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If you have a 100% disability rating for 5 straight years, will the VA make it permanent?

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Max Rommel

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I was diagnosed with Agent Orange presumptive prostate cancer in 2020. My doctor recommended "active surveillance" as the course of treatment. I am examined every 6 months and have regular follow-up tests (biopsies, MRI's, etc.). So far, my cancer has not progressed. If and when it does, radiation or surgery will likely follow.

The VA has had me at a 100% disability rating since my initial diagnosis, which is typical for prostate cancer being managed with active surveillance. My question is, at the 5 year mark at 100%, will the VA make the 100% disability permanent? I have read conflicting information on this. Some articles say, at the 5 year mark at 100%, the rating becomes permanent. Other articles say that the rating can still be reduced after 5 years at 100%.

Any thoughts? Thanks everyone!

 

 

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Prostate cancer, is one of those the VA likes to cut off, if your treatment is effective.  

I would suggest reviewing your file, to see if there are other disabilities which may apply.  It sounds like you served overseas probably in a war zone, and mental health disabilities often apply, such as PTSD.  Have you been tested for PTSD?  

To get comp for PTSD, you have to show a stressor.  However, just being in a combat zone, where people are trying to kill you is stressful.  If you have a presumptive for AO, this suggests you served overseas, perhaps in a time of combat, because Agent Orange was used mostly in countries for combat.  The military does not use Agent orange in England, or Germany, we are not at war with them, and it would just hurt their environment.  So, you were more likely in Vietnam, Afghanastan, Laos, etc. etc.  where the war was.  When a Veteran serves in a combat zone, a stressor is almost a given.  Even if you were a typist in Vietnam, the enemy tries to kill all of us, not just those of us who carry a weapon, and shoot them.  Nurses can get PTSD in combat, and never even pick up a weapon.  

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It's not a guarantee, as in "at 5 yr +1 veteran rating, if static, will be made permanent" but if it's been static for 5 yrs generally it won't be up for RFE anymore unless you claim something related to it. VHA will still stay on top of it, but VBA at 5 yrs of static is encouraged to not pursue RFE's on it. Making it 'static' is basically saying "it's not gonna change". The rating isn't protected until 20, just like any other rating, but the bar is higher for them if they wanted to try to reduce it for some reason. 

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1 hour ago, Max Rommel said:

I was diagnosed with Agent Orange presumptive prostate cancer in 2020. My doctor recommended "active surveillance" as the course of treatment. I am examined every 6 months and have regular follow-up tests (biopsies, MRI's, etc.). So far, my cancer has not progressed. If and when it does, radiation or surgery will likely follow.

The VA has had me at a 100% disability rating since my initial diagnosis, which is typical for prostate cancer being managed with active surveillance. My question is, at the 5 year mark at 100%, will the VA make the 100% disability permanent? I have read conflicting information on this. Some articles say, at the 5 year mark at 100%, the rating becomes permanent. Other articles say that the rating can still be reduced after 5 years at 100%.

A lot of veterans get this confused, ratings are based on symptoms and or residuals. If you have a procedure or treatment that changes your symptoms, then the VA could re-evaluate your rating. The only true permanent rating protection is being rated for 20 years. The key here is not that you get to keep your rating after five years but what symptoms or residual disability or disabilities you have after the procedure or treatment. The procedure or treatment could cause more symptoms and or residuals and then again it could eliminate some symptoms or residuals. Permanent ratings are only for veteran’s symptoms or disability or disabilities or residuals that are likely to last for the rest of the veteran’s lifetime.

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I agree with all the responses here. 

My P&T was granted after appeal which took well over five years. Over that time, a number of existing and claimed issues had worsened. Notes in my medical records stated said they will not improve, irreversible degeneration, etc... I didn't ask my docs to describe them that way, but fortunately they did. 

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