Asbestos Exposure and VA Disability Claims
February 02, 2021
Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and its use has been widely discouraged since the 1970s, when it became clear that asbestos exposure was linked to several serious lung diseases and cancer. However, some veterans handled asbestos or were exposed to it while serving in the military.
If you were exposed to asbestos during your time in the military and are now experiencing health issues, you could be eligible to receive VA medical benefits and compensation.
The VA considers these claims on an individual case-by-case basis, but it does require proof that the health issue is related to asbestos exposure, that the asbestos exposure occurred while on active duty and that no other incidents of asbestos exposure occurred before or after service.
Asbestos was used heavily by the military up until the 1980s. Veterans from all branches of the military could have been exposed, as well as their family members at home. Asbestos dust was known to settle on the clothing of those near it and could have been breathed in by others too.
Anyone who worked in jobs related to the following industries in the military was likely exposed to asbestos:
- Shipyard work
- Insulation work
- Demolition of old buildings
- Carpentry and construction
- Installation of products such as flooring and roofing
Navy veterans and those who worked in shipyards were especially vulnerable. Asbestos was used a lot in the production of Naval ships, including fireproofing and insulating products.
Veterans who served in Iraq and the surrounding regions could also have been exposed to asbestos when older buildings were damaged or destroyed. This would have released asbestos particles into the air to be breathed in by anyone nearby.
Affected individuals may have developed lung cancers or mesothelioma, often years after they were exposed to asbestos. This can sometimes make a VA disability claim complicated.
If you or a loved one suspect that your health issue is related to asbestos exposure while serving in the military, contact an experienced VA disability claim attorney for help filing a claim. Legal Help for Veterans is veteran-owned and operated and ready to hear from you. Schedule your consultation today.