If you are a Veteran who was diagnosed with prostate cancer and your cancer is still active, or you have residual effects that prevent you from working or securing gainful employment, you may be given a temporary rating of 100 percent and be eligible for Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU). This type of rating is not permanent and may be changed depending on the specifics of the condition.
Prostate Cancer Ratings to Determine TDIU
There are several factors that the VA uses to determine TDIU eligibility. One of these is the disability rating given by the VA. The VA rates prostate cancer at 100 percent when the cancer is active and for six months following prostate cancer surgery. After that period, an exam will be scheduled, and the rating will be adjusted to reflect the current condition based on factors such as whether there is any reoccurrence of cancer or if there are residual problems linked to the condition.
Residuals that are commonly linked to prostate cancer and their ratings include:
- Frequent urination. A rating between 10 and 40 percent is given depending on the amount of time between urination.
- Urinary incontinence. A rating between 20 and 60 percent is given based on how many diapers or protective pads are changed due to the Veteran’s incontinence.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a common side effect of prostate cancer but typically is given a 0 percent rating. There are exceptions based on the service connection and whether the Veteran is entitled to receive a Special Monthly Compensation for the loss of a reproductive organ.
Certain residual effects such as incontinence require a person to change protective pads throughout the day. This can be difficult while working since employers may not allow for repeated breaks. If the Veteran suffers from frequent urination, it may not be possible for them to always be close to a restroom while working. Due to these factors, the Veteran may be unable to work or secure employment.
TDIU is awarded when a rating is 100 percent, and the Veteran is unable to be gainfully employed.
Qualifying for TDIU for Prostate Cancer
A Veteran with prostate cancer may be required to attend a C&P exam to discuss the effect that residuals from the condition have on their ability to work. Due to the severity of certain residuals from prostate cancer, it may not be possible for the Veteran to continue to work or secure gainful employment. When this is the case, they may be eligible for TDIU and be given a temporary rating of 100 percent. The Veteran will need to show proof of the service connection and provide medical records showing the diagnosis of prostate cancer and the severity of the condition.
In certain cases, proof of a service connection will not be needed for TDIU. Agent Orange is a toxic herbicide used during the Vietnam War and has been linked to certain conditions, including prostate cancer. If the Veteran was exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, they would not need to provide evidence connecting prostate cancer to their service other than submitting medical records showing their diagnosis and the severity of the condition. Exposure to Agent Orange qualifies Veterans for a presumptive service connection for prostate cancer.
If you are given a 100 percent rating for prostate cancer, and there is either a direct or presumptive service connection for prostate cancer, you will be eligible for benefits. The 100 percent rating can be a combined rating if there is more than one disability that qualifies for benefits.
Contacting an experienced VA disability attorney can help with a claim for TDIU. An attorney will review the case and assist with the application for benefits. If the TDIU for prostate cancer claim was denied, an attorney can help with the appeal process as well.
Contact Our Office for Help With Your Claim
If you have been denied TDIU benefits for prostate cancer or need help with your claim, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can help you with the appeal process for any disputes you may have with a claim determination and protect your legal rights so you can get the benefits you deserve. Call us today at 877-629-1712 to find out more.