Is Bladder Cancer a VA Disability?

Bladder cancer is a condition affecting many US veterans. Even though bladder cancer is not included on the list of presumptive disorders, veterans can still win claims for bladder cancer based on Agent Orange and herbicides. Just because a condition isn’t presumptive does not mean that it is impossible to show it was connected to a disorder. Veterans can receive disability compensation from the VA for bladder cancer.

What is a presumptive condition?

The VA presumes that certain disabilities were caused by military service. This is because of the unique circumstances of a specific veteran’s military service. If a presumed condition is diagnosed in a veteran in a certain group, they can be awarded disability compensation.

Is bladder cancer a presumptive condition?

Currently, there are eight conditions, or sets of conditions, that are considered as being presumptively tied to exposure to herbicides in Vietnam: 

  1. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  2. Soft-tissue sarcoma (with exceptions)
  3. Chloracne / acneform disease
  4. Hodgkin’s disease
  5. Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT), the most common subtype of porphyria
  6. Respiratory cancers (cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea)
  7. Multiple myeloma, sometimes known as plasma cell myeloma
  8. Diabetes Type-2

Potential change for bladder cancer to be added to Agent Orange presumptive list

The Department of Veterans Affairs may be close to including bladder cancer among the presumed effects of Agent Orange. Periodically, the VA re-evaluates which medical conditions are presumed to be a result of Agent Orange exposure. A report issued in March 2016 by the Institute of Medicine, a committee that reviews the health effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam Veterans, states that there is “limited or suggestive evidence” to link bladder cancer to this Agent Orange exposure. Previously, the IOM denied that there was a connection between bladder cancer and due to that position, most claims for bladder cancer were denied.

Currently, if a veteran can prove that they were exposed to Agent Orange during military service, they may be eligible for disability compensation. 

How does the VA rate bladder cancer?

For veterans suffering from an active form of bladder cancer the VA will assign a temporary and total disability rating and will extend the temporary and total disability rating until the cancer goes into remission. Once in remission, the VA will schedule a follow-up Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam in order to reevaluate the condition. 

What should a veteran who thinks their conditions might be tied to their military service do?

Veterans who believe their condition is tied to their military service should seek help as soon as possible. 

Moebes Law Founding Partner, Michael Moebes, has a unique understanding of challenges veterans face. When not practicing law, Lieutenant Colonel Moebes serves as a Medical Service Corps officer with the U.S. Air Force Reserves, and has deployed three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom: twice to Balad Air Base, Iraq and once to Andrews AFB, Maryland. His military job is Medical Service Corp so he has an intimate knowledge of medical issues in the military.

If you are a veteran with bladder cancer, or any other condition related to your military service, do not hesitate to contact us. Our lawyers will be able to help you much faster than the VA probably will. Unfortunately, the VA is overworked and sometimes makes mistakes when investigating applications for disability benefits or disability ratings. If you are denied, or given a really low percentage and want to appeal it, our firm can help, because the process is always easier with a lawyer.

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