseases are not common and are easily missed by medical professionals, the reason why we recommend calling us and getting checked for an accurate diagnosis. Even if you have no symptoms, ongoing cough or shortness of breath asbestos fibers may still be present in your lungs, and many times may cause other types of symptoms or diseases, cases in which physicians do not think about checking for scarring of your lungs first.

We prioritize all veterans who seek to receive financial compensation through asbestos trust fund claims and VA claims, as they fought relentlessly to protect our country and deserve better healthcare and quality of life.

Common misdiagnosis for veterans with asbestosis or cancer:

U.S. military branches with past asbestos exposure

Asbestos diseases entitle veterans to compensation benefits only if the majority of the asbestos exposure occurred during active duty.

U.S. Navy U.S. Air Forces U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Army U.S. Coast Guard

Additional disability benefits from a VA Claim

Veterans who were exposed to asbestos while serving in the military and subsequently developed a disease are eligible for compensation from the VA and from asbestos trust funds. The U.S. government recognizes that veterans deserve compensation for any disease they developed as a result of toxic exposure which occurred during military service. In this regard, a special procedure is in place to provide benefits to veterans, men, and women, injured by exposure to asbestos while serving our country.

If you are a veteran who developed a disease as a consequence of military asbestos exposure, you are eligible for compensation both from asbestos trust funds and the VA. However, because the legal process is very complex and tedious, the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure cases is necessary. Your attorney will file a claim with the asbestos trust funds of the companies which manufactured the hazardous products you were exposed to, as well as with the VA, which will offer you disability compensation, depending on your disability percentage. The evidence you will need to provide your attorney with is your military records, which must state that you worked with asbestos, and your medical records, which must mention that your diagnosis is the result of asbestos exposure. Nevertheless, because solid proof must accompany your claim, our legal experts will also conduct research to discover additional evidence to support your claim. The evidence will help your claim be approved by both asbestos trust funds and the VA.

Free of charge asbestos screening for veterans injured by military asbestos exposure

Because the compensation you qualify for highly depends on the severity of your diagnosis, you will first undergo asbestos screening at our medical facility to ensure the accuracy of your initial diagnosis or to assign you a correct diagnosis. If your new diagnosis is more severe than your initial one, you will become eligible for a significantly larger sum of money. Misdiagnosis is a very frequent occurrence among veterans who were exposed to asbestos, which is why you need a second opinion from our medical experts, who specialize in diagnosing diseases that stem from asbestos exposure. If you have VA health insurance, it can be used alongside private health care plans such as Medicare and Medicaid to help you recover the compensation you deserve. However, it is worthy of note that private insurance will provide you with a more accurate diagnosis following asbestos screening than the VA health insurance. Having private insurance will not affect your right to seek financial compensation. Thereby, we strongly recommend you to get private health insurance, as it will help you receive a correct and accurate diagnosis.

Once settled, disability compensations will usually be paid monthly, payments being calculated on a disability scale from 10 to 100, considering minimal to maximum disability. The disability compensation you will receive from the VA is tax-free and will not be affected by your employment status or by your current level of income. It is important to note that in order to qualify for compensation as a veteran, you must have been exposed to asbestos while serving in the military and must have been discharged honorably, as these are the requirements of the VA for filing a claim for disability compensation. Finally, it is essential to know that there is no time limit in filing a claim for disability compensation with the VA, unlike the statute of limitations for the claims filed with asbestos trust funds. Thereby, if you are a veteran injured by military asbestos exposure, you can seek compensation from the VA anytime.

2020 VA disability compensation pay chart based on the disability rating

You will be assigned a 20% disability rating if you suffer from pleural effusion, pleural plaques, pulmonary fibrosis, diffuse pleural thickening, lung scarring, or asbestosis which does not cause you a lot of distress in your everyday life. Asbestos fibers must be present in your lungs in order to qualify for disability compensation from the VA. The payment for a 20% disability rating is $281.27 per month.

You will be assigned a 30% disability rating if you struggle with asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung scarring, pleural effusion, diffuse pleural thickening, or pulmonary fibrosis which is causing you some distress in your daily life. To qualify for disability compensation from the VA, asbestos fibers must have been found in your lungs. The monthly payment for a 30% disability rating is $435.69.

You will be assigned a 40% disability rating if you suffer from asbestosis, lung scarring, diffuse pleural thickening, pleural plaques, pleural effusion, or pulmonary fibrosis which is causing you significant distress in your everyday life. To become eligible for disability compensation from the VA, asbestos fiber must be present in your lungs. The payment for a 40% disability rating is $627.61 per month.

You will be assigned a 50% disability rating if you struggle with asbestosis, diffuse pleural thickening, pleural plaques, pulmonary fibrosis, or pleural effusion which is causing you extreme distress in your daily life. To qualify for disability compensation from the VA, asbestos fibers must have been found in your lungs. The monthly payment for a 50% disability rating is $893.43.

You will be assigned a 60% disability rating if you suffer from stage 1 lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, throat cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer, or bronchial cancer. To qualify for compensation from the VA, asbestos fibers must be present in your lungs. The payment for a 60% disability rating is $1,131.68 per month.

You will be assigned a 70% disability rating if you struggle with stage 2 lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, throat cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer, or bronchial cancer. To become eligible for disability compensation from the VA, asbestos fibers must have been found in your lungs. The monthly payment for a 70% disability rating is $1,426.17.

You will be assigned an 80% disability rating if you struggle with stage 3 lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, throat cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer, or bronchial cancer. To qualify for compensation from the VA, you must have asbestos fibers in your lungs. The payment for an 80% disability rating is $1,657.80 per month.

You will be assigned a 90% disability rating if you struggle with terminal lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, throat cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer, or bronchial cancer. To become eligible for compensation from the VA, asbestos fibers must be present in your lungs. The monthly payment for a 90% disability rating is $1,862.96.

You will be assigned a 100% disability rating if you struggle with terminal lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, throat cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer, or bronchial cancer which is causing you extreme pain and suffering in your daily life. To qualify for compensation from the VA, asbestos fibers must be present in your lungs. The payment for a 100% disability rating is $3,106.04 per month. 

It is important to know that, if you file a claim with asbestos trust funds, it will not affect your right for disability compensation or other benefits from the VA, as veterans can recover compensation from both sources. Benefits from the VA also extend to commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Geodetic Survey. The time it takes to process a VA disability claim is 105.9 days on average, whereas when filed with asbestos trust funds, a claim will result in compensation within 3 months to one year, depending on the severity of your diagnosis. If, for instance, you have terminal mesothelioma or lung cancer, your asbestos claim will be expedited, which will help you receive compensation within the shortest time possible. The following are other benefits the VA offers to veterans injured by asbestos exposure:

Call for Veteran Claims Assistance: 205.328.9200

Our legal process in asbestos-exposed veterans cases

Secondary asbestos exposure among the family members of veterans

Although rare, secondary asbestos exposure still occurred among the family members of the people who were serving in the military during the last century. When they would return home, they would bring asbestos fibers in the house on their clothes, as well as on their skin and hair, which they would subsequently be inhaled and swallowed by their loved ones. While secondary asbestos exposure results in serious disease in a relatively small number of cases, it is still dangerous, and the family members of the people who served in the military before 1980 need to pay close attention to symptoms such as a persisting cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain, as they may have unknowingly developed a disease as a consequence of secondary asbestos exposure. We strongly advise the family members of veterans to seek medical attention immediately if they notice a new onset of symptoms.

Asbestos exposure in the military today

While nowadays, asbestos use is properly regulated in the military, people who are currently serving may still be exposed, as old structures made with asbestos are still present in numerous military structures and facilities. Once asbestos products that continue to exist in military bases today are disturbed, toxic fibers are released in the air, which inevitably leads to military personnel inhaling and ingesting asbestos. Within 20 to 50 years, they may develop a serious disease as a consequence of military asbestos exposure. For this reason, we strongly advise people who are currently serving in the military to inform themselves with regard to the presence of asbestos in the military bases they are serving in, as well as to periodically undergo a medical examination in order to timely find out about a potential disease which may have unknowingly developed as a result of military asbestos exposure.

These categories of veterans are also eligible for benefits from the VA

In addition to veterans who came to struggle with a disease as a consequence of military asbestos exposure, there are certain groups of people who served in the military who also qualify for receiving disability compensation and other benefits from the VA, such as the following:

Vietnam War veterans and asbestos exposure

The Vietnam War took place between 1955 and 1975. People who served during this time were heavily exposed to asbestos, which is why today, numerous veterans struggle with a disease as a result of military asbestos exposure. They can recover financial compensation both from the VA and from the asbestos trust funds of the companies which manufactured the hazardous products they were in contact with. Thereby, if you are a Vietnam War veteran who has lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, bronchial cancer, throat cancer, or colorectal cancer which stems from military asbestos exposure, you qualify for compensation. With over 25 years of experience in pursuing asbestos exposure cases, our resourceful attorneys will help you obtain the compensation you deserve from all the liable parties.

Toxic agents people who served in the military before 1980 may have been exposed to

Before 1980, when proper regulations were finally enforced, people who were serving in the U.S. military would regularly be exposed to numerous toxic substances, which now places veterans at high risk of developing serious diseases. The hazardous agents they were exposed to include but are not limited to:

Asbestos exposure jobs within U.S. veterans

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Common questions

A veteran who is receiving monthly benefits from the VA can ask for a reevaluation of their disability rating at any point. Although it is supposed to be simple to request a change, it can often be a lengthy, complex and confusing process, especially for a veteran unable to deal with the VA bureaucracy or unfamiliar with the VA system.

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Veterans diagnosed with nearly any disease which occurred as a result of military asbestos exposure are considered as having a certain level of disability by the VA and thereby qualify for financial benefits.

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Disability compensation is a financial benefit the VA pays out only to veterans with diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, or asbestosis. Therefore, a veteran is not eligible for it in the absence of a proper asbestos-related diagnosis.

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Asbestos exposure can lead to the development of multiple cancers, the most common being lung cancer.

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The Navy veterans were at the highest risk of being exposed to asbestos as most asbestos-containing products were used by the Navy when compared to other military branches in the United States.

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Because gathering strong evidence of military asbestos exposure can be very challenging to do on their own, veterans need the legal assistance of a specialized attorney to file a claim with the VA.

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Victims of asbestos exposure can file a claim with asbestos trust funds and, if they are a veteran, with the VA as well, to recover compensation. However, because the legal process is very complex, the assistance of a specialized attorney is necessary.

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There are certain factors which can significantly increase your risk of developing an asbestos-related disease, including your age, whether you are a smoker and the duration of exposure.

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People who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace, as well as U.S. veterans who served between 1935 and 1975, have the highest risk of developing a disease.

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