VA Disability For Cancer

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VA DISABILITY FOR CANCER | Wettermark Keith Can Help Military Veterans With Agent Orange Exposure

As the veteran population ages, disabilities tied to military service time frequently appear. The dreaded "C-word" cancer is often heard as a diagnosis for people who served in the armed forces. In the past, many United States military men and women were exposed to toxic chemicals and harmful substances. Later in life, these veterans may develop cancer due to this exposure. Agent Orange is one such chemical linked to cancer in veterans with exposure to it while in the jungle and woods of Southeast Asia.

The most common use of Agent Orange and other tactical herbicides was during the Vietnam War, between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975. These toxic chemicals were also used in the Korean Demilitarized Zone between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971. The VA also recognizes Guam, Thailand and some "blue water" coordinates as presumptive locations as well. If veterans have qualifying military service records in these areas during those specific times, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) presumes their cancer is related to this exposure. A veteran with a doctor's confirmation of cancer may be eligible for VA disability benefits and compensation.

Filing a disability claim and being approved for benefits with the VA is complicated and time-consuming. If you're a veteran with a confirmed case of cancer and have been denied VA compensation and benefits, the law firm of Wettermark Keith can assist with your appeals. Our experienced VA lawyers can help improve the likelihood of your receiving the monetary payments you and your family are due.


One of the easiest disabilities for veterans to claim with the VA is a "presumptive" disorder. This means the VA automatically assumes a veteran's disability was caused by an illness, injury, or event that occurred in the military service. These conditions do not require additional proof of a service connection to qualify for compensation benefits. VA presumed disorders include certain cancers. What qualifies as presumptive generally depends on when and where a person served in the military.

The VA considers certain cancers and other medical problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for disability benefits for exposure to these toxic chemicals and the cancerous diseases that resulted.


The VA offers free medical exams for qualified veterans through the Agent Orange Registry. Health exams alert veterans to possible long-term medical problems related to Agent Orange contact during their military service. The registry data and list help the VA understand and respond to these medical problems more effectively. Veterans can contact their local VA Environmental Health Coordinator about getting one of these health exams.


The VA recognizes certain cancers associated with exposure to Agent Orange during military service. The Agent Orange presumptive service-connected cancers on the list include:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Chronic B-Cell Leukemia
  • Hodgkin's Disease
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Respiratory Cancers
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Several cancers, such as Glioblastoma (a type of brain cancer), are not eligible for presumptive service connection by the VA. Veterans can still make Agent Orange exposure claims for VA Agent Orange disability benefits but need to provide evidence to prove exposure caused or contributed to their cancer.

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Veterans who get cancer during or after their active military service may be eligible for VA disability compensation, but there must be a service connection to qualify for these benefits. The level of disability varies from 0% to 100% and determines the amount of monetary compensation provided. The VA offers information and resources for military exposure that may be linked to cancer and other health problems. The VA also provides free medical exams to eligible veterans.

Veterans who have or had one of the listed cancers at any time during or after leaving military service may be eligible for disability compensation benefits. The VA contacts impacted Veterans and survivors to inform them about their veteran health care eligibility and provides information on how to apply. To apply for a service-connected cancer rating and receive VA benefits, you must have a current cancer diagnosis and a medical connection that links that cancer to your service if the cancer is not presumptive.

The VA disability rating for cancer is 100%. Veterans with service-connected active cancer are automatically assigned a 100 percent disability rating. As long as the cancer is active, this rating continues for an additional six months following the completion of a cancer treatment program (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, etc.).   

The VA will schedule veterans a Compensation and Pension (C&P) examination six months after cancer treatment ends. This exam is used to clarify and evaluate the current status of the cancer condition and the effects of treatment. If the cancer is not active or is in remission, an assessment based on residual effects is made, and a new rating is assigned.

Residual effects include anything caused by cancer or cancer treatment. If an additional health condition results from either, a new rating is based on that residual disability. Even with cancer in remission, residuals can negatively impact the quality of life for veterans. A list of some examples include:

  • Heart Problems
  • Chronic Pain
  • Nerve Damage
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Lung Damage

2023 VA disability benefits for cancer are based on a veterans VA rating and whether there are dependents (spouse, children, and/or parents). Effective 12/1/2022, the list of basic monthly rates for veterans alone are:

  • 10% -   $165.92
  • 20% -   $327.99
  • 30% -   $508.05
  • 40% -   $731.86
  • 50% -   $1041.82
  • 60% -   $1319.65
  • 70% -   $1663.06
  • 80% -   $1933.15
  • 90% -   $2172.39
  • 100% - $3621.95

The rating for a veteran can change over time and so can the VA compensation for cancer and disability benefits.


The lawyers at Wettermark Keith have helped many veterans with their VA disability claim and appeals for exposure to cancer causing toxins. The legal team at Wettermark Keith understands the VA compensation application process and has extensive resources to use when filing appeals for a denied claim. We can help you with this process by answering your questions and explaining what to expect with a veteran disability claim or appeal.

Contact Wettermark Keith today to schedule a free consultation with our law firm. We can discuss your situation and develop a plan. Our office operates on a no-fee guarantee basis, so if we don't get you the VA compensation benefits you deserve, you don't pay us anything. You served our country and then developed medical issues, so now let us serve you.


American Cancer Society

History of Agent Orange and the Vietnam War

United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans Crisis Line (24/7 - Confidential Crisis Support for veterans and their families)

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