When someone enters the military, they know there are risks. Most airmen, sailors and soldiers did not realize that some of the most dangerous hazards they faced were in their everyday duties.
Many veterans developed mesothelioma. It is a deadly form of cancer that did not show up for decades after their service ended. Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. Asbestos was used in the military. As a result, veterans are developing this deadly cancer.
Resources are available if you or a family member is a veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma. They can help you get treatment and compensation.
Asbestos, mesothelioma and the military
All branches of the military used asbestos until the 1980s. It was a cheap, fire retardant, insulating material. It was also deadly when its fibers were inhaled. Those fibers can line the abdomen, heart, lungs and stomach, causing cancerous tumors.
Mesothelioma symptoms can take anywhere from two to five decades to show up. Asbestos-containing materials are no longer used by the military. Many veterans are already affected.
Veterans suffer mesothelioma at higher rates
There are about 15,000 asbestos-related deaths each year in the U.S. About a third of them are veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has resources available.
To receive them, you must have contracted mesothelioma due to your military exposure. You also must have received an honorable discharge.
Disability claims must support evidence
To prove your eligibility for VA disability compensation. You will need:
- Doctor’s statement. There must be a demonstrated connection between asbestos exposure, military service and mesothelioma.
- Medical records. The documents must show your cancer.
- Service records. You must document your job in the military.
You want to file documents accurately and completely. It is also important to understand available legal resources.