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Can The VA Lower My Disability Rate?

Can the VA Lower My Disability Rate?

VA disability ratings are very important for Veterans receiving health care benefits, as the ratings play a large part in determining financial support and essential services.

What is a VA Disability Rating?

VA disability ratings indicate the severity of a Veteran’s service-connected disabilities. The ratings range from 0% to 100%. A higher percentage rating implies a higher severity of impairment. The VA uses these disability ratings to determine how much financial support and essential services Veterans who are eligible to receive healthcare benefits may receive. 

Can the VA Lower My Disability Rating?

Yes, the VA can lower a Veteran’s disability rate within the first five years after the rate has been established. In the first two to five years, the VA may re-examine the condition of a disabled Veteran to see if they have improved. However, the VA must follow certain rules that prohibit them from assuming improvement without substantial evidence.

Generally, after five years, a Veteran’s disability rate is stabilized, due to the 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year rules. These specific rules were put into place to protect Veterans’ disability rates, ensuring that Veterans continue to receive the compensation they need and deserve. While there are some specific disability ratings that are considered “protected” from reductions, it’s important to understand that no claim is entirely immune to potential adjustments.

Can I Challenge a Lowered Disability Rating?

If the VA proposes to reduce a Veteran’s disability rating, that Veteran retains the right to challenge the proposal. To prevent the VA from reducing their disability rating, the Veteran must respond promptly, as the process involves formal procedures and requires legitimate medical evidence. 

We are Veterans Helping Veterans

The Veteran Legal Assistance Program is here to support Veterans and Active-Duty service members. We want to inform you of the issues affecting the Veteran community and connect you with people we trust.

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