Veterans fought bravely for our country. Unfortunately, many of them now face a new fight: mesothelioma. Military vehicles, ships, and buildings used asbestos as an insulator. At the time, asbestos was widely believed to be safe due to asbestos companies concealing its dangers. As a result, thousands of service members were exposed to this deadly material.
Veterans & Mesothelioma
The link between veterans and mesothelioma is significant. Veterans who served in any branch of the U.S. military account for 33% of all mesothelioma cases.
All branches of the military were at risk of asbestos exposure, including the:
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that resists fire and heat. For most of its history, asbestos was marketed as cheap, effective, and safe.
As a result, it was used in every ship built by the U.S. military for much of the 20th century. Trucks, tanks, and barracks were also built with asbestos. In the process, thousands of service members were exposed.
Unfortunately, now the American public knows the truth: asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It develops slowly over a period of decades, so thousands of veterans are now being diagnosed with mesothelioma even though they were exposed long ago.
A cancer diagnosis is heartbreaking — but options are available. Veterans suffering from mesothelioma can seek financial and legal aid from a few different sources.
Government Aid for Veterans
The first way veterans can get assistance is by reaching out to the U.S. government. Veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases can get financial and medical help through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Veterans cannot sue the government or any branch of the military if they have an asbestos-related disease. Like the victims of asbestos, the government was also misled by companies that made asbestos products. These companies insisted that asbestos-containing products were safe to use.
According to the VA, qualifying veterans with mesothelioma can receive monetary benefits for:
- At-home care and nursing
- Burial and memorial services
- Dependents and next of kin
- Disability based on the level of impairment
- Medical treatment
- Mobility and other medical equipment
- Therapy and mental health counseling
Disability benefits paid through the VA may range from $140 to $3,626 per month. These benefits are tax-free.
Compensation is paid according to the degree of a veteran’s disability and their number of dependents a victim has. Some veterans with mesothelioma may be entitled to additional monthly sums depending on the circumstances.
Applying for VA Benefits
Though all veterans will receive a pension, patients with mesothelioma may need more benefits to help pay for their expenses.
Veterans can apply for benefits:
- Online through the VA’s eBenefits webpage
- In person at a local VA office
Veterans should seriously consider working with a mesothelioma law firm when pursuing VA claims. Unfortunately, the VA claims system is complex. Since most veterans are not well-versed in the legal system, they might not know how to get all the benefits entitled to them.
If a veteran or their loved one files a claim improperly, they could be denied or they may receive a smaller amount than they need to pay for their medical treatments. As a result, they could lose out on thousands of dollars in benefits and government-sponsored services.
Fortunately, Sokolove Law has over 40 years of experience helping veterans with mesothelioma.
How We Can Help
For over 40 years, Sokolove Law has worked alongside veterans and victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Given our long track record of excellence, the legal team at Sokolove Law has the resources and experience necessary to maximize a veteran’s mesothelioma or asbestos-related disease claim.
Our knowledgeable lawyers have taken on — and won — thousands of mesothelioma legal cases. We firmly believe that the victims of asbestos exposure deserve a voice in the American justice system.
This is especially true for the brave men and women who served their country. Sokolove Law stands up against the companies that put profits ahead of people in an effort to make billions.
If you have mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease, we may be able to assist you. Our mesothelioma attorneys can help you in many different ways. For VA benefits, we make the claims process simple.
The lawyers of Sokolove Law:
- Know what the VA is looking for when you file an asbestos-related claim and can help detail your asbestos exposure summary to ensure you receive benefits.
- May be able to help you secure additional benefits, even if you have already filed a claim.
- Can help you through the appeals process if you have previously been denied claims with the VA.
In some cases, you may also be entitled to compensation outside of the VA. We will evaluate your case and recommend other legal action.
Veterans should know that they can also pursue legal action against asbestos companies. This action does not stop them from getting asbestos-related VA benefits.
The VA has authorized several of our attorneys to handle claims for veterans. These attorneys can be very helpful for veterans. Accredited attorneys have the legal know-how to navigate the intricate and often-confusing VA claims-filing process.
The VA has very strict rules about who qualifies for which benefits. Without knowing these rules you could lose out. Veterans need to prove that they were exposed to asbestos while they served and that their exposure caused their illness.
There needs to be definitive proof that you came into contact with asbestos while serving. This is especially true for those who went on to work jobs where they could have been exposed to asbestos later on. However, this can be very hard to accomplish without legal help.
An attorney who is authorized by the VA makes the filing process very easy.
Our accredited lawyers can help you:
- Prepare a claim
- Present the claim to the VA
- Prosecute claims to secure benefits
- Get additional benefits if you’ve already filed a claim
- Appeal your case if the VA rejected your claims in the past
VA accreditation is very notable, but other groups may abuse the privilege. Some people will offer financial planning services. These services are not authorized by the VA. Stay alert and make sure you or someone you love does not fall victim to dishonest financial schemes.
Veterans with mesothelioma can visit any of the 1,400 VA medical centers and clinics that offer low-cost treatment options. These centers are found throughout the country.
This network includes some of the top mesothelioma hospitals in the U.S. including the Boston VA Hospital and the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.
Additionally, there are private and non-profit veteran-service organizations. Some of these organizations can help veterans with mesothelioma learn more about their legal rights and care options.
Other Benefits for Veterans
Though the VA can provide you with a wealth of resources, it may not be able to cover all of your medical and financial needs. This is why many veterans who have mesothelioma choose to take legal action against asbestos manufacturers.
When a veteran is diagnosed with mesothelioma, their health and family come first. Sokolove Law encourages veterans to pursue legal action against the companies that knowingly wronged them.
While veterans spend their time focusing on the important things in life, our attorneys can work on their behalf to maximize the amount of compensation that they receive.
With our help, veterans and their families have been awarded millions of dollars. This can help pay for expensive medical treatments and support family members after a death. In fact, Sokolove Law has recovered over $4.6 Billion in compensation for asbestos victims and their families.
Legal action can help veterans:
- Get access to government benefits
- Get compensation from asbestos companies
- Pay for medical treatments and other expenses
- Safeguard their family from financial hardship
Though many law firms can help file legal claims, only a mesothelioma law firm can get the most compensation for their clients. Law firms that do not specialize in mesothelioma cases will not have the experience needed to handle your case.
Some veterans also went on to work at jobs that exposed them to asbestos after their service. In these cases, they may qualify for VA benefits and file a claim against asbestos manufacturers as well.
When you work with the mesothelioma lawyers at Sokolove Law, we will document all points of your life where you may have been exposed to asbestos. In these cases, we will identify any chances for exposure outside of the military and recommend any legal action. We may also explore a lawsuit against asbestos companies who sold their products to the government.
Assistance for Veterans
At Sokolove Law, we feel it is our duty to serve those who have defended us so selflessly. Getting mesothelioma was never a choice.
To learn more about how Sokolove Law can help you take legal action, call us today or fill out our online contact form.