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Pre-service Disability Reduction


After reading a bunch of forums here, I decided to re-read my original SC award letter. I found that the VA actually reduced a 30% rating by 10% because they say I had a 10% pre-service disability. I would like to know if it would be worth the effort to 'correct' this problem.

I am 40% SC, but here is the breakdown of my SC conditions:

1. 10% asthma bronchiole (claimed as asthma)

2. 30% allergic rhinitis/sinusitis (reduced by 10% because the VA says I had a 10% pre-service disability)

3. 10% chronic allergic conjunctivitis, bilateral

4. 10% internal derangement of the right temporomandibular joint

Pre-service disability?

On my award letter, for number two it says, "Prior to service, the disability is considered 10 percent disabling, based on evidence that showed he always had problems of recurrent rhinitis. Following military discharge, the disability is 30 percent disabling which is the maximum evaluation for allergic rhinitis, because evidence now shows septal deviation and nasal polyps not shown on the veteran's entrance examination. The preservice percentage is always deducted before assigning any service-connected evaluation less than 100 percent. This condition is evaluated as 20 percent disabling."

Here is where it gets wierd. On my award letter, for number one it says, "In the doctor's opinion, the veteran obviously had allergic problems before entering the service which got worse during service implied by development of asthma in 1991."


1. If I had both conditions prior to service, how could they determine a percentage of a pre-service disability percentage without examining me?

2. Can I get this 10% reduction corrected?

3. What do I do now?

Thanks in advance!


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4 answers to this question

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I assume the statement "In the doctor's opinion, the veteran obviously had allergic problems before entering the service which got worse during service implied by development of asthma in 1991." is from the C&P exam? Also you said "If I had both conditions..."; did you? What does you induction physical say--anything regarding chronic allergic rhinitus or asthma prior to service? Did you make any statments to the effect of having either or both conditions?

Finally, how long ago was this original claim decided? If it is less than a year, the you can file a NOD. After a year, you are going to need to either reopen the claim with "new and material evidence" or file a CUE (harder still).

Can you get the 10% reduction removed? Yes, but only if the condition(s) did not exist prior to service. Which means that your induction physical and early SMRs would have to be silent regarding rhinitus and asthma, and (obviously) you had not been diagnosed with either condition by your physician prior to entry onto AD. Which means you are going to have to successfully dispute the examiner's statement that you "obviously had allergic problems before...". It would help if you had your complete C-File, including the examiner's report. I know my VARO is about a year behind filling records requests, it would be much faster to make an appointment and go to the VARO in person to review your C-File.

Good luck

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The fact that you had allergies and they got worse when you served is not a valid reason to reduce your service connected rating.

Welcome to Hadit.

Anything that gets worse in service is the same as a brand new condition. The word they use is aggravated

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The VA uses this scenario. Aggravation of a preservice disability will be service conected only to the extent of the aggravation.

That is the hurdle you ,ust jump.


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That's good info from everyone.

I think I had indicated that I had the problems when I went on AD, but will have to dig through and check, but I never indicated the extent. I find it crazy that the VA puts you through the meatgrinder and they have strict guidelines to qualify someone for a percentage, but they can magically generate a "reduction" number out of thin air without any strict measurements.

Also, visiting the RO to view my records sounds like a good idea. I am going to call them and see about making an appointment to to that.

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