Veterans Disability Benefits

Veterans Face Higher Risk of Asbestos Lung Cancer

by Norris Injury Lawyers | November 10th, 2015

Members of the United States armed forces put their lives on the line to protect our country and it’s citizens from harm each and every day. The dangers these soldiers face aren’t always a foreign enemy, though. In fact, the threat is sometimes right under their noses.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used in many industrial products and materials. Exposure to asbestos can cause an individual to develop several deadly forms of cancer. While asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma are commonly reported, so are forms of the disease that affect the stomach, colon, and throat.

Soldiers and veterans tend to be at a higher risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates veterans account for roughly 30 percent of 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma that are reported each year. They also account for around the same percentage of all annual asbestos-related deaths. This is due to the military’s extensive use of products containing asbestos over the past 50 years.

Veterans who have been exposed to asbestos should be aware of their legal rights to compensation. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outline the eligibility requirements and steps to apply for compensation on their website. However, sometimes claims for benefits stemming from asbestos exposure are denied.

If you find yourself in this situation, it may be wise to speak with a Birmingham veterans benefits lawyer. Doing so can help clarify the legal process of appealing your case and can help ensure any questions you have are answered.

The Dangers of Toxic Exposure at Fort McClellan

by Norris Injury Lawyers | September 15th, 2015

The soldiers who serve our country face many dangers in the line of duty. However, one of the most dangerous and unrecognized hazards service members may face is exposure to harmful substances. Whether it’s radiation, bio hazardous materials, or toxic chemicals, the Birmingham environmental injury lawyers at Norris Injury Lawyers say it’s important to warn our veterans of the health risks they may be facing if they served at Fort McClellan here in Alabama.

Fort McClellan was a U.S. Army installation constructed in 1917. The facility was closed in 1999, but many toxic chemicals were present during the years leading up to the base’s decommission. The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has identified three common potential health hazards soldiers serving at Fort McClellan may face, including exposure to radioactive compounds and chemical warfare agents.

Another hazard soldiers stationed at Fort McClellan faced came from the Monsanto chemical plant located just down the road from the base. Data indicates harmful polychlorinated biphenyls were released into the air from the plant, causing harm to those stationed at the base.

Veterans who experience adverse health events as a result of toxic exposure at Fort McClellan may be eligible to receive veterans disability benefits. However, getting approved for benefits can be complicated. That’s why the legal team at Norris Injury Lawyers suggests speaking with a legal representative if your claim for veterans disability benefits has been denied in the past.

 

Alabama’s Disabled Veterans Are Not Always Aware of Available Benefits

by Norris Injury Lawyers | August 12th, 2014

While healthcare and disability payments are a few of the benefits available to military service members, there are many other programs that offer services and savings to those who served our nation. However, many veterans are simply aren’t informed of these programs, which could significantly cost them in the end.

Take the case of a former U.S. Army soldier living in Alabama who lost thousands of dollars to property taxes he wasn’t required to pay. The veteran was deemed 100 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in 2006 and began receiving veterans’ disability benefits shortly thereafter.

Since that time, the former soldier continued to pay property taxes on his home and land as he thought he was required to do. Just a few months ago though, the chief clerk of Montgomery County informed him that because of his total disability, he was eligible for a tax break that nullified his requirement to pay property taxes.

In an article from the Montgomery Advertiser, experts explained that situations like this are not uncommon in Alabama because many veterans aren’t made aware of all the programs and services available to them—especially in rural parts of the state.

This is why the Birmingham personal injury attorneys with Norris Injury Lawyers urge veterans injured during their time in the service to speak with a legal representative about their options for assistance and resources.