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Asbestos is a material that was once used in many buildings and products. If you served in Iraq or other countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, you may have had contact with asbestos when old buildings got damaged, releasing toxic chemicals into the air. Or, you may have had contact with asbestos if you worked in certain jobs or settings, like shipyards, construction, or vehicle repair. Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits for illnesses believed to be caused by asbestos.

Can I get disability benefits from VA?

You may be able to get disability benefits if you have an illness believed to be caused by contact with asbestos and you meet both of the requirements listed below.

Both of these must be true:

  • You had contact with asbestos while serving in the military, and
  • You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge

Who’s covered?


What kind of disability benefits can I get?

  • Health care
  • Compensation (payments)

How do I get these benefits?

You’ll need to apply for benefits. When you apply, you’ll have to show that your illness was likely caused by your contact with asbestos while serving in the military.
Apply for benefits.

If you think you’ve had contact with asbestos, talk to your doctor about getting tested for certain illnesses that affect your lungs.

Get tested if you’ve worked in:

  • Mining
  • Milling
  • Shipyards
  • Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Demolition (knocking down old buildings)

Get tested if you’ve made or worked with products like:

  • Flooring
  • Roofing
  • Cement sheet
  • Pipes
  • Insulation
  • Clutch facings and brake linings (called friction products)

Get more information

Do you think you may have had contact with asbestos?
Learn about asbestos-related illnesses.