You may not have been expecting a mesothelioma diagnosis, especially since it has been so many years since you were active in the military. Unfortunately, mesothelioma takes decades to develop in some people, and it has been linked to asbestos exposure during military service in some cases.
As a veteran who now has this diagnosis, you may be able to seek disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
How were veterans exposed to asbestos?
Veterans' exposure to asbestos may have occurred in several ways. They might have been exposed to it via:
- Shipyard duties
- Carpentry projects
- Old building demolitions
If a veteran served in Iraq or other countries where buildings were demolished, then asbestos may have been released in the air at that time.
Asbestos exposure can cause many health issues such as asbestosis, pleural plaques and mesothelioma. Any veteran who develops one of these conditions may be able to obtain health care benefits such as disability benefits and clinical treatment at the VA's War Related Illness and Injury Study Center.
What should you do if you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis?
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, it's important to know your legal rights and if you qualify for disability benefits. You will need to produce documentation proving that you have this illness and that it affects the way you live your life. If it can be linked to your service in the military, you may be able to get the disability benefits you need and support for ongoing health care.