VA Benefits for Navy Veterans
Many Navy veterans now suffer the long-term health effects of asbestos exposure — including mesothelioma.
However, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides mesothelioma veterans benefits and compensation for these individuals.
U.S. Navy veterans are entitled to disability compensation and special health care benefits through the VA because of their service to the country.
Criteria for disability benefits eligibility are:
- Honorable discharge: Claimant must have been honorably discharged from the Navy
- Disability caused during active duty: The disability must be due to a duty-related cause, including a latent disease like mesothelioma that develops decades after military service
Navy veterans with questions about qualifications or benefits can speak with a VA accredited professional such as a claims agent, Veterans Service Officer (VSO), or a specialized lawyer.
Types of Navy VA Benefits
The VA has different claims covering different situations to help them determine how much compensation is enough for an individual.
The main VA claim types are:
- Pre-Discharge Claims: Veterans can file a pre-discharge claim for an injury or illness that the Navy already knew of within 180 days of being discharged.
- Pre-Service Claims: Navy veterans who entered the military with a pre-existing condition can file a pre-service claim if their condition worsened due to being on active duty.
- In-Service Claims: If a veteran is injured but can continue serving in the Navy, they can file an in-service claim.
- Post-Service Claims: If a veteran developed a latent illness that was caused by active-duty activities, like how mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, they can file a post-service claim.
- Special Claims: Sometimes veterans need to file special claims when their situations don’t fall under any of the above claim types.
Eligible Navy veterans and their families can apply for compensation through the VA. Veterans may be eligible for one or more types of compensation.
Learn more about the different types of compensation listed below.
Veterans can receive monthly guaranteed payments through Disability Compensation for their mesothelioma or asbestos-related condition.
VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC)
Spouses and dependents can receive guaranteed monthly income if the veteran passes away due to an asbestos-related illness.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
Veterans with special requirements can receive additional monthly payments to cover costs for homecare support and more.
Additional Special Circumstances
Additional compensation is available for special circumstances that require extra costs.
An accredited attorney, claims agent, or VSO can guide veterans who need assistance filing a VA claim.
VA Mesothelioma Health Care and Treatments
Veterans with mesothelioma may qualify for veterans health care as part of their VA benefits,
This is helpful as the VA has several doctors who specialize in treating mesothelioma. These mesothelioma doctors are some of the best in the country.
The VA currently has two mesothelioma programs led by specialists in treating pleural mesothelioma.
Top VA mesothelioma doctors include:
- Dr. Robert Cameron: Dr. Robert Cameron is a world-renowned oncological surgeon who leads the mesothelioma program at the West Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles VA.
- Dr. Abraham Lebenthal: The highly experienced oncological surgeon Dr. Abraham “Avi” Lebenthal leads the Mesothelioma Program at the Boston VA.
Both of these doctors are highly trained surgeons with years of experience treating pleural mesothelioma.
Navy veterans with mesothelioma who turn to specialized VA centers for treatment can be assured that they are receiving the highest quality care in the country.
Other VA Benefits for Navy Veterans
The VA offers more than financial compensation for medical treatment. They also help veterans adjust to life after their service-related injuries.
Other VA benefits available for veterans and their families include:
- Disability Pensions
- Preventive Healthcare Services
- Personal Health Programs
- Education and Training
- Home Loans
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Mental Health Assistance
- Survivors Benefits
- Burial and Memorial Services
Some Navy veterans may be entitled to different benefits than others depending on the specifics of their case, such as the number of family members they have and other factors.