How to Prove Military Asbestos Exposure
What Is a VA Claim?
VA claims are requests for compensation or assistance that you submit to the Department of Veteran Affairs. Veterans file claims to seek compensation for injuries or illnesses that resulted from military service, including disability compensation, healthcare, and more.
Am I Eligible for VA Benefits?
To be eligible for VA benefits related to asbestos exposure, veterans must meet specific criteria. The criteria for asbestos claims include the following.
- Military service. You must have been honorably discharged from the U.S. military, including active duty, reserves, or the National Guard, or as a commissioned officer for the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
- Medical diagnosis. You must provide medical records from a doctor or hospital that state you have an asbestos-related disease.
- Exposure history. You must provide evidence showing that at least 50% of your lifetime asbestos exposure occurred while you were in the military.
- Bronchus cancer
- Pharynx cancer
- Gastrointestinal tract cancer
- Pleural effusion
- Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis
- Pleural plaques
- Larynx cancer
- Urogenital cancers (except prostate)
- Lung cancer
How Do I File a Veteran’s Asbestos Exposure Claim?
You can file for veterans benefits from the Department of U.S. Veterans Affairs by filing a claim online or mailing in VA Form 21-526EZ. You must submit supporting documentation along with your claim. The documentation can include the following:
- Application for disability compensation (DIC);
- Marriage and divorce documents, if applicable;
- Medical records stating your asbestos-related illnesses;
- Military discharge paperwork (DD-214);
- A medical nexus letter from a doctor connecting your military service with the diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness; and
- An asbestos exposure summary.
How Do I Prove Military Asbestos Exposure?
- Service records. Military records that mention assignments to jobs or locations where asbestos was present.
- Medical record. Records documenting asbestos-related health issues, such as X-rays or biopsy results.
- Buddy statements. Statements from fellow service members who can attest to your exposure or the presence of asbestos in your work environment.
- Occupational history. A detailed account of your military job duties, including any known asbestos exposure.
What Benefits Can I Receive?
Can I File an Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit?
Suppose you choose not to pursue a VA claim, or you get denied VA benefits. In this case, veterans or their family members may have the option of filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against asbestos companies to receive compensation. An experienced attorney can walk you and your family through your best options.
Contact an Attorney
Proving military asbestos exposure for VA benefits is essential for veterans facing health issues from such service-related exposure. At Flint Cooper, we are here to assist you and your family through this tough time. Our experienced attorneys have won millions of dollars for our clients in asbestos litigation, and we are here to ensure that you obtain the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us today for your initial consultation.
About the author:
Ethan is a founder and managing partner of Flint Cooper, a law firm specializing in complex litigation. Ethan has extensive experience in personal injury cases, representing clients injured by asbestos, defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and leads the firm’s government takings practice.