Can I get Compensation for my Breathing Disorder? | South Portland, ME

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Can I get Compensation for my Breathing Disorder?

Published on December 27th, 2019

Many veterans return home after a deployment and have trouble breathing. For others, symptoms may come later. Respiratory conditions like these can be difficult to diagnose, and it can also be difficult to demonstrate how your condition was caused by your military service. Fortunately, there’s growing evidence that the service conditions of many veterans can cause respiratory illnesses ranging from asthma to asbestosis. Exposure to asbestos, Agent Orange, and other chemical agents or pollutants present in military environments can take a serious toll on your lungs, throat, and bronchi. If you are a veteran with breathing difficulties, you may be eligible for disability compensation. But your path to obtaining that compensation may be harder than most. You will need to provide detailed medical documentation about your condition, as well as service records that demonstrate the link between your military service and your illness. If the VA denies your veterans disability claim, the veterans disability lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol can help. Call us at 1 (888) 492-2941 for a free consultation today.

You Must Show the VA How Your Military Service Affected Your Respiratory Health

One of the most well known substances to cause illnesses in veterans is asbestos. Fortunately, this mineral is no longer used as a fire retardant and heat insulator. But the effects of exposure that happened years in the past continue to be felt today by many of our nation’s veterans–especially those who served in ships, dockyards, airfields, and ironworks in the mid twentieth century. For the VA to award you compensation for an asbestos related illness, you’ll need to show that you had asbestos exposure which occurred while in the military.

Asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, but also less well known conditions such as asbestosis, where asbestos fibers in your lungs can severely impact your ability to breathe. Unfortunately, asbestosis is often misdiagnosed. So if you served in the military, especially the Navy, prior to the 1980s in conditions that may have exposed you to asbestos, you should seek a second opinion if your doctor has diagnosed you with tuberculosis, asthma, fibrosis, or bronchitis. You may have asbestosis instead. Like mesothelioma, it takes a long time for asbestosis to develop–at least twenty to thirty years after the asbestos exposure.

Asthma is a common disease in the general population, so it can be difficult to determine if your asthma was caused by your military service. But according to the American Journal of Epidemiology, veterans who were deployed in combat have up to 30% higher rates of asthma than veterans who did not see combat, so there is definitely some link between some veterans’ asthma and their military service. Many veterans of our most recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are suffering from a variety of respiratory issues, including asthma and constrictive bronchiolitis.

Pinpointing the cause of your asthma may be difficult, since irritants and pollutants are common in both civilian and military contexts. The best way to establish the link between your military service and your asthma is to produce medical evidence that shows that your asthma appeared, or significantly worsened once your military service began. The VA will rate the severity of your asthma based on the frequency of your attacks, how much medication you need, and the rate of airflow obstruction you experience during your attacks.

How a Veterans Disability Lawyer Can Help

With either asthma and asbestosis, the success of your veteran’s disability claim will depend on your ability to show a link between your medical condition and your military service. If the VA has denied your disability claim, the veterans benefits lawyers of Jackson and McNichol can help you gather the evidence needed to successfully appeal your case and get justice. For a free consultation about your options call us today at 1 (888) 492-2941 for your free consultation.

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