It is a fact, Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War are more likely to develop prostate cancer than the rest of the population. If you are a Vietnam Vet and develop prostate cancer you are entitled to compensation and medical treatment from the Veterans Administration.
If you served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 5, 1975 and developed prostate cancer at any time, you are presumed to have been affected by Agent Orange and are entitled to compensation from the VA.
To submit an Application for Compensation or Pension (VA Form 21-526) you should immediately after being diagnosed with prostate cancer – prior to any treatment – to initially qualify for 100 percent disability rating for at least six months. Applications filed after treatment may not be approved due to a presumption that the cancer is cured, though those individuals may qualify for a reduced disability rating if treatment resulted in side effects.
Effective December 1, 2006, 100 percent disability compensation rates are as follows (see Compensation Rate Table at www.vba.va.gov for additional rates):
Veteran (individual): $2,471/month
Veteran (with spouse): $2,610/month
You must provide a copy of your DD Form 214 verifying that you served in Vietnam, and a copy of your prostate biopsy pathology report, which you can obtain from your urologist. If needed, you can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance with locating your DD Form 214 or other documentation which maybe required.
You can apply for your benefits online at www.va.gov, or by mailing applications directly to the office of Veterans Affairs. You can obtain free assistance in filing your VA Claims from:
American Legion: http://www.legion.org/ (202) 861-2700
Armed Forces Services Corporation: , (888) 237-2872
Services are for members only.
Disabled American Veterans: http://www.dav.org/, (859) 441-7300
Veterans of Foreign Wars: www.vfw.org (405) 270-0501, ext. 5476
Vietnam Veterans of America: www.vva.org (800) VVA-1316
Click on “Benefits” on the home page to locate a local service representative.
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW