Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide used during the Vietnam War, has been linked to an increased risk of several different types of cancer. As such, Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during their military service are entitled to a presumptive service connection for prostate cancer. This means they will not need to provide evidence connecting their condition to their military service. They will only need to submit medical records outlining their diagnosis and the severity of their impairment.
How the VA Rates Prostate Cancer
When a Veteran’s cancer is currently active, they are entitled to a 100% disability rating. After having surgery for prostate cancer, Veterans are entitled to a 100% disability rating for at least six months.
Once a Veteran’s cancer has been successfully treated and there is no evidence of recurrence, they will receive a rating based on the specific residuals linked to their condition. This commonly includes:
Veterans can receive ratings between 10% and 40%, depending on the amount of time between urination.
Ratings for urinary incontinence range from 20% to 60%, depending on how often adult diapers or pads must be changed due to incontinence.
While erectile dysfunction is a common side effect of prostate cancer, it generally only receives a 0% rating. However, the service connection will entitle a Veteran to receive Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) for the loss of a reproductive organ.
Depending on a Veteran’s other service-connected disabilities and how their condition affects their ability to work, they may qualify for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) due to prostate cancer. TDIU benefits require a Veteran to have one service-connected disability rated at least 60% disabling or two or more service-connected disabilities with a combined rating of at least 70% and one condition rated at least 40%. If a Veteran qualifies for TDIU, they will receive the same monthly compensation as someone considered 100% disabled under the schedular criteria.
Let Us Help You Access Your VA Disability Benefits
Navigating complex VA disability requirements can feel overwhelming when you’re facing a cancer diagnosis, but you’re not alone. Our experienced legal team is committed to helping Veterans exposed to Agent Orange receive full compensation for their service-connected disabilities. Contact our office to request a free, no-obligation consultation.