Mesothelioma is a form of cancer known to affect the lining of internal body tissues like the lungs, chest cavity, and abdomen after exposure to asbestos. Statistics in the US about mesothelioma exposure shows that 30 percent of the victims are veterans exposed to the harmful mineral while serving in the military or manufacturing company. It is important to know that mesothelioma has a long latency period, and it can take between 20 to 60 years for it to develop after asbestos exposure. To ensure that victims are taken care of, the Asbestos Trust Funds were created by the respective companies to compensate veterans having mesothelioma-related diseases.
For instance, the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) was formed to cater to benefits and compensations of military veterans exposed to asbestos while serving. Eligible veterans with mesothelioma may receive full disability compensation and other kinds of assistance.
To file a mesothelioma trust fund claim, you can follow several steps stated below:
Step 1: Meet trust fund criteria
Every trust fund sets its own criteria you must meet to file a claim, which includes:
- When (time) your exposure occurred.
- Where it occurred.
- Proof of an asbestos-related exposure.
Step 2: Collection of evidence to support the claim
- Diagnosis — This includes medical documents proving asbestos-related diagnosis, such as image scans.
- Professional statement — A written medical statement by a qualified physician confirming the diagnosis.
- Site of exposure — Evidence confirming asbestos exposure, such as witness affidavits or employment records.
- An asbestos involvement — Medical record indicating the extent asbestos exposure contributed to your disease.
Step 3: Submission of claim
Once you’ve gathered enough evidence, an attorney will provide the best avenue to submit your claim to ensure a smooth approval process.
Step 4: Claim reviewed for approval
After this final step, you are able to enjoy benefits from the asbestos trust fund. These trust fund benefits may include:
- Health care — This can be based on the veteran’s income level. The VA finds out if the asbestos exposure is the real cause of cancer and whether it happened during active duty. If yes, you qualify for the health care program.
- Disability compensation — This is compensation based on a veteran’s level of disability. Asbestos mesothelioma-related cancers are considered 100 percent disabling. By this, a veteran qualifies for the maximum benefit. The benefit may increase based on the veteran’s number of dependents as per the victim’s compensation benefits rate.
- Monthly compensation — This is a benefit available for veterans who are seriously disabled and need special aid and attendance by another person. Spouses and parents of the affected veterans can also benefit from this. The amount of compensation can also depend on the attendance required and the veteran’s number of dependents.
- Indemnity compensation -This is monthly compensation paid to the surviving spouse or family member of a veteran who died from mesothelioma disease. Even if the deceased veteran was already receiving disability compensation before dying, the spouse or family should file a claim to receive dependency and indemnity compensation.
- Burial benefits — When seeking this benefit, you must provide enough proof that you catered for a veteran’s burial expenses. You must also justify that the veteran died of mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure while he or she was active in service.
If you are an affected veteran or a family member of a victim, don’t hesitate to learn more about getting benefits from an Asbestos and Mesothelioma Trust Fund. You will get to know how to file your claim and be compensated because you deserve it.