Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was widely used in the United States following the Industrial Revolution, right up until the time that its dangers were made public. Asbestos was used in factories, in construction, in textiles and more, and one of the areas where it was found in the greatest concentration was in military settings. As a result, roughly one third of America’s mesothelioma victims are veterans of the Armed Forces. Though nothing can be done to change asbestos’ grim effects, the federal government has taken steps to ensure that veterans receive the care and compensation that they need to face the realities of asbestos-related diseases.According to retired Naval officer Lt. Comdr. Carl Jewett, veterans with mesothelioma are entitled to a wide range of benefits, but many are unaware that they are eligible to receive them. “I’ve worked with hundreds of veterans who were floored to hear that they were eligible for disability for their asbestos illness, even if it has been decades since they were in the military. Too often they assume – despite asbestos diseases taking 15 to 45 plus years to manifest after exposure to asbestos – that they can’t apply for a service connected disability decades after serving. But the reality is that there is no amount of time that can pass that would make a veteran ineligible.”
According to Jewett, the only requirement for eligibility for mesothelioma benefits demanded by the VA is that the asbestos-related illness was “at least as likely as not” to have been caused by exposure to asbestos during the veteran’s military service. That means that there can also have been other exposure during a victim’s life without it having the impact of forcing the veteran out of eligibility. Veterans prepare extensive work history statements that detail all exposure, and as long as military exposure was at least a 50 percent contributing factor, the benefits are available.
Whether you are a veteran or were exposed to asbestos in another setting, you have the right to seek compensation from the companies that were responsible for exposing you to asbestos. For information on how you can seek justice, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.