6 Ways Veterans Can Find Support During Mesothelioma Treatment
Asbestos exposure is the only proven cause of mesothelioma today. Approximately 8 out of 10 mesothelioma patients have been exposed to asbestos. Inhaled asbestos fibers can induce inflammation and scarring in the air passageways. This causes DNA damage and alterations in cells resulting in uncontrolled cell growth.
Veterans have greater rates of mesothelioma than the general population due to the military’s frequent usage of asbestos between the 1930s and 1980s. The symptoms of mesothelioma take about 20 to 50 years to develop after asbestos exposure. Therefore, veterans who served before the 1980s are at a high risk today. Most veterans already suffer from depression and anxiety, making it exceedingly difficult for them to return to their normal lives. On top of that, a mesothelioma diagnosis can put them under extreme emotional and mental strain. Patients with mesothelioma may feel marginalized, stressed, and overwhelmed. Therefore, they need to receive necessary treatment and support during their cancer journey. Veterans with mesothelioma in the U.S. are eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including health treatment and disability compensation. The Mesothelioma Veterans Center is one of the many organizations that strive to assist veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma. It educates and provides resources about treatment options, clinical trials, and VA benefits to veterans experiencing asbestos-related diseases.
Military Asbestos Exposure
Navy veterans are more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma as U.S. navy battleships were insulated with asbestos insulation. However, it is not only limited to the navy. Military personnel from the army, marine corps, air force, and coast guard were also exposed to asbestos. Veterans from these branches were exposed to asbestos in barracks, aircraft hangars, shipyards, and vehicle repair facilities on military bases and sites across the U.S. and overseas. Their families got affected as well through second-hand exposure.
Cancer recovery is not only about the perfect treatment plan, rather it requires a huge amount of community support and assistance to cope with the disability. In this article, we will discuss how veterans can find support during their mesothelioma treatment.
- VA Healthcare
Veterans who developed mesothelioma during their military service because of asbestos exposure can qualify for health care benefits. To treat patients with mesothelioma, the VA healthcare system has teamed up with some of the greatest surgeons in the country. It covers regular checkups with your primary care physician and specialty appointments. You can acquire medical equipment, prosthetics, and medicines from the veterans administration, as well as home health and geriatric care.
- VA Compensation
Financial assistance is the first and the most important need of veterans to sustain themselves and their families. If you’re a veteran with mesothelioma, VA disability compensation normally pays you more than $3,000 per month to manage your expenses. If you are married, you may be able to get more money. To be eligible for this compensation, you need to have proof of diagnosis and show that you were exposed to asbestos during your service.
- Transportation and Lodging Services
The VA benefits also provide free transportation to medical visits through the veterans’ transportation service and the beneficiary travel program. When a veteran is referred to a VA mesothelioma treatment center from their local VA medical institution, the two treatment centers will work together to plan travel and housing, including airfare for a loved one to join the patient.
- Trust Funds
Veterans suffering from mesothelioma can also file a claim for trust funds with the help of mesothelioma attorneys. On behalf of irresponsible asbestos corporations that have gone bankrupt, a mesothelioma trust fund is established. The trust’s objective is to put money away for potential asbestos claims. These trust funds safeguard mesothelioma sufferers who are owed compensation by asbestos corporations whose negligence put millions of lives at risk.
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Damage to the lungs is a possible side effect of mesothelioma treatment. Other possible symptoms include breathing difficulty, weakness, and difficulty in walking. Breathing exercises, airway clearing procedures and devices, drugs, and relaxation techniques are all part of pulmonary rehabilitation, which can help veterans improve their capacity to function. After surgery, therapy focuses on recovering strength and function.
- Indemnity Compensation
The surviving spouse of a veteran who died as a result of a service-related disability receives indemnity pay every month. The monthly payment for fatalities caused by mesothelioma is approximately $1,500, with extra monthly compensation possible in specific cases. Whether or not a veteran was receiving disability pay for asbestos-related cancer at the time of their death, their spouse must claim indemnity compensation.
The Bottom Line
If you are a veteran suffering from mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure, several benefits are available to help support you and recover. Many veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma are unaware that they can seek treatment anywhere in the VA system. VA benefits can help you get treatment from the top VA treatment centers for mesothelioma as well as provide financial assistance.