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Veterans with mesothelioma caused by service-related exposure to asbestos are eligible for disability compensation and medical benefits from the VA.

Benefits of a Mesothelioma VA Claim

Supplemental Income: Many veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma are unable to work. VA benefits provide extra income to veterans, whatever their financial needs may be.

High Approval Rate: The VA approves most veterans with mesothelioma for disability benefits and treatment through VA hospitals. There is also financial benefits for the veteran’s caregivers and family members.

As a veteran who’s been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you’re entitled to benefits and disability compensation from the VA. You must file a claim with the VA and meet certain criteria to get these benefits. We can help you file your claim and receive compensation.

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Asbestos and Veterans

From the 1930s to the 1970s, the military used asbestos — a naturally fire–resistant, cancer-causing mineral — in many applications, ranging from boiler rooms in ships to brake pads in combat vehicles. Though asbestos was often intended as a safeguard from fire, the military instead unknowingly increased veterans’ risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Chris McKean

Chris is accredited with the VA and specializes in helping veterans with their VA claims for service-connected disabilities. 

Veterans are now the largest group affected by mesothelioma in the U.S., accounting for a third all mesothelioma diagnoses. As a result, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers veterans benefits and disability compensation that can help pay for life-saving treatment.

Benefits Eligibility

The VA recognizes that asbestos causes mesothelioma and offers benefits and disability compensation to veterans with diseases resulting from active duty exposure. If you’re a veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma, or another service-connected disability, you must meet a number of criteria.

To file a claim, you must have been:

  • Honorably discharged from the Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard
  • Exposed to asbestos during military service
  • Have a service-connected disease or disability related to asbestos exposure


Other military members who may be eligible for benefits include commissioned officers from the Public Health Service, Environmental Sciences Services Administration, or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey).

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Types of VA Benefits

Different types of benefits and compensation are available for veterans. The VA determines the type of benefit or compensation to award on a case-by-case basis. The VA also decides the amount of the award based on the applicant’s branch of service, marital status, and number of dependents.

VA Disability Compensation

The VA pays tax-free disability compensation on a monthly basis. They determine the amount of the award based on the severity of your disability and number of dependents in your household. Their disability scale rate the degree of your disability from 10% to 100% — mesothelioma is always rated at 100% disability.

Example: If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and have no dependents, you’ll receive $2,973.86. If you have children and a spouse, the VA will award you a higher amount. For example, a veteran who’s diagnosed with mesothelioma and has a wife and child will receive $3,139.67. These rates change annually

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

The VA pays DIC to the surviving spouses and dependents of deceased veterans. The amount of DIC you’ll receive depends on a number of factors.

Example: If your loved one passed from service-connected mesothelioma before January 1, 1993, you’ll receive an amount based on his or her military pay grade. The VA will add an additional monthly amount for each dependent.

Example: If your loved one passed on or after January 1, 1993, the VA will pay a basic monthly rate of $1254.19. They’ll increase this rate based on whether or not you’re able to work, and on how many dependents your loved one left behind.

Help With Your VA Claim

The VA requires several forms — including a detailed exposure summary — to approve you for benefits and disability compensation. Our Veterans Help Team helps veterans with every aspect of their claim, from filling out forms to submitting paperwork. They keep the claims process on track, assist in the completion and review of paperwork, and will be your advocate if you’re denied. The free services they perform are listed below.

Exposure summary assistance: The VA will require an exposure summary as proof that your disability occurred during active duty. An exposure summary details where, how, and for how long you were exposed to asbestos. We help write your exposure summary and make sure it meets the VA’s standards.

Denial appeals: You have a right to appeal a claims denial. Our Veterans Help Team members know the VA claims process in and out, and can help you reapply for the benefits you deserve.

Review for additional benefits: The claims process is complicated, and you can easily miss out on benefits. If you’ve already applied and have been approved, we can review your claim and make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to.

Locating the best treatment centers: Mesothelioma is an aggressive, rare cancer. Since most veterans are diagnosed at an advanced stage, timely, effective care is important. One of our team members will review your diagnosis, and find a treatment center that can provide the best treatment for it.

Advice and additional information: We’re here to answer any question about mesothelioma, asbestos, treatment or any other matter related to your diagnosis. If you’re uncertain about what to do, or just need to speak with a person who’s knowledgeable about mesothelioma, drop us a line.

Contact a member of our Veterans Help Team today for more information on filing a claim with the VA.