Mesothelioma is a lung condition you may have due to exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a known cancer-causing substance that was once widely used in various industries in Illinois. However, in the 1970s, the discovery of its harmful nature led to regulations and changes to remove asbestos from various uses. Despite this, there is still exposure to it. Most commonly, exposure occurs when you are dealing with the destruction of older buildings. This leads to many veterans now suffering from mesothelioma.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs explains this condition occurs most often if you were on active duty in the Middle East or Southeast Asia where the old buildings contained asbestos. In addition, some jobs also led to asbestos exposure, such as jobs in construction, vehicle repair and shipyards. Since the issue lies dormant for quite some time, you may only now be seeing the signs of the condition.
You might qualify for benefits if you had asbestos exposure during your time in the military. You will need to supply the VA with your medical records, including a statement connecting your military service to the condition from a physician. You also need to provide your service records with a listing of your job. You could get health care and compensation benefits.
You will file for disability benefits through the VA. Do keep in mind that if you have a dishonorable discharge, you cannot qualify for benefits. You must also go through the proper channels and submit all the paperwork the VA requires when applying. This information is for education and is not legal advice.