Mesothelioma VA Benefits – Veterans Benefits for Military Asbestos Exposure (2024)

Veterans who served in the United States military may be at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma than other people. While the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) does recognize the effects of asbestos exposure, it may be unclear to veterans what mesothelioma VA benefits exist. If you are wondering about veterans benefits for military asbestos exposure, we can help.

Mesothelioma, Asbestos Exposure, and Treatment Options

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber. This fiber was once used in construction and industrial applications when its dangers were not general knowledge. Inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers can damage the mesothelium, leading to significant health issues like mesothelioma.

Symptoms of mesothelioma tend to appear years or decades after exposure. Common symptoms can vary, depending on the location of the cancer, but they tend to include chest pain, chronic coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing.

A mesothelioma diagnosis involves imaging tests, biopsies, and fluid analyses. There are common misdiagnoses, so it is advised to get a second opinion after a first diagnosis. People seeking treatment can expect surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these approaches. Alternative treatments exist to accompany these standard approaches and manage symptoms.

Military Asbestos Exposures

Asbestos was once so common that there were many career fields where a person could have asbestos exposure. The military is no different, and veterans may have encountered asbestos in various settings, such as:

  • Ships and Shipyards: Asbestos was once used extensively in shipbuilding and ship maintenance materials.
  • Construction: Often, military construction projects took advantage of the versatility of asbestos-containing building materials.
  • Aircraft Maintenance: Aircraft components and insulation may have contained asbestos.
  • Mechanical Repair Areas: Military mechanics who worked on vehicles and other equipment could have been exposed to asbestos-containing parts.

What Mesothelioma VA Benefits Exist?

The Department of Veteran Affairs exists to provide necessary services for eligible military veterans throughout the country. If eligible, the VA offers veterans living with mesothelioma valuable benefits, like:

Disability Compensation

The VA assigns disability ratings based on the severity of a veteran’s condition. A veteran’s rating determines the amount of monthly, tax-free benefits the individual receives. Veterans with mesothelioma usually qualify for the highest rating, which means maximum financial support.


Veterans who qualify for mesothelioma-related benefits receive comprehensive healthcare at VA facilities nationwide. This coverage includes doctor visits, diagnostics, treatment options, and medications.

How Do I Receive My VA Benefits?

To claim VA benefits for your mesothelioma condition, you will need to follow certain steps that outline and prove your military-related asbestos exposure.

  1. Gather Evidence: The most crucial step in proving your military-caused mesothelioma is obtaining all the evidence for your claim. Gathering evidence can mean collecting military service records, medical records detailing your mesothelioma diagnosis, and any documentation that links your service and asbestos exposure.
  2. File a Claim: You can file a claim by contacting your local VA office or submitting a claim online. A Veterans Service Officer can assist you with the filing process when necessary.
  3. Medical Exam: The VA may schedule you for a medical exam to confirm your diagnosis. At this time, they will assess the extent of your condition in accordance with your claim.

How a Lawyer Can Help You

While it is possible to handle your claim yourself, if you need help with a denial or a lower-than-expected rating, enlisting an experienced attorney can ensure that you have someone advocating for your rights. When you hire an attorney focusing on veterans’ benefits and asbestos exposure, they can be a valuable asset in fighting for your right to compensation. Additionally, they can:

  • Guide you through the VA claims appeal process.
  • Gather and present the strongest evidence to support your claim appeal.
  • Negotiate or appeal a denied claim.

The compensation provided by the VA comes in tax-free monthly payments.


Q: Does the VA Pay for Asbestos Exposure?

A: The VA might pay for asbestos exposure under certain circumstances. People living with a health condition resulting from their service and contact with asbestos could be eligible for VA disability compensation.

To file, you must submit:

  • Medical records that display the condition
  • Service records that list the job or specialty
  • A doctor’s statement approving the connection between the condition and military service

A disability rating from the VA may also entitle you to VA healthcare and other benefits.

Q: How Do I Prove That I Was Exposed to Asbestos?

A: You can get tested to prove that you were exposed to asbestos. If you were in the military and worked in mining, construction, shipyards, milling, demolition, or carpentry, getting tested may be very beneficial. If you made or worked with flooring, roofing, cement sheets, pipes, insulation, clutch facings, and brake linings, getting tested could also prove that you were exposed to asbestos.

Q: Can You Get VA Disability for Toxic Exposure?

A: Under the PACT Act, the VA’s healthcare and benefits expanded for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances, including asbestos, burn pits, and Agent Orange. This act provides generations of veterans and their families with care and benefits.

If you are a veteran enrolled in VA healthcare, the VA requires you to undergo a toxic exposure screening. Filing a claim as soon as possible can help you receive benefits for toxic exposure.

Q: Can You Claim for Asbestos Exposure?

A: Yes, veterans can claim compensation for health problems related to asbestos exposure during their military service. The VA decides outcomes on a case-by-case basis, and starting the process as soon as possible is wise.
Veterans who served in certain occupations should speak to their healthcare provider or contact their local VA health coordinator to get more information on testing. Potentially hazardous occupations include:

  • Mining
  • Milling
  • Demolition of old buildings
  • Insulation work
  • Shipyard work
  • Manufacturing
  • Installation of flooring and roofing products
  • Carpentry
  • Construction

Contact Us for Assistance With Your Mesothelioma VA Benefits

Early diagnosis and treatment can be crucial in extending your life with mesothelioma. If you are a veteran and have been denied full VA benefits based on your mesothelioma condition, we can help. Contact the experienced mesothelioma attorneys at Wallace & Graham today for a consultation.