Probably Dont Apply If:
Your cancer isnt having a severe impact on your life, OR
Your doctor expects you to recover within the year, OR
Youre working and dont plan to stop
Whether you decide to apply now or later, the best thing you can do in the meantime is to get as much medical care as possible. Build a good relationship with your oncologist , try the treatment they recommend, and make sure your doctor understand the impact your condition has on your life. This will help build the paper trail you need to get benefits. And more importantly, its critical for your health.
Let Us Help You File A Claim For Va Disability Benefits
Filing a claim requires you to gather adequate evidence, submit your application online, in-person, or by mail with the VA, and then wait to receive a disability rating decision.
Our team can help you by:
- Gathering the most persuasive evidence needed to prove your BPH diagnosis and/or establish a service connection.
- Calculating your prospective disability rating.
- Advocating on your behalf on appeal.
- Submitting all needed documentation to the VA in a timely manner
Prostate Cancer Common Among Veterans
Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer for male veterans after skin cancer. There are over 200,000 prostate cancer cases in the United States every year. African-American veterans are at an even greater risk for developing prostate cancer than the average population. About one-in-six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
The good news is that nearly 100% of men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer are still alive nearly five years after diagnosis. Prostate cancer grows very slowly, often causing no symptoms until its in an advanced stage. Most veterans with prostate cancer die of other causes and many veterans with prostate cancer never know they had it.
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Qualifying For Social Security Disability With Prostate Cancer
Medically Qualifying With the Blue Book
- Your prostate cancer is progressive or recurrent despite hormonal intervention*
- Your prostate cancer has spread to internal organs
- Your prostate cancer is small cell/oat cell, which is usually more aggressive and harder to treat
*There are two notes with this listing. Biochemical recurrence will not count for the first qualification. Additionally, the SSA requests progression despite hormonal intervention because its commonly the standard care for men with prostate cancer, but if your oncologist started you immediately with chemotherapy and your cancer returned, you will qualify all the same.
The entire Blue Book can be found online, so you can review the prostate cancer listing with your oncologist to know if youll qualify.
Medically Qualifying Through a Medical Vocational Allowance
Starting Your Disability Application
Standard Va Disability Claims
With standard VA disability claims, the VA gathers evidence and compiles all supporting documents.
If the VA is unable to obtain a needed document, they may require your help. When help is required, it typically applies to documents not held by a federal agency, such as private medical records, employer information, and documents from state or local governments.
As with all claims programs, be prepared to provide your DD214 , service treatment records, VA medical records, and private medical records about your claim. Those needing help applying for their VA disability claim may also work with an accredited attorney, claims agent, or Veterans Service Officer .
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.
List Of Gulf War Syndrome Presumptive Conditions
This applies to Gulf War Veterans who:
- Served in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations
- Have a condition that is at least 10 percent disabling by Dec. 31, 2021
For Gulf War Veterans, the VA considers the following conditions to be presumptive:
Medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses that exist for six months or more, such as:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
This also includes any diagnosed or undiagnosed illness that warrants a presumption of service connection, as determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Signs or symptoms of an undiagnosed illness include:
Click HERE to read about the 3 recently approved presumptive conditions to burn pit exposure.
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According to the Mayo Clinic, some common triggers of IBS in disabled veterans include:
- #1 Food. The role of food allergy or intolerance in IBS isnt fully understood. A true food allergy rarely causes IBS. But many people have worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages, including wheat, dairy products, citrus fruits, beans, cabbage, milk and carbonated drinks.
- #2 Stress. Most people with IBS experience worse or more frequent signs and symptoms during periods of increased stress. But while stress may aggravate symptoms, it doesnt cause them.
- #3 Hormones. Women are 2x as likely to have IBS than men, which might indicate that hormonal changes play a role. Many women find that signs and symptoms are worse during or around their menstrual periods.
- #4 Medication Side Effects. Many over the counter and prescription medications taken to help manage a variety of physical and mental disabilities in veterans may cause IBS symptoms or make them worse.
Medical research does suggest a link between IBS and veterans with a mental health condition.
Finally, many over the counter and prescription medications taken to help manage a variety of physical and mental disabilities in veterans may lead to IBS symptoms.
What Is The Disability Rating For Voiding Dysfunction
Voiding dysfunction is when your pelvic floor muscles are overactive, causing your bladder and urethra to be uncoordinated in releasing urine. This rating system is further broken into subcategories based on whether the patient is experiencing urine leakage, obstructed voiding, or urinary frequency.
- Urine Leakage is rated between 20% to 60%. An individual would receive a rating based on whether they need to wear absorbent materials and change them. Their rating would increase based on how frequently they need to change this material and increase even higher if they need to use an appliance to help with leakage.
- Obstructed Voiding is rated between 0% to 30%. This condition which is marked by intermittent or slowed urination can cause stricture disease which causes the urethra walls to narrow. An individual would receive a 0% rating even if they have symptoms if they only need to do dilatation to expand their urethra walls once or twice a year. However, they could receive a 10% rating if they need to complete dilatation every 2 to 3 months, or a 30% rating if they need to use a catheter.
- Urinary Frequency is rated between 10% to 40%. The VA rating for urinary frequency increases based on how frequently you need to urinate in the daytime or need to wake up to urinate at night.
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What Is The Va Disability Rating For Enlarged Prostate
Painful or difficulty going pee can be a symptom of growing old, or it can be an enlarged prostate caused by your time in the service.
Enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia is a genitourinary condition that makes it hard to urinate. It can increase your urgency to urinate and also prevent you from urinating even when the urge is present. Although many male veterans suffer from this condition, it is difficult for them to validate their eligibility for a disability rating.
Generally, the VA presents many hurdles that can block a veterans access to benefits for any condition. However, seeking VA BPH benefits is particularly difficult because this condition is extremely common in older men and because it is difficult to show a service connection between your current disability and an injury or disease suffered during military service.
However, securing compensation is still possible. The VA assigns disability ratings from 0% to 60% for an enlarged prostate, depending on the severity of this disorder. Therefore, if a veteran can successfully prove their entitlement to these ratings and also prove a military service connection exists, they can access these benefits.
Unsure where to start? This article is a great first step. We also recommend consulting with an VA disability lawyer for guidance throughout this complicated process.
- Frequent urination at night.
- The feeling that your bladder is not empty after passing urine.
Because There May Be No Early Symptoms Regular Exams Bloodwork And Biopsies Are Important Tools In The Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer
Treatment depends on the patients overall health, how fast the cancer is growing, whether the cancer has spread and the benefits and side effects of treatment. In some cases, treatment may not be needed immediately or ever. Doctors sometimes recommend surveillance with regular blood tests, exams and prostate biopsies. This approach is often followed when the cancer is not causing any symptoms, is expected to grow slowly and is confined to a small area of the prostate. This strategy may also be recommended when the patient has another serious health condition or is at an advanced age. In more advanced cases, treatment may include surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted drug therapy.
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Vietnam Veterans Need To Know About Va Benefits
When I got sick and could no longer work, my wife and I were really getting nervous. Bills were piling up and, though we have health insurance from her job, it didnt cover everything. It really was by chance that I found out I could get help from the VA because Im a Vietnam veteran. I dont know why I didnt think of it. I suspect that there are many Vietnam veterans who are seriously sick and dont know that their conditions could have been caused because they were in Vietnam. They need to know that they can apply for financial help, and get it, like I did.
Special Rules For Cancer
If you are diagnosed with active cancer that the VA determines is service-related, you will likely receive an automatic temporary disability rating of 100 percent. This rating continues for as long as your cancer is active, and then for another six months following the successful completion of a treatment program, such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
Six months after your cancer treatment ends, the VA requires you to undergo another examination to evaluate the current status of your diagnosis. It then assigns you a new rating based on the results of the exam. Typically, if the exam shows your cancer is in remission, you receive a reduced rating based on the extent of your ongoing treatment or residual symptoms of the cancer.
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Va Benefits For Prostate Cancer
If you have been exposed to Agent Orange and developed prostate cancer, you may qualify for substantial compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs . These contaminants may have lingered in your body for decades and your body is just now beginning to show symptoms of being exposed to these harmful chemicals. You deserve compensation from the VA for your diagnosis.
What Causes Prostate Cancer
A question you might be asking yourself after a diagnosis may be, How did I get this disease? Cancer can be caused by a variety of factors. Cancer is simply the uncontrolled reproduction of cells. One cell mutates and continues to reproduce other mutated cells. These cells produce more and more until there is not enough room for the healthy cells to perform their intended functions.
Cancer can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the more common ways cancer can begin is by exposure to harmful chemicals or toxins, like Agent Orange. These chemicals can leave little or no immediate impact on a person but come back later in life as a serious disease.
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Vetsfirst Q& a: Does Va Always Reduce A Rating For Prostate Cancer After Treatment
I have been receiving 100 percent disability compensation from VA because I was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. The VA has notified me, however, that my compensation will now be reduced to 20 percent because I no longer show signs of cancer. I realize I can appeal the reduction but is this just VAs policy? Also, how would I go about filing for Special Monthly Compensation for loss of a creative organ? I would think loss of the prostate would qualify.
Veterans with active prostate cancer are rated at 100 percent. That rating continues for six months following the completion of any treatment, such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. After six months, VA requires that the veteran undergo an examination. Changes reported based on the examination will determine the veterans new rating. If the cancer hasnt returned following treatment, then the rating for prostate cancer will be reduced.
VA will, however, rate the veteran on any related issues being experienced as a result of having had prostate cancer, such as voiding dysfunction. Veterans who have daytime voiding intervals between one and two hours, or awake at night to void three to four times will be rated at 20 percent. Veterans who void at intervals of less than one hour during the daytime, or awake to void five or more times per night, wear absorbent materials, or use an appliance , may be able to receive a higher VA rating.
Faq: Prostate Cancer Veterans Disability Benefits
What if the VA lost my service records? Many Vietnam veterans have found the VA lost their service records. The problem with that is you are going to have to prove you came in contact with Agent Orange. Some veterans arent even able to prove where they served. Those veterans should consider filing VA disability buddy statements with their applications and appeals.
The VA denied my claim. What next? If you had your VA disability denied you can appeal for up to one year from the date the decision was made. If you have let your appeal period collapse, you can start a new claim by submitting a new initial application.
What if my cancer has worsened since my last Rating Decision? If you are already receiving prostate cancer veterans disability benefits, but your conditions have worsened, there may be help available. Veterans with worsened impairments can try increasing veterans disability benefits ratings.
Does it matter if I received sub par care at the VA? Some veterans will find they are eligible for veterans benefits section 1151 claims. They are veterans disability benefits for veterans who have disabilities from Veterans Affairs medical malpractice. Many veterans with prostate cancer are treating at the VA and experience a medical malpractice event.
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Fully Developed Disability Claims
The next fasted option is the Fully Developed Disability Claims program.
The primary difference between the FDDC program and filing a standard claim is the Veteran must provide all evidence upfront and certify theres no additional evidence needed to make a claim decision.
At a minimum, the Veteran should provide:
- All military personnel records on the condition, and
- All service treatment records on the condition, and
- All private medical records on the condition, and
- All VA health records or supplementary information about related VA health records that the VA can request on your behalf
If the VA requires additional information, the claim typically gets removed from the FDDC program and is processed as a standard claim.
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.
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Prostate Cancer Treatment Methods
Most veterans discover they have prostate cancer after their doctor orders a prostate specific antigen blood test or digital rectal exam. As veterans age their risk factor for prostate cancer increases.
Cancer in a mans prostate a small walnut sized gland that produces seminal fluid can be treated by surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, or chemotherapy. Many veterans with prostate cancer choose a treatment program called watchful waiting.
Veterans who choose watchful waiting treatment may be eligible for VA benefits. Veterans with prostate cancer that are on the watchful waiting program are often older veterans that choose to hold off on aggressive prostate cancer treatment and they wait to see if the cancer appears to be growing.
Veterans needing surgery for prostate cancer or prostatectomy, will have their prostate removed with the goal of removing all cancerous cells. Veterans needing radiation therapy will undergo treatment that uses high levels of radiation to kill prostate cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells.
Some veterans choose radiation seed implants to battle prostate cancer. Veterans choosing radiation seed implants will have radioactive seeds implanted into their prostate in hopes of killing the cancerous cells.
Veterans with prostate cancer also choose cryotherapy. In this treatment program, cancer cells are killed by freezing them.
Linking Agent Orange And Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is more common among Veterans who were exposed to the toxic herbicide Agent Orange. The adverse effects of Agent Orange exposure have been well documented in recent years, with more and more illnesses becoming associated with the chemical. One of those illnesses is prostate cancer. If you are a Veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and you developed prostate cancer, you are entitled to disability compensation.
In fact, prostate cancer is on the presumptive service connection list for Agent Orange. Presumptive service connection means the VA presumes your service caused the disability, meaning you do not need to prove the two are linked. Therefore, you only need to have a current diagnosis of Hodkins Lymphoma and prove that you were exposed to Agent Orange in service to receive disability compensation.
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