Like any claim for VA disability benefits, veterans with cancer must prove that their disability is connected to their military service. They also must provide medical evidence to show that they have cancer.
However, there are some situations where cancer is a presumptive disease. For service members that meet certain requirements, the VA will presume that their cancer is connected to their military service.
Cancers Related to Agent Orange Exposure
The VA presumes that some cancers are related to Agent Orange exposure. Veterans who served in Vietnam will receive a presumption of service connection for the following cancers:
- Chronic B-cell Leukemia
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
Cancers Related to Ionizing Radiation
Veterans exposed to ionizing radiation, including “Atomic Veterans” receive a presumption of service connection for many different types of cancer. Click here for a full list of cancers that are presumptively connected to service.
Even if you do not meet the requirements for a presumptive service connection for your cancer, you can still apply for disability benefits. You will need to provide evidence showing that your cancer is connected to your military service.
VA Ratings for Cancer and Residual Effects
Active cancers are typically rated at 100%, but only temporarily. After 6 months, VA will schedule a Compensation & Pension examination to determine the current status of your cancer. If you are still being treated for active cancer, your 100% disability rating will be extended. If the cancer is no longer active and is in remission, the cancer will be evaluated based on its residuals.
If you need to appeal your case or seek an increased rating, get help from a veterans law practitioner. Our veterans lawyers have helped thousands of veterans with their VA claim appeals. Contact us for a no-cost consultation.