After cancer remission, VA ended disability


Jim, In 2000, A neck tumor was diagnosed as Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I applied for a disability and received 100%. After 2 1/2 years of chemo, the cancer went into remission. After a VA physical, they removed the ENTIRE 100%. I was shocked. Appealed, Tried fighting it with letters from local veterans groups, congressman, etc. The years of strong chemo produced additional lasting after effects through out my nervous system, muscles and bones. I experience tremendous body pain and had to retire teaching, going on Social Security. Months after my retirement, the 100% disability was removed due to the remission, I was told. A letter stated when the cancer returns, I can reapply. Why was it completely removed? Everyone tells me it should have been lowered, not removed. I contacted an Atlanta lawyer who helps vets, but he then also declined. Another law firm from SC was going to try, but I gave up. I get too sick to fight. It's been several years now. Can you help me?

Jim's Reply:

The 100% rating is assigned when you have a service connected cancer. When the cancer is cured, you can no longer receive benefits for having a cancer. The VA will usually assign benefits for the residual effects of treatments like scarring or loss of an organ, etc. Since the initial treatment of n-Hl doesn't leave any particular disabling conditions, there isn't anything to assign a benefit to. I don't really understand why you say that you had a law firm that was trying but you gave up? Once you leave a lawyer who is working for you, you'll understand it's harder for others to want to help. With as much time as has passed now, your only option is to open a new claim and file for the symptoms you are claiming.