Protecting those who protected us: information on assistance for veterans with asbestos-related diseases
For the past twelve years I have specialized in [mesothelioma], working with researchers, caring for patients, developing clinical trials to attempt to treat them, and working to manage their pain. I know who they are and what they suffer. These are the people who served our country’s defense and built its fleet. They are heroes like former Chief Naval Officer Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., who led the Navy during Vietnam and was renowned for his concern for enlisted men. Despite his rank, prestige, power, and leadership in protecting the health of Navy servicemen and veterans, Admiral Zumwalt died at Duke University in 2000, just three months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
- Mary Hesdorffer, NP, medical liaison at the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (curemeso.org)
In World War II, millions of people who served in the United States military were exposed to asbestos (The Department of Veteran Affairs). Asbestos causes an aggressive, agonizing form of cancer called mesothelioma, as well as other diseases.
Weitz & Luxenberg would like to provide veterans of the United States armed forces with helpful resources on health assistance programs. We believe that the companies that exposed national heroes to asbestos during your period of service did a great injustice to you and to the country. These negligent companies poisoned the very people fighting to protect them, by knowingly exposing them to the asbestos that caused the disease. If you or your father, mother, brother, or even grandparents developed an asbestos-related disease from contact with asbestos in the military, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the companies that mined, manufactured, distributed, and sold the asbestos.
Non-combat jobs that endangered lives
These are the jobs that put servicemen and women at high risk of developing asbestos-related diseases:
- Pipefitter/maintenance work
- Work on a shipyard
- Work in construction
- Work in demolition
- Work with insulation
- Military mechanic
Government health services for veterans
Because of your service in the United States military, you may be eligible for disability benefits. You can apply online at: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp
You can also apply by filling out a Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension (VA Form 21-526), attaching any relevant information including Dependency records (marriage & children's birth certificates), Medical evidence (doctor & hospital reports), and Discharge or separation papers (DD214 or equivalent).
Other health services and compensation benefits for veterans can be found on this site: http://www.vba.va.gov/VBA/(The Department of Veteran Affairs).
Online resources to help you find health facilities
There are many facilities around the country specifically designated to assist veterans. Weitz & Luxenberg wants to make sure all veterans receive the help they're entitled to. Throughout the years, the firm has seen one disease, mesothelioma, wreak havoc on countless vets.
On this page, you can find links to veteran clinics by state. Simply click on your state for more information on veteran clinics in that location. For instance, if you are looking for facilities in Alaska, click on the link that reads, “Veterans Facilities In AK”.
Another great resource for veterans looking for health facilities is this website: http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp?isflash=1
You can click on the state in which you are looking for a clinic, and then narrow your search down to the area within that state.
This site also functions in a similar way. Only here, you can see reviews of the clinics:
The bad news
Even with government health benefits for veterans, compensation does not always cover the cost of medical treatment for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma medical costs have been known to be over $1 million (EverydayHealth.com). This does not include the cost of travel expenses to seek clinical trials for new mesothelioma treatments. These clinical trials are one of the best ways to find new treatment options that could greatly improve your health condition.
The good news
A lawsuit can help compensate all medical and travel expenses, as well as provide general financial stability for you and your family.
In addition, military records tend to be well-kept, and there is an assortment of documents that still exist today concerning asbestos use in the military. These documents help validate your case, and it may expedite the process.
Weitz & Luxenberg is a major law firm that has handled asbestos cases for over 20 years. A great deal of people we have helped reach successful verdicts have been veterans. We know how to obtain the important documents that can prove you became ill from asbestos. We know the law concerning military asbestos exposure, and we have a long history of achieving the best possible settlement or verdict for our clients.
For a free, legal consultation, simply fill out the form on this page or give us a call at (800) 476-6070.
The Department of Veteran Affairs: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/occupational_environmental/asbestos.asp