The US is home to over 17 million veterans who bravely served this country. The armed forces consist of the military, naval, and air force dep[artments. As a veteran, depending on what faction you joined and what area you served, you may have had to work with missiles, submarines, and air crafts. However, from 1930 to 1980, this ammunition and artillery were manufactured with asbestos. This microscopic fiber can adversely affect your health, especially after prolonged exposure.
Asbestos also doesn’t start impacting you right away. You may first notice signs and symptoms after a few years of getting discharged, which often results in a rare and aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. About 30% of mesothelioma claims get filed by veterans alone. As a hero, you deserve the most suitable treatment to help you manage your cancer. Therefore, the US department of veterans affairs has arranged certain benefits you can utilize. These are as follows:
- Access To Veteran Healthcare
When you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need a specialized doctor by your side to help you manage your condition. According to veteran healthcare, you can access care that allows you to get your illnesses looked after properly. By looking into the mesothelioma veterans network you can connect with doctors who will look after you well. These include administering tests, carrying out biopsies, signing you up for chemotherapy, and providing excellent aftercare as you recover.
Depending on your income level and the extent of your illness, you can get a list of providers willing to look at your case at a discounted rate. As a result, you are in safe and capable hands to guide you through this challenging hurdle of your life. Depending on your chosen treatment plan, you may also get excellent outpatient facilities.
- Disabled Veteran Housing Assistance
As an older veteran, you may have several age-related disabilities, including keeping up with your mesothelioma treatment. Consequently, you may face difficulty going around your house or even lying in bed.
Disabled veteran housing assistance can help you here. There are numerous facilities this assistance can provide you. For instance, the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) connects you with a house that accommodates all your needs, including a wheelchair ramp, rails in the shower, and wider doors to allow your chair to pass through. If you’re not a homeowner and depend on a loved one for help, you can look into a Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA).
Your relative’s house gets modified according to your needs through this service. The final form of assistance you may get is Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA). This service allows your house to go through improvements even if you don’t have a disability. Mesothelioma treatment can take a toll on your body, and doing everyday tasks can become complicated. A structural change can make it easier for you to rest and focus on healing.
- Aid and Assistance
You may apply for aid and assistance if you need a caregiver while recovering. This benefit provides a trained caretaker who is well aware of the side effects, symptoms, and body aches you will face because of your treatment.
Additionally, If your doctor operates on you to remove the tumor, you will need help sitting up, lying down, and doing everyday tasks such as eating and bathing. Don’t feel afraid of applying for aid and assistance even if you get disability compensation. The money the veteran affairs provides you has nothing to do with needing a caretaker.
- Disability Compensation
Mesothelioma is considered a disabling disease. Cancer can be a struggle, from physical weakness to mental fatigue. Treatment is also not easy, there are several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and oral supplements you will need to consume. As a result, you will lose weight, suffer a loss in appetite, get dizzying spells, and may require extensive bed rest. In such cases, you can’t hold down a job, let alone find a source of employment.
Therefore, you can look into getting disability compensation. This monthly benefit can amount to over $3,000 if you’re single and more if you’re married. Suppose you have more dependents on you, like minor children; the amount increases accordingly.
- Veterans Pension
You can get a veteran’s pension if you actively served on duty for ninety or more days on the field. Additional prerequisites also include a low financial status and if you have a disability. Applying for a pension follows a specific timeline.
For instance, if you served on active duty after 1980, your record must reflect that you did 24 months in the armed forces, including going to war. Pensions in general, are beneficial for every profession. The amount you get is set by congress and your net worth. Your spouse’s income also contributes to your net worth. If you already come from money, you will be ineligible to apply.
- Special Monthly Compensation
Special monthly compensation operates differently than veterans’ disability compensation. Your loved ones can also access this funding. The rate you get depends on the extent of your disability, the bills you must pay, and the lifestyle changes you must go through.
Apart from mesothelioma, your disability may include a loss of limbs, damage to your eyesight, and hearing loss. The amount can range from $3,000 to $5,000 if the mesothelioma has progressed to a lethal stage which results in extensive doctor visits. You may get a higher amount if you become entirely bedridden. You can apply for a special monthly compensation even if you already have disability compensation. There are no set limitations as long as you file the relevant paperwork.
Living with mesothelioma is not easy. Cancer is debilitating and can seep into your life, causing you to depend heavily on healthcare for support. However, your bravery and active duty does not go unnoticed. So the Department of Veterans Affairs has enabled you to access certain benefits that can facilitate your well-being. This includes tapping into a healthcare network that allows you to meet with doctors who can provide excellent care, including admitting you into the hospital and letting you recover under their supervision.
You may also sign up for disability or special disability compensation depending on your condition. Services like aids and assistance are also available if you need a third-party professional to watch over you. Veterans pension is also a feasible opportunity to elevate your financial status and provide you support for your injuries. While the list of services is exhaustive, having these benefits can make it easier for you to manage mesothelioma.