Mesothelioma Lawsuits and VA Benefits: Can You Receive Both?

Mesothelioma, a malignant cancer stemming from asbestos exposure, inflicts a heavy toll on numerous military veterans who served prior to the 1980s. These veterans, upon diagnosis, may be entitled to VA benefits, yet they may also have the opportunity to pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit to obtain compensation from asbestos manufacturers.

Receiving both Mesothelioma Lawsuit Compensation and VA Benefits:

This article delves into the question of whether veterans can simultaneously receive VA benefits and compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits:

Mesothelioma lawsuits arise as legal endeavors seeking to secure recompense for the damages inflicted by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma, an infrequent yet aggressive cancer, takes root from the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers—a naturally occurring mineral widely employed in various industries like construction, shipbuilding, and automotive manufacturing. These fibers can settle in the lungs or other organs, ultimately catalyzing the development of mesothelioma.

The plaintiffs in mesothelioma lawsuits consist of individuals who have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, as well as their kin who may have encountered asbestos through contact with their loved ones. The aim of these lawsuits is twofold: to hold accountable those responsible for the hazardous conditions and to obtain compensation for an array of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Broadly speaking, mesothelioma lawsuits take the form of personal injury claims, wrongful death claims, or product liability claims, contingent upon the specifics of each case. A personal injury claim is initiated by an individual diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, while a wrongful death claim is brought forth by the family members of someone who has succumbed to the disease. Product liability claims, in turn, are directed at manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of asbestos-containing products that caused the exposure.

Given the complexity and protracted nature of mesothelioma lawsuits, it is imperative to enlist the expertise of seasoned mesothelioma lawyers to navigate this intricate legal terrain.

VA Benefits:

VA benefits encompass the comprehensive compensation and assistance programs administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for eligible veterans, their dependents, and survivors. Designed to extend financial aid, medical care, and ancillary support services, these programs serve those who have honorably served in the U.S. military and their families.

Veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their military service may qualify for VA benefits if they subsequently develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. Such benefits for mesothelioma can encompass disability compensation, medical care, and dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for survivors of deceased veterans.

In order to be eligible for VA benefits, veterans must fulfill specific criteria, including having served on active duty, receiving an honorable discharge, and currently bearing a diagnosis of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related ailment. Additionally, veterans might be required to furnish substantiating evidence of their asbestos exposure while serving in the military.

It is crucial to recognize that the attainment of VA benefits is not a guaranteed entitlement and can prove challenging, particularly for veterans who are unable to furnish sufficient proof of their asbestos exposure or mesothelioma diagnosis. In certain instances, veterans may need to initiate an appeal in order to secure the benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.

Can You Receive Both Mesothelioma Lawsuit Compensation and VA Benefits?

Indeed, it is feasible to obtain both compensation from a mesothelioma lawsuit and VA benefits, but it is imperative to comprehend the rules and constraints associated with each form of compensation.

Broadly speaking, VA benefits are accessible to veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their military service, regardless of whether the exposure transpired on a military installation or elsewhere. These benefits may encompass disability compensation, healthcare provisions, and other forms of aid.

Simultaneously pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit grants veterans the potential to secure compensation from the entities responsible for their asbestos exposure. This compensation can encompass damages for medical expenses, wage losses, pain and suffering, and other detriments linked to the illness.

However, certain limitations exist regarding the amount of compensation that can be obtained from both avenues. For instance, in some scenarios, VA benefits may be reduced if a veteran also receives compensation from a lawsuit. This principle, known as the “collateral source rule,” aims to forestall veterans from accruing excessive compensation for the same injury.

Veterans who are pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit while concurrently receiving VA benefits must work closely with a seasoned attorney who possesses the acumen to navigate the intricate rules and regulations governing these forms of compensation. A proficient attorney can facilitate veterans in securing the maximum amount of compensation available to them within the bounds of the law.

How to Pursue Both Mesothelioma Lawsuits and VA Benefits?

Here are some key points to consider regarding receiving both mesothelioma lawsuit compensation and VA benefits:

  1. Seek guidance from an experienced mesothelioma lawyer: Working with a lawyer who possesses expertise in both mesothelioma lawsuits and VA benefits is crucial. They can offer valuable guidance throughout the process and ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.
  2. File for VA benefits promptly: It’s essential to initiate the process of filing for VA benefits as soon as possible. Even if you’re pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit, VA benefits can provide crucial financial assistance and cover medical expenses associated with your condition.
  3. Inform your mesothelioma lawyer about your VA benefits: It’s important to inform your mesothelioma lawyer that you are receiving VA benefits. This information can impact your lawsuit, and your lawyer can help you understand how your benefits may influence your compensation.
  4. Consider the possibility of an offset: Receiving both VA benefits and compensation from a mesothelioma lawsuit might entail an offset. This means that the amount of compensation you receive from your lawsuit could be reduced by the amount of your VA benefits. However, it’s important to note that this varies by state, and your lawyer can provide guidance on how an offset may affect your specific case.
  5. Explore additional compensation options: Apart from mesothelioma lawsuits and VA benefits, there may be other avenues for compensation. For instance, some companies have established asbestos trust funds to provide compensation to victims. Your lawyer can assist you in exploring all potential options available to you.
  6. Maintain meticulous records: Keeping accurate records of all your expenses related to your mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment is crucial. This includes medical bills, travel expenses, and any lost wages. These records can serve as vital evidence to support your case and ensure that you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.


In summary, the possibility of receiving both mesothelioma lawsuit compensation and VA benefits exists. However, several factors should be taken into account, including the specific type of VA benefits received and the timing of filing a lawsuit. To navigate this complex terrain, it is crucial to seek counsel from both an experienced mesothelioma lawyer and a VA representative. By doing so, mesothelioma victims can gain a comprehensive understanding of the available options and chart a course towards obtaining the compensation and benefits they rightfully deserve.

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