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Protection Of Disability Service Connection Dates

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Ok here goes, another cowgirl question. I have looked around and am not sure if I get this right.

When is a service connected disability protected by the 10 year rule ? The effective date awarded or claim award date? When claims are awarded for service connected disabilities, they are often months and years later.

The way I think I read the regulation, the sc disability is protected under the claim award date, instead of the actual 'recognized' service connection date.

Thanks for feedback,


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  • HadIt.com Elder

From the effective date of the claim or the actual date entitlement arose would be the protected date.


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I was discharged June 1978

I filed original 21-526 in July 1978 for seizures.

Claim denied and goes thru NOD - denial continues.

Around early 1980's my claim for SC of seizures goes

before a medical panel review board at St. Pete VARO.

Seizure's are granted SC - compensable at 40 %

awarded back to June 1978 day following separation.

As long as SC for seizures stays SC'd at 40 % then my

10 year of protection rule is June 1978 day following separation.

BUT NOW let's say that in 1985 my SC'd seizures is legally

reduced to 20 % compensation - everything changes at this point

and the 10 year protection rule starting June 1978,for comp at 40%

is out the door.

I hope other's can understand this.



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  • HadIt.com Elder

The ten year rule is for severance of service connection. You can't have your service connection severed after ten years except for fraud. In order to preserve a rating it has to be 20 continuous years of having that particular rating. For example, if you are rated 50% for 20 years with no reductions along the way then your 50% is protected.

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Borrowed from elsewhere.

10/20 Year Service Connection/Ratings Protection

The 10 year mark for is for service connection. A condition that has been service connected for 10 years can not be severed unless fraud is involved. The clock starts ticking for conditions based on the effective date(s). This does not mean compensation can't be reduced.

The 20 year mark protects ratings. Absent fraud, disability ratings can not be reduced after they have been going 20 years. See your award letter for effective dates on each disability. Combined ratings are also protected after a 20 year period.

Example: You have been rated 50% for Condition A since 1990. You apply for SC for 4 more conditions and VA grants them in 2007. Because of VA granting them your new combined rating is 100% as of 2007. Condition A is protected from severance in the year 2000 and protected from reduction in the year 2010. The new service connected conditions would be protected from severance in 2017 and reduction in 2027. The clock started ticking on your combined 100% in the year 2007 so it would be protected from reduction in the year 2027.

If you apply for an increase for Condition A and are bumped from 50% to 70%, the 50% number is still protected from 1990 but the new 70% would start a new clock ticking (using the dates above). Meaning until you have held that 70% rating for 20 years, the lowest they can reduce you is back to 50% based on the fact that it was in effect for 20 years.

Even if a rater plugged the wrong numbers and wrongly awarded a combined 100%, they still can't reduce. Again, this is all assuming no fraud is involved. You can do the math by using the effective dates on your award letters.

"P&T" can be established at any time regardless of how long ratings have been held (via 100% scheduler or TDIU). If VA plugs all of your conditions and there are no future exams scheduled, then entitlement to Ch. 35 and ChampVA will be granted. If VA determines that there is a chance of improvement, there will be a future exam scheduled and "P&T" will not be established.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Thank you Carlie, John and Jbasser' so its severance at 10 and preservation at 20. Got that.

A wise man told me once to not depend on him being around each time I needed him in the future. He also told me we are each here for an allotted amount of time, so its up to each to make a difference when possible.

Again, thank you,


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