Annually, out of the 3,000 mesothelioma cases diagnosed and 10,000 deaths, approximately 30 percent are veterans; veterans who were never warned that being exposed to asbestos was deadly and who are now not able to receive the care they so desperately need from the VA.
The military’s use of asbestos occurred throughout much of the 20th century and continues to affect servicemen and women as much as 50 years after they served for our country.
At the time, it seemed like a perfect product and was deemed “invaluable” by the government for its strengthening and fireproof characteristics. However, despite the Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy’s warning of the dangers associated with asbestos, the government continued to put soldiers’ lives at risk.
The VA is now viewed as “unresponsive” to those vets struggling with asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma. Many suffering with the disease feel like it may be time to throw in the towel; seeing the hope of ever receiving the care they need, from a government that they loyally served, as nothing more than a wish that will never come true.
In fact, the estimated wait time for an answer from the VA regarding an asbestos-related claim can take a year. Tragically, though, the average life expectancy after diagnosis can be anywhere from 6 to 16 months. Notably, the VA has made drastic improvements in recent years and has made a 42 percent reduction in pending claims. However, many believe that it is too little too late.
If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, contact an attorney who understands how to work through the system, so you can finally obtain the benefits that you have fought so hard to receive.
Source: Asbestos.com, “How America Let Asbestos Kill Its Veterans,” accessed Nov. 26, 2015