100% Temporary Ratings
First time reader. Hello Jim. I am also a VN vet. I just read you comments concerning cancer and disability. You say in that short column: "Once the cancer is no longer diagnosed as active, VA will reexamine you and rate you on the residuals of treatment" Can they reduce my rating to zero based on a PSA test result, or do they have to have a biopsy completed first?
I have/had prostate cancer. I tried to get the VA to provide dental coverage, while still rated 100%. The lady I talked to hesitated and said I was just reevaluated. I pointed out I had not been and she said, "well, they are behind schedule and this and I was due for it and likely will not get dental." I said my upper plate had caused a painful sore. She said well, Ill pass it my request along. My thought was that I am currently rated 100% and should thus be eligible for dental coverage. Other than cancer, I have been rated 50% for my left should from a gun shot wound in RN, and % for hearing loss. I realize you must be very busy, and will understand if you do not have the time to respond. Thank you for your consideration.
A 100% temporary benefit is awarded for service connected prostate cancer until treatment is completed. Once treatment is completed and your cancer is 'cured' or otherwise in remission, you can't be rated for cancer any longer...according to the gold standard of the PSA test, if your PSA falls to normal levels, you are cancer free.
The 100% rating will fall to reflect any lasting disabling conditions like leakage of urine or ED. The permanent rating is usually 20%, 40% or 60% depending on how many absorbent pads you wear each day for leakage. There is no requirement for invasive testing like a biopsy...you really don't want that done routinely?
Eligibility for dental care, CHAMPVA and DEA for your dependents requires a 100% permanent rating. The dental care people never know how to explain it but that's the reason you won't get dental care...that and the fact that VA has very little dental care available to vets...staffing those clinics is a challenge.
If you choose watchful waiting and no treatment, your 100% rating will stay with you for life as a temporary rating. If you die of service connected prostate cancer your survivors will be eligible for DIC and a wide array of benefits that can't be tapped until you're dead.
Welcome to VA. Good luck sir.