VA disability ratings generally are not permanent. They are subject to review by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at any time. If VA finds that your situation or condition has changed since you received your initial rating, it may assign you a new rating — or cease your benefits altogether. In limited cases, you may receive a rating that is permanent and protected from change.
Receiving a letter from VA requesting that you submit to a medical exam because your benefits are under review can be jarring and even scary. What happens if VA severs or severely reduces your benefits? How will you pay your bills? A veteran’s disability lawyer can help you get through this situation with the best chance of keeping your current rating.
Call (888) 392-5392 today for a free VA disability case evaluation.
When VA Can Re-examine and Reduce Your Disability Rating
When VA approves you for disability benefits and assigns you a rating, it leaves itself the option to reevaluate your condition. If VA believes your circumstances may have changed, or that your condition is not as severe as it was when you first received approval, it may schedule you for a re-examination.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-888-392-5392
What Happens When VA Re-examines and Proposes to Reduce Your VA Disability Rating
If a reduction in your rating will ultimately reduce your monthly compensation, before the VA can reduce your disability rating, it must send you notice of their proposal to reduce. Upon receipt of this notice from the VA, you have the right to request a hearing, where you —and your attorney if you choose —can argue against a rating reduction.
When VA Cannot Change Your Disability Rating
In two specific situations, your VA disability rating has protection from change. That means, if you have one of the “protections” VA cannot reduce your rating unless it has evidence that you obtained it via fraud (for example, you submitted forged medical records that made your condition sound worse than it actually was).
VA Classifies Your Disability as Permanent and Total
Permanent and total disability is a special classification used by VA when it believes that a veteran’s condition is so severe that the condition will never improve.
Once you receive this classification, your rating is mostly safe. Only in very rare situations, such as fraud, can VA lower the rating of a veteran who has a permanent and total disability. You Have Had the Same Disability Rating for 20 Years
If you have had the same disability rating for at least 20 years, it becomes a “de facto” permanent rating, and VA may not reduce it unless — as with a permanent and total rating — it uncovers evidence of fraud.
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Schedule a Free VA Disability Case Evaluation
Lawyers can help you with many of the VA disability issues you may face. Call today at (888) 392-5392 for a free case evaluation.