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Seeking Increase


COLTTEAM3

Question

My concern is very detailed. I am 50 percent service connected, 20 thoracic fractures, 10 percent left knee strain, shoulder impingement, post ankle fracture and tenititus. After speaking to my VSO I was encouraged to seek an increase for my shoulder L knee and ankle. However they also informed me I should seek a secondary for my right knee. My question is am I filtering with disaster, having the VA look into my medical file. At the C and P Exam can they find evidence to reduce my disability, I just know that it isn't a fair adjudication. Also at the exam am I to continue through out the pain or am I to alert the examiner when the onset of the pain starts? Thanks guys and gals for your service.

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Yes, it is possible that you may get a decrease, however, it is very unlikely. Looks like you are minimally rated for each disability (not taking 0% into account).

DO NOT continue through the pain, let the examiner know that you are experiencing pain and at that point they should stop.

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COLTTEAM3,

I agree with toddt. File for the increases and the secondary.

He also gave you good advice for the C & P exam. During the ROM portion of the exam, do not let the examiner force you or intimidate you into any painful ROM. As soon as you feel any strain or pain, tell the examiner it is too painful to go any farther. Even if the examiner says you are not cooperating, stop your ROM as soon as it starts hurting. JMO

GP

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"Dont file for an increase, you will be reduced instead" is a myth perpetuated by VA employees and VSO's alike. Here is why:

The VA can/does reduce Veterans ratings ONLY when they fully comply with the regulations AND when a reduction is justified by the evidence. They can and do reduce Veterans who are seeking an increase as well as those who are "not" seeking an increase.

"Is the Vet seeking an increase" is NOT one of the criteria for a reduction. Instead, the reduction needs to comply with the applicable criteria which varies depending upon

1. How long you have been rated.

2 Are you P and T?

3 Is there evidence that you have "actually improved" under ordinary conditions of life, that is working? If you have been rated more than 5 years or are P and T, the VA can not reduce you due to "episodic improvement" but must show that any improvement justifying a reduction be permanent and not just a single c and p exam will do that when it took you 10 years and dozens of medical exams to get rated.

HOwever, the VA can/will reduce "temporary" or convalescent ratings without compliance to the above. For example, if the VA gives you 100 percent convalescent rating while you recover from surgurey in the hospital for 90 days and forgets to put it back down, then you can be reduced as this was never intended to be permanent.

The VA "has" to rate OR REDUCE based on the regulatory criteria, not whether you drive a blue ford Escort or are seeking a reduction.

While I agree the VA does not always comply with the regulations, upon appeal, the courts have repeatedly told the VA that they must comply with their own regulations.

Edited by broncovet (see edit history)
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