Veterans Court: VA rating for prostate cancer should consider residuals.
In January 2021, the VA rating for prostate cancer was the focus of a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals Veterans Claims issued a precedential opinion in Bailey v. Wilkie.
The panel consisted of Chief Judge Bartley (who wrote the opinion for the Veterans Court), Judge Pietsch and Judge Toth.
In it, the Veterans Court talked about what VA raters should consider when issuing ratings for prostate cancer and its residuals. The Court acknowledged that the primary rating for prostate cancer - post remission - is limited to the rating and voiding dysfunctions.
However, the Court also explained that if the record or the veteran reasonably raises the issue of residuals and complications from prostate cancer, the VA cannot require veterans file secondary service connection claims forms before those residuals can be rated.
The issue of whether VA claims forms are required to rate residuals and complications of prostate cancer is an important subtext - for nearly a decade, the VA has been trying to recreate the system from one that is open and veteran friendly to one that is mechanical and bureaucratic.
I believe the VA's long term goal is to require a form for every requested VA action, and limiting the VA's action to what is specifically written on the form. Veterans advocates are pushing back hard - time will tell if the bureaucracy or the veterans prevail.
In this video, attorney Chris Attig with the law firm of Attig | Curran | Steel, PLLC, discusses the Court's decision and what it means for veterans with prostate cancer, and the attorneys who represent them.
If you believe you should get a higher VA rating for your prostate cancer, or if the VA or BVA denied service connection for your prostate cancer, request a consult at