As readers of this blog know, asbestos is a cancer-causing material that has been used throughout many buildings and products for the past hundred years or so all over the world. This means that working in areas where buildings are destroyed or in certain jobs may have exposed service members to asbestos.
Possible exposure events
Indeed, for those that have served in Southeast Asia, Iraq and throughout the Middle East, they may have been exposed to asbestos when buildings were destroyed or damaged. This is because, when this happens, dangerous asbestos particles are released into the air. In addition, exposure happens during vehicle repairs, in shipyards and during construction in the field or even on bases.
Who is eligible for VA benefits for asbestos exposure?
Service-related exposure means that any veteran could qualify. Though, one must have been in contact with asbestos while serving in military, regardless of branch, and that service member must have not been dishonorably discharged.
What benefits are available?
First and foremost, health care treatment. Asbestos related cancers have expensive and complicated treatments, but the VA can cover the costs of these life-saving measures. In addition, the veterans themselves and their family may also qualify for direct payments.
How does a veteran claim benefits?
Often, veterans enlist an expert to help get benefits. Though, that is not required. Veterans can directly make a disability claim to the VA. They will need their service records that shows their specialty and job, medical records that document the disability or illness, along with a doctor’s statement that the military service is where the asbestos exposure occurred and it is the cause of the disability or illness.
For our Seattle, Washington, and Oregon veteran readers, help is available. One does not have to sacrifice anymore. The VA has the tools and resources to help, but veterans must be proactive in seeking that help. It is not automatic.