Addressing VA Benefits and Army Myths
As many know, Veterans and service members experience many stigmas, pressures, and confusion surrounding VA benefits. Seeking VA benefits is essential, especially when exposed to dangerous chemicals during active service. However, there are several myths surrounding VA benefits, qualifications, and compensations that can complicate the process. Mesothelioma Vets uncovers the truth behind these VA Army benefits myths and breaks down the top five biggest misconceptions.
Myth 1: I’m Suing the Army If I File an Asbestos Claim
During their time served, many service members were exposed to asbestos in military barracks which led to a mesothelioma diagnosis. Therefore, when a veteran is diagnosed with mesothelioma, they may be eligible to file a disability or financial claim.
Army veterans with mesothelioma would not file a claim against the Army and instead would file against the company that manufactured the barracks. This occurs because private companies were responsible for producing and selling asbestos-containing materials to military branches.
Myth 2: VA Disability Will Reduce my Retirement
Until 2004, Veterans were unable to legally receive both retirement pay and VA disability compensation at the same time as it was considered double-dipping. Additionally, veterans at this time had to choose which payment they would receive, and the funds would be deducted from their retirement pay.
However, the laws have changed over the past several years. Currently, some Veterans are eligible to receive their military retirement pay as well as their VA disability compensation. The updated laws specify those who can receive both must be:
- Military retirees who have a combined VA disability rating of 50% or higher, or
- Military retirees who have service-connected disability ratings of at least 10% that stem from a combat-related incident.
Even if a Veteran qualifies, they may only receive monetary compensation from one. However, there is a different protocol for disability benefits for asbestos exposure and presumptive illnesses.
Myth 3: I Need to get Healthcare From the VA
It is not required to receive healthcare from the VA if you are a veteran. There are several independent and government healthcare providers available to those that choose not to participate in VA healthcare. Those that served in active service and were separated in any condition other than dishonorable qualify for VA healthcare benefits. Additionally, they must be enrolled to receive VA healthcare to ensure that comprehensive services are available when necessary.
Myth 4: My Spouse Isn’t Eligible for VA Benefits
As the spouse or dependent child of a veteran or service member, there are many VA benefits available. Health care, life insurance, or money to assist in school or training payments are all benefits available to qualifying spouses of veterans. As the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may also qualify for additional benefits such as burial assistance, survivor compensation, and wrongful death claims.
Myth 5: I Can’t File a Cancer Claim with the Army
Veterans and service members can file a cancer claim with the Army due to the VA covering presumptive disabilities. The VA presumes that certain disabilities were caused by military service. A presumptive condition is qualified as a chronic disease diagnosis within one year of active-duty release. Mesothelioma, leukemia, malaria, and many more conditions are considered presumptive by the VA.
Cancer claims can provide compensation for cancer treatments, travel, and other demanding costs of the condition. Filing a claim with the Army comes with many procedures like discovering eligibility, gathering evidence, and time spent waiting. The average number of days to complete a disability-related claim is 155.2 days, according to the VA. The filing process is long and complicated.
If you are having trouble navigating the veteran benefits process, Mesothelioma Vets can guide you through the intricate procedures of filing a mesothelioma claim with the VA. Receive legal support and explore financial compensation options with Mesothelioma Vets today.