Veterans Affairs and Mesothelioma: What You Need to Know

Welcome to our comprehensive guide about the link between veterans affairs and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, a fibrous mineral that was widely used in the U.S. military and in many other industries until the late 1970s. Unfortunately, this exposure has led to many veterans developing mesothelioma, a disease that can be difficult to detect and treat.

The VA’s Role in Mesothelioma Treatment and Compensation

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides benefits to veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of their military service. These benefits can include compensation for medical treatment, as well as disability payments and other financial assistance. Additionally, the VA operates several mesothelioma treatment centers across the country, which provide specialized care to veterans who are living with this disease.

Mesothelioma Treatment Centers

The VA operates three primary mesothelioma treatment centers:

Hospital Name Address Phone Number
Boston VA Medical Center 1400 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132 (857) 203-5521
West Los Angeles VA Medical Center 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90073 (310) 478-3711
Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute 12902 Magnolia Dr, Tampa, FL 33612 (813) 745-4673

These centers offer a range of treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. They also provide palliative care services to help manage pain and other symptoms associated with mesothelioma.

How to File for VA Benefits

If you are a veteran who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for VA benefits. To file a claim, you will need to submit documentation of your military service, as well as medical evidence of your mesothelioma diagnosis. The VA provides a step-by-step guide to filing a claim on their website, and you can also contact a VA representative for assistance.

Compensation for Mesothelioma Victims

In addition to providing medical treatment and other benefits to veterans with mesothelioma, the VA also offers compensation to victims of this disease. The amount of compensation that you may receive will depend on several factors, including the severity of your illness and the extent of your exposure to asbestos during your military service. You can use the VA’s compensation calculator to get an estimate of your potential benefits.

FAQs About VA Benefits and Mesothelioma

1. Can I still file a claim for VA benefits if my condition was diagnosed after my military service?

Yes, you can still file a claim if your mesothelioma was diagnosed after your military service. However, you may need to provide additional evidence to prove that your exposure to asbestos occurred during your military service.

2. What happens if my claim for VA benefits is denied?

If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process can be complex, so it may be helpful to work with a mesothelioma attorney who is experienced in handling VA claims.

3. How long does it take to receive VA benefits for mesothelioma?

The timeline for receiving benefits can vary depending on the complexity of your case and other factors. However, the VA has established a faster claims processing system for veterans with mesothelioma, so you may be able to receive benefits more quickly than other claimants.

4. Can I receive both VA benefits and compensation from a lawsuit against my employer?

Yes, you can receive benefits from both sources. However, you will need to inform the VA if you receive compensation from a lawsuit, as this may affect your eligibility for certain benefits.

5. What is the statute of limitations for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit varies by state. In most cases, you must file a lawsuit within two to three years of your diagnosis. However, it’s important to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state to determine the specific deadline for filing a claim.

6. Do I need an attorney to file a mesothelioma claim?

While it is possible to file a claim on your own, working with an attorney who specializes in mesothelioma claims can increase your chances of success. An attorney can help you navigate the complex claims process and ensure that you receive all the benefits and compensation that you are entitled to under the law.

7. What are my treatment options if I have mesothelioma?

The treatment options for mesothelioma depend on several factors, including the stage of your cancer and your overall health. In general, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these approaches. Your healthcare team can help you determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs and circumstances.

8. Is mesothelioma always caused by asbestos exposure?

While asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma, there are other factors that can increase your risk of developing this disease, such as radiation exposure or a genetic predisposition. However, the vast majority of mesothelioma cases are linked to asbestos exposure.

9. Are there any new treatments or therapies for mesothelioma?

There is ongoing research into new treatments and therapies for mesothelioma, including immunotherapy, gene therapy, and other innovative approaches. However, these are still considered experimental and may not be widely available. Your healthcare team can provide you with information about any clinical trials or other treatment options that may be appropriate for you.

10. How can I reduce my risk of developing mesothelioma?

The most effective way to reduce your risk of mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. If you work in an industry that may involve asbestos exposure, be sure to follow all safety protocols and wear appropriate protective gear. Additionally, if you live in an older home or building, be aware that asbestos may be present in insulation, roofing materials, or other areas, and take precautions to minimize your exposure.

11. Who is most at risk for mesothelioma?

While anyone who has been exposed to asbestos is at risk for mesothelioma, certain groups may be more vulnerable than others. These include individuals who worked in industries such as shipbuilding or construction, as well as veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their military service.

12. What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer, but may include chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, and weight loss. Because these symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, it’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms, particularly if you have a history of asbestos exposure.

13. What should I do if I have been diagnosed with mesothelioma?

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to seek medical treatment from a healthcare team that specializes in this disease. Additionally, you may be eligible for compensation and benefits from the VA or from a lawsuit against your employer or another party responsible for your asbestos exposure.


If you are a veteran who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to know that you have options for medical treatment, compensation, and other benefits. By working with the VA and other resources, you can get the care and support you need to manage this serious disease.

We encourage all veterans who have been exposed to asbestos to be proactive about their health and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms of mesothelioma or other conditions related to asbestos exposure. With the right care and support, it is possible to manage mesothelioma and maintain a good quality of life.

Closing or Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information about VA benefits or mesothelioma treatment, please consult with a healthcare professional or contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.