Can the VA reduce my benefits when my cancer is in remission?


I was given a 100% disable for exposure to agent orange.  I was diagnosed with lung cancer and have been going through chemo for a year now.  They sent me a letter with my ratings and said if I got better they would reevaluate me and deduct money.  When I was first d8agnsed the doctor said cancer never goes away it can come back anytime.  Can they take money from me?

Jim's Reply

Yes, VA can reduce the 100% rating if your cancer has gone into remission or is no longer detectable in the usual tests and exams. The 100% rating is for an active cancer. Once the cancer is no longer diagnosed as active, VA will reexamine you and rate you on the residuals of treatment. Lung cancer is tough to say when or if it's ever "cured" and you'll need statements from your treating physician clearlt saying the cancer is still active. many lung cancer patients suffer shortness of breath (SOB) and feel much better with a constant supply of medical grade oxygen available. The VA rates the necessity of home oxygen therapy for a service connected condition at 100%. If you do require home oxygen therapy, don't forget to file for that condition as well as any other disabling conditions post-treatment.