Did you know asbestos is a naturally occurring toxic substance that was once considered a “miracle mineral” by many? It was used in thousands of consumer products, from insulation, to construction materials to hair dryers, and was valued for its durability, and resistance to heat and chemical breakdown.
Regrettably, it also causes serious health problems. In recent years, researchers discovered that microscopic asbestos fibers can be accidentally inhaled or ingested and cause cancer, in particular mesothelioma.
The Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges these dangers. As a result, the VA provides disability compensation and benefits for any veteran who can substantiate a service-related claim. The VA shares that as a veteran “you may be able to get disability benefits if you have an illness believed to be caused by contact with asbestos and you meet both of the requirements listed below:
- You had contact with asbestos while serving in the military, and
- You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge.”
Unfortunately, filing a claim and meeting required disability qualifications can be a complex process. An accredited VA attorney, however, can provide expert guidance and help secure valuable support. Often, with your attorney’s assistance, this can be accomplished in less time than you would incur if you file for benefits alone.
A successful claim must include a “medical nexus letter” from a doctor confirming that the veteran’s illness was caused by asbestos. The letter would need to be accompanied by an “exposure summary,” explaining how the veteran’s asbestos exposure was primarily caused by their military service.
Unlike other active duty injuries, asbestos related illnesses often take a long time to fully develop. These long latency periods usually mean that the causes and symptoms of asbestos health problems went undocumented while affected veterans were serving. This can make it more difficult to gather the medical documentation and information you need for a fully developed claim.
An accredited VA attorney can help you file a fully developed claim for benefits. Your attorney can also help you file an appeal if the initial claim is denied or you receive a benefits award that is not for the full amount you believe you should receive as a result of your injuries. Further, once established, a veteran is not only entitled to disability compensation, but their families may be eligible for dependency indemnity compensation when they pass away. Do not wait to ask us your questions on this, or any VA related matter, today.