Prostate Cancer and VA Disability Benefits | CCK Law (2023)

Prostate Cancer and VA Disability Benefits | CCK Law (1)

Many veterans suffer from prostate cancer due to their time in military service. VA offers service-connected compensation to these veterans based on active cancer or the presence and severity of the cancer residuals.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Cancer occurs when cells in the body grow out of control. Prostate cancer occurs when the cells grow out of control in the prostate gland specifically. The prostate gland is below the bladder and behind the seminal vesicles, which make most of the fluid for semen. The prostate also “makes some of the fluid that is part of semen.

Nearly all forms of prostate cancer are adenocarcinomas. Adenocarcinomas can develop from gland cells. There are multiple types of other cancers which may start in the prostate, however, including: small cell carcinomas, neuroendocrine tumors, transitional cell carcinomas, and sarcomas. Often, prostate cancer grows slowly, but some forms may grow quickly and spread.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

  • Difficulty urinating, specifically increased urge to urinate or weak urinary stream
  • Bloody urine or semen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Hip, back, or chest pain
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Prostate Cancer and VA Disability Benefits | CCK Law (2)

Diagnosing and Treating Prostate Cancer

Certain factors could make a person more susceptible to developing prostate cancer. These factors can include age, ethnicity, geography, family history, or genetic changes. Other risk factors can include exposure to certain chemicals and toxic substances, like Agent Orange.

Prostate cancer can usually be found through screening. Early prostate cancer usually does not cause symptoms, so screening can be crucial for detection.

Tests to detect and diagnose prostate cancer can include:

  • Physical examination
  • PSA blood test
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Imaging tests
  • Genetic testing
  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • MRI
  • PET scan
  • Bone scan
  • CT scan

Treatments may vary depending on the severity of the cancer, as well as the age and overall health of the individual. These treatment methods could include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

How Does VA Rate Prostate Cancer?

Upon establishing service connection, the VA rates prostate cancer depending on if it is active. If the cancer is active, the VA should automatically assign a 100% disability rating. If the cancer goes into remission, the VA will evaluate each residual of the cancer and rate them based on the severity.

These are some common residuals of prostate cancer and their ratings.

  • Frequent urination. The rating criteria for urinary frequency ranges from 10% to 40% disabling depending on the amount of time between voiding. The 10% rating requires “daytime voiding interval between two and three hours, or; awakening to void two times per night.” To qualify for the 40% rating, there must be “daytime voiding interval less than one hour, or; awakening to void five or more times per night.”
  • Urinary Incontinence. Urinary incontinence is rated under Voiding Dysfunction and includes ratings from 20% to 60% disabling. The ratings are dependent on how often a veteran needs their absorbent materials changed due to their incontinence. Absorbent materials include adult diapers or pads, and to be eligible or the 60% rating, absorbent materials must be changed four or more times per day.
  • Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is a common residual of prostate cancer. The VA will only grant 0% for erectile dysfunction unless there is deformity with loss of erectile power. However, a grant of service connection for erectile dysfunction deems a veteran eligible for Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) for the loss of use of a creative organ. As of 2018, SMC (k) amounts to $105.61 a month.

These are just a few common residuals and some veterans may experience additional residuals. Presence and severity vary from person to person.

Prostate Cancer and VA Disability Benefits | CCK Law (3)

Exposure and Prostate Cancer

Various forms of exposure that veterans have faced during their service have been linked to prostate cancer. Some forms of exposure do have presumptive service connection, while others do not. Therefore, depending on the form of exposure, some veterans may have an easier time becoming service-connected than others.

Agent Orange Exposure and Prostate Cancer

Agent Orange is one of several herbicides, or “rainbow herbicides,” that were used during the Vietnam War era. Specifically, Agent Orange was a mixture of two different kinds of highly toxic chemicals: 2, 4-D and 2, 4, 5-T. The highly toxic dioxin contaminant known as 2, 3, 7, 8-TCDD is a byproduct produced by Agent Orange. Many veterans came into contact with Agent Orange, including those who served in areas other than Vietnam.

Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and developed prostate cancer are entitled to presumptive service connection, so long as they are able to prove they served in qualifying locations and time periods. Specifically, these veterans do not have to prove a connection between their prostate cancer and military service to be eligible to receive VA health care and disability compensation

In regard to Agent Orange exposure, VA has established a presumption of exposure for the following locations and time periods:

  • Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 – this only includes veterans who were boots-on-the-ground in Vietnam, or veterans with service aboard a ship that operated in the inland waterways of Vietnam, made visits ashore, and Blue Water Navy veterans.
  • In or near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971.

Military Burn Pit Exposure

Military burn pitsare large areas of land in which the military and its contractors incinerated all waste generated by military bases, including plastics, medical waste, rubber, human waste, and more.

The U.S. Military used burn pits as part of their waste disposal protocol in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan in the post-9/11 era during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. While the practice was effective in reducing large quantities of waste, burn pits emitted plumes of toxic smoke. This was especially problematic in places such as the Middle East, as the desert wind carried the smoke for miles.

Many U.S. Military veterans have sufferedhealth consequences due to burn pit exposure. Most of the negative effects involve temporary ailments of the respiratory system, though limited evidence suggests a link between burn pit exposure and the long-term deterioration of lung health.

These burn pits were used extensively throughout the Middle East and have affected veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.

Research continues to be done to link burn pit exposure to a variety of different conditions, such as cancers and respiratory conditions. While further research will need to be conducted, it has indicated that one of the known chemical compounds which was found in Agent Orange, called TCDD, was also released by burn pits.

While VA does acknowledge certain conditions as being eligible for presumptive service connection if the veteran can prove exposure to Agent Orange, VA has not established a presumption for veterans exposed to burn pits. Since there is no presumption, VA adjudicates burn pits claims on a case-by-case basis.

VA does not have a consistent approach to deciding these claims, so lay evidence from veterans is key to winning burn pit claims. Often, VA does not have a way of proving veterans were near burn pits, so statements from the veteran or buddy statements can help to verify exposure.

New Proposed Burn Pit Legislation 2021

As of 2021, there are several major bills currently pending in Congress, that deal with the toxic exposure caused by burn pits. These bills include:

  • Conceding Our Veterans’ Exposure Now and Necessitating Training Act (COVENANT)
  • Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2021
  • Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition Act
  • Toxic Exposure in the American Military Act (TEAM)

Any of these bills, if passed, would offer much-needed relief to veterans suffering the toxic effects of burn pit exposure. Specifically, the COVENANT Act would make any form of reproductive cancer presumptive. Essentially, this means that the burden of proof would no longer be on the veteran to demonstrate the link between military burn pit exposure and prostate cancer.

Is Prostate Cancer Presumptive?

Yes…and no. As mentioned above, prostate cancer is a presumptive condition for veterans exposed toAgent Orange. “Presumptive” means that veterans do not have to provide a nexus (a link between their condition and service) to prove service connection.

Veterans who were exposed toburn pitsin the Southwest theatre of operations after September 11, 2001 have also gone on to develop prostate cancer. While VA does not acknowledge disabilities as presumptively caused by burn pits, veterans can provide a nexus opinion from a medical professional to argue for service connection for their prostate cancer.

Denied VA Disability Benefits for Prostate Cancer?

VA disability claims for prostate cancer, specifically stemming from exposure to military burn pits, may be denied by VA because there is no presumption of exposure. However, if your claim for prostate cancer was denied, you still have options for appealing the decision.

The accredited VA disability attorneys at CCK may be able to help you secure VA disability benefits for your prostate cancer. Contact our office today for a free consultation.


Can you get 100 VA disability for prostate cancer? ›

For prostate cancer, the VA first looks at whether your tumor is benign or malignant. If it is malignant, the rating will be 100% initially but is subject to a mandatory VA examination at the end of six months.

Is prostate cancer a permanent VA disability? ›

Yes, but depending on the outcome of your treatment, you may not have 100 percent permanent disability. Once service connection is established, the VA rating for active prostate cancer is 100 percent.

What is the average VA disability rating for prostate cancer? ›

Under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b, Diagnostic Code 7528, malignant neoplasm of the genitourinary system (prostate cancer) is rated 100 percent. Following the cessation of a therapeutic procedure, the rating of 100 percent shall continue with a mandatory VA examination at the expiration of six months.

Is prostate cancer presumptive for the VA? ›

Is prostate cancer a presumptive condition? Prostate cancer is a presumptive condition for veterans exposed to Agent Orange or burn pits. Prostate cancer is also one of the conditions linked to exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, but as of now, it is not labeled as a presumptive condition.

Is it hard to get disability for prostate cancer? ›

If your prostate cancer was caught early or treated successfully, it might be more difficult to get disability benefits. You will need to provide medical evidence to the SSA demonstrating the severity of your prostate cancer, as well as how it impacts your ability to work.

Can you claim money if you have prostate cancer? ›

Money and financial support

If you have prostate cancer or are caring for someone who does, you may be entitled to financial support. Find out early what help is available to you. Speak to the social worker at your hospital, who can give you the information you need.

At what age does VA disability become permanent? ›

There is no set age of when your VA disability becomes permanent. The VA rater will determine “permanence” of a VA disability if it is reasonably certain, based upon medical evidence, that the level of impairment will continue for the rest of your life. Translation: Whether you're 35 or 75 years old it does not matter.

What is the average compensation for Agent Orange prostate cancer? ›

As of 2022, single Veterans who qualify for Department of Veterans Affairs compensation from Agent Orange exposure are eligible for up to $39,984 per year. Married Veterans, or Veterans who have eligible dependents, are eligible for $42,214 per year or more.

Is frequent urination a VA disability? ›

§ 4.115a, urinary frequency is to be rated as follows: Daytime voiding interval between 2 and 3 hours, or, awakening to void 2 times per night, warrants a 10 percent disability rating. Daytime voiding interval between 1 and 2 hours, or, awakening to void 3 to 4 times per night, warrants a 20 percent disability rating.

How many veterans have prostate cancer? ›

About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. Veterans, making up 30% of new cancer diagnoses in the VA.

How does the VA rate cancer residuals? ›

VA Disability Ratings for Cancer and Residual Effects

If service-connected for active cancer the VA should automatically assign a 100% disability rating. This rating continues as long as the cancer is active and then for another 6 months following the successful completion of a treatment program.

What will VA disability pay be in 2023? ›

Effective December 1st, 2023, the monthly veterans disability payment amounts for veterans with no dependents are as follows: $165.92 per month for 10% disability. $327.99 per month for 20% disability. $508.05 per month for 30% disability.

How do you verify a prostate cancer? ›

A biopsy is the main tool for diagnosing prostate cancer, but a doctor can use other tools to help make sure the biopsy is made in the right place. For example, doctors may use transrectal ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help guide the biopsy.

What military bases are linked to prostate cancer? ›

From 1953 to 1987, the water at Camp Lejeune contained toxic chemicals that have since been linked to serious health conditions like prostate cancer. Thanks to new laws, anyone who developed prostate cancer after being exposed to the contaminated water on base may now be eligible for compensation.

What does the VA do for cancer patients? ›

We offer video telehealth for Medical Oncology & Hematology and lung cancer evaluation and follow-up care. Telehealth allows you to receive care from our cancer experts closer to home. It may be available at your home or local VA community-based outpatient clinic.

Is cancer 100% disability? ›

HOW DOES THE VA RATE CANCER? Because cancer is a devastating diagnosis, causes severe functional impact, and cannot always be cured or sent into remission, the VA gives veterans a 100 percent disability rating after diagnosis and while receiving care.

What is considered advanced prostate cancer? ›

Metastatic prostate cancer means the cancer has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body. It is sometimes called advanced prostate cancer. It most commonly spreads to lymph nodes in other parts of the body or to the bones. It can also spread to other organs such as the lungs.

Can you get permanent disability for cancer? ›

In general, any cancer that is Stage IV or terminal will automatically qualify a person to receive disability benefits. A very serious cancer diagnosis qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance program, which expedites the claim for disability benefits to start receiving money quickly.

Can you live 20 years with prostate cancer? ›

Survival for all stages of prostate cancer

more than 85 out of 100 (more than 85%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more. almost 80 out of 100 (almost 80%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more.

What are the signs that prostate cancer has spread? ›

Prostate cancer can spread to the lymph nodes in the pelvic area, or to other parts of the body. The most common symptoms are swelling and pain around the area where the cancer has spread. Cancer cells can stop lymph fluid from draining away. This might lead to swelling in the legs due to fluid build up in that area.

How long can you live with prostate cancer that has spread? ›

Men whose prostate cancer has spread to distant areas, like their bones. These men may need more aggressive treatment for their prostate cancer. about 30% will survive their prostate cancer for more than five years.

What is the 8 year rule for VA disability? ›

The 8-year provision actually goes both ways. The veteran needs to have been totally disabled for at least 8 years before death and then the benefit will be granted to surviving spouses for the same 8 years.

What is the 55 rule in the VA? ›

Revaluating VA Disability Ratings

Once you turn 55, you are typically "protected" and will no longer have to attend an exam to prove that your condition has not changed unless there is reason to suspect fraud. This is sometimes called the 55-year rule.

What is the 10-year rule for VA disability? ›

If the Veteran's eligibility was due to a service-connected disability rated as totally disabling, they must have had this rating: For at least 10 years before their death, or. Since their release from active duty and for at least 5 years immediately before their death, or.

Does the VA pay for prostate cancer Agent Orange? ›

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.

Is Agent Orange and aggressive prostate cancer? ›

Research on prostate cancer and herbicides

A 2013 study conducted at the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University found that Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are not only at higher risk for prostate cancer, but they are more likely to have aggressive forms of the disease.

How common is prostate cancer by age? ›

Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer was the most common cancer among men in 2019. That year, 37% of prostate cancer cases were diagnosed among men aged 45 to 64 years, 43% among men aged 65 to 74 years, and 20% among men aged 75 years or older.

Does VA consider erectile dysfunction a disability? ›

Erectile dysfunction is rated under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b, Diagnostic Code 7522. Under DC 7522 a 20 percent rating is warranted for deformity of the penis with loss of erectile power. This is the sole disability rating provided under this diagnostic code provision.

What disabilities get the highest VA rating? ›

Disabling mental health conditions are generally regarded as “high-value” claims. This is because mental health issues are much more likely than neurological, skin, auditory, or most musculoskeletal conditions to receive a disability rating of 30% or higher.

Can a VA doctor increase my disability rating? ›

You can file a claim for increased disability compensation if you have a rated service-connected disability that's gotten worse. You'll need to submit up-to-date medical evidence that shows your disability has gotten worse. You can file an increased claim to request: An increase in your disability rating.

Why do veterans get prostate cancer? ›

The United States has an aging Veteran population, and your risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. Furthermore, Veterans who were exposed to herbicides, such as Agent Orange, are also at increased risk. Talk with your healthcare team to understand your risk and make a plan for regular testing.

What are the 10 year prostate cancer survival rates? ›

The 5-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer in the United States is 97%. The 10-year relative survival rate is 98%.

What state has the most prostate cancer? ›

Prostate Cancer Rates in the U.S.

Men are at the greatest risk of prostate cancer in Louisiana, based on current statistics.

What is the most diagnosed cancer of veterans? ›

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Veterans, and VA is implementing lung cancer screening (LCS) via CT scan in order to reduce mortality.

How do you prove cancer is service connected? ›

In many cases veterans will apply for service connection on a direct basis, meaning they must prove the following: (1) a current diagnosis of cancer; (2) an in-service event, injury, or illness; and (3) a medical nexus linking the cancer diagnosis to the in-service occurrence.

Can you still get disability if you are in remission from cancer? ›

Remission may be partial, allowing the patient to resume some of his or her usual activities, or it may be complete, although cancer may still exist in parts of the body. In cases of partial or complete remission, you may still be entitled to SSDI benefits, even if you are able to return to work.

How much will 100% VA disability go up in 2023? ›

The adjustment for 2023 means a disabled veteran with a 10% VA rating can expect to see about $13.28 more each month, and a 100% disabled veteran with no dependents will receive $300 more per payment. Learn more online.

How much will VA disability increase in 2024? ›

2024 VA Disability Rates. 2024 VA disability pay rates, which are effective December 1, 2023, have an estimated year over year increase of 2.8-3.1% based on the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) estimates.

How much will 100% VA disability increase in 2023? ›

2023 VA Disability Rates. 2023 VA disability pay rates, which are effective December 1, 2022, have a year over year increase of 8.7% based on the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Confirmed as of October 13, 2022, this rate increase is the highest rate increase we've seen in about 40 years.

What is the strongest predictor of prostate cancer? ›

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test
  • Most men without prostate cancer have PSA levels under 4 ng/mL of blood. ...
  • Men with a PSA level between 4 and 10 (often called the “borderline range”) have about a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer.
Jan 4, 2021

How quickly does prostate cancer spread? ›

Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly over many years. Most men with early prostate cancer don't have changes that they notice. Signs of prostate cancer most often show up later, as the cancer grows.

What is the most successful prostate cancer treatment? ›

Radiation therapy is a good choice for many men with early-stage prostate cancer. It is also the best treatment for older men or those who have other health problems.

Can you claim prostate cancer on VA disability? ›

The VA rates prostate cancer at 100% during cancer treatment and six months afterward. At the end of six months, a re-examination is required to determine a new rating. In addition, any ongoing disabilities related to cancer contribute to the VA disability rating for cancer in remission.

Can a veteran get disability for prostate cancer? ›

Prostate cancer can often be connected to a Veteran's time in service. Those with the condition and a service connection may qualify for VA disability benefits.

How much is VA disability for prostate cancer? ›

Under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b, Diagnostic Code 7528, malignant neoplasm of the genitourinary system (prostate cancer) is rated 100 percent. Following the cessation of a therapeutic procedure, the rating of 100 percent shall continue with a mandatory VA examination at the expiration of six months.

Why veterans don t trust the VA? ›

Of the veteran and active service members who reported to the annual Wounded Warrior Project Survey that they have never used VA health care services, the most common reasons given included preferring to use other health care coverage and too much trouble or red tape.

What happens if I don't like my VA doctor? ›

If you don't agree with your VA provider or have concerns about your care, we're here to help: First, go to your VA health care team. If you still have concerns, ask to connect with your provider's supervisor or your VA medical center's chief of service.

What cancers qualify for VA disability? ›

Burn Pit Exposure
  • Bladder cancer.
  • Brain cancer.
  • Chronic B-cell leukemias.
  • Lung cancer and other respiratory cancers.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Hodgkin's disease.
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

What gives you 100 VA disability? ›

A veteran can receive a temporary 100% rating when they are hospitalized for 21 or more days for a service-connected condition. A veteran can receive a 100% rating if they are having surgery for a service-connected condition and will require an extensive recovery time that limits their mobility.

How much VA disability will I get for erectile dysfunction? ›

Code 7522: If your penis cannot become erect because of a physical deformity, you receive a 20-percent rating.

What cancers are linked to military service? ›

Exposure to Agent Orange and cancer risk
  • Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Cancers of the bronchus, larynx, and trachea.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Prostate cancer.
  • Some types of soft tissue sarcoma.
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Amyloidosis, a serious condition related to cancer.

Who qualifies for the Pact Act? ›

At least one of these must be true of your active-duty service: You served in a theater of combat operations during a period of war after the Persian Gulf War, or. You served in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities after November 11, 1998.

What are the VA disability rates for 2023? ›

Effective December 1st, 2023, the monthly veterans disability payment amounts for veterans with no dependents are as follows:
  • $165.92 per month for 10% disability.
  • $327.99 per month for 20% disability.
  • $508.05 per month for 30% disability.
  • $731.86 per month for 40% disability.
  • $1,041.82 per month for 50% disability.
Dec 8, 2022

What is the most approved disability? ›

What Is the Most Approved Disability? Arthritis and other musculoskeletal system disabilities make up the most commonly approved conditions for social security disability benefits. This is because arthritis is so common. In the United States, over 58 million people suffer from arthritis.

What is the VA 70 40 rule? ›

Veterans with two or more service connected conditions must have at least one condition rated at or above 40%. The combined ratings of the disabilities must be at least equal to 70%. A veteran has ratings of 40% for a Lumbar Spine condition, 30% for a knee, and 30% for his PTSD.

How much Social Security does a 100 disabled veteran get? ›

This is an increase from the $1,350 maximum SSDI benefit for 2022. On the other hand, VA benefits for a veteran with no spouse or children start from $165.92 per month for a 10% disability rating up to $3,621.93 for a 100% disability rating.

What is the highest VA disability rating for erectile dysfunction? ›

Erectile dysfunction is rated under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b, Diagnostic Code 7522. Under DC 7522 a 20 percent rating is warranted for deformity of the penis with loss of erectile power. This is the sole disability rating provided under this diagnostic code provision.

What is the max VA rating for erectile? ›

ED Ratings Given By the VA

Ratings range from 0% or no disability to 100% or full disability. Unlike other disabilities, erectile dysfunction is not given a rating schedule but instead, uses the following to determine compensation: Code 7520 Partial removal of the penis. This gives a rating of 30%.

What is the VA disability rating for high blood pressure? ›

A 20 percent rating is assigned for diastolic pressure that is predominantly 110 or more, or systolic pressure predominantly 200 or more. A 40 percent rating is assigned where diastolic pressure is predominantly 120 or more. A 60 percent rating is assigned where diastolic pressure is predominantly 130 or more.

What is the VA rating for cancer residuals? ›

VA Disability Ratings for Cancer and Residual Effects

If service-connected for active cancer the VA should automatically assign a 100% disability rating. This rating continues as long as the cancer is active and then for another 6 months following the successful completion of a treatment program.


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