In the last century, thousands of the United States military veterans were exposed unknowingly to asbestos during their service, particularly those who served in the U.S. Navy. Through the years of serving, they may have come in contact with asbestos while performing tasks in specific environments like shipyards, when the ships were being repaired in dry dock, or vehicle repair facilities. Every military division used asbestos products during the 20th century, so it was present on the navy ships built before 1980. The military service on these ships led to inevitable asbestos exposure of the entire crew. Exposure to asbestos can result in mesothelioma, a type of cancer that develops when asbestos fibers are captured in the lining of the lungs or the stomach and sometimes even the heart, causing scarring. Symptoms of mesothelioma don't show until usually many decades after the exposure.
The same exposure is also linked to asbestosis and lung cancer, which may manifest years after the initial exposure. These illnesses have a long latency period of 20 to 50 years, so they often go undetected until they've reached advanced stages. It is why the keys to survival are early detection and intervention.
Types of Available Compensations
The veterans exposed to asbestos during military service who develop asbestos-related conditions are eligible for compensations from the Department of Veterans Affairs. There are compensations available for the surviving spouse of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability like the dependency and indemnity compensation or DIC. Veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases may qualify to receive the following assistance from the VA:
- VA Health Care - the assistance can be based on the confirmation of a service-connected illness or the veteran's income level. If the asbestos exposure that led to an asbestos-related disease happened during active duty, the VA considers it service-connected.
- Disability Compensation - a monthly benefit based on a veteran's level of disability. Asbestos-related cancers, such as mesothelioma, are considered 100% disabling.
- Special Monthly Compensation - assistance available to veterans with a disability grade requires the help and presence of another person. The compensation is also available to spouses and parents of veterans.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation - a monthly aid paid to the surviving spouse of a veteran who died from a service-related disability.
- VA Burial Benefits - is based on proof that the person seeking this benefit has paid for a veteran's burial or funeral. They also must show the veteran died of a service-connected disability such as mesothelioma linked to military asbestos exposure.
- Asbestos Trust Funds - these are large amounts of money set aside by asbestos companies to handle asbestos claims. Eligible patients and loved ones can file a claim against the trust to receive compensation.
If you were exposed to asbestos during your service in the military, you can seek disability compensation by taking notice of the following number of asbestos diseases eligible for VA disability benefits:
- interstitial pulmonary fibrosis
- lung cancer
- bronchus cancer
- gastrointestinal cancer
- larynx cancer
- pleural effusion
- pleural plaques
- pharynx cancer
- urogenital cancers
We Can Offer Assistance If You Served in the Navy and Came in Contact With Asbestos
Service in the U.S. Navy from the 1930s to the early 1980s most likely exposed you to asbestos. You should tell your doctor about your employment history if you are experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, or unintentional weight loss. Navy, Coast Guard, U.S. Army Transport Service, and Merchant Marine veterans diagnosed with asbestos-related illness may be entitled to compensation to pay their medical bills, lost income, and other expenditures. It's essential to be correctly advised of your rights and options according to your specific circumstances. We can assist you in connecting you with experienced attorneys who can help you get the compensation you deserve for your trouble and suffering. Please get in touch with us now for more information.