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Back in March of 2013 I was awarded a schedular rating of 100% for hypothyroidism, 20% for meniscal tear right knee, 20% for meniscal tear left knee, 10% tinnitus, 0% hypertension, all of which were retroactive to August 2011. In August of this year I was sent to a C&P Exam for my hypothyroidism, my condition has not improved and in fact has worsened, I explained this to the examiner but she seemed reluctant to accept it since I am on medication. A day or two after the C&P exam I sent a letter (certified mail) to the VARO stating that I have not improved and listed the symptoms that have worsened and the symptoms that have remained static. A few days ago I received a letter, dated Sept 23, that the VA is proposing a reduction from 100% to 10% for hypothyroidism because they "noted some improvement", the letter states that my combined evaluation will drop from 100% to 50%. I also received a second letter, dated Sept 23, it states that they made a decision and the hypothyroidism is rated at 10%, the effective date is left blank, it also states "your current benefit payment will continue unchanged." I was also just informed that they want to send me to another C&P exam for my knees.
I should also mention that I have not been to a VA doctor since my original award so the only evidence that they have listed on the proposal letter is the original March 2013 award and the August 2015 exam.
From my research I thought that a 100% rating required the VA to prove a material improvement under the ordinary condition of life. Their incorrect assertion of some improvement is not necessarily "material improvement" and I also do not lead a normal daily life since I do not work full time, I have my own part time business that I come and go as I please depending on my energy levels and how I feel, earning little to no income.
I thought that I had 60 days to respond to the VA with evidence regarding the proposed reduction. How can they send a proposal and decision letter on the same day? It's also odd that the decision letter states "your current benefit payment will continue unchanged." and that their is no effective date.
Currently I need to find an attorney that is a expert in VA claims as well as a doctor to verify that my condition has not improved since my previous award decision. Do you have any recommendations? or any other thoughts on this subject?
Well you probably got an idiot looking at your claims!
The only thing I can't think of as to the VA said they ''noted some improvement'' in your? they don't state what the improvement is from (disability)??
Never the less if the the C&P Examiner was reluctant during your exam .... he /she would have had to mention in his/her report'' shown some improvement'' how else would the VA Raters know? get a copy of your ''Reluctant'' Examiner report and see what he/she reports in the last C&P about your hypothyroidism Aug 2015...He/she had to mention you shown some'' improvement''...you need to re-butte that!
You need to go see a Private Specialist and have him/her to re-butte what this examiner mention in his/ her report.
If you have no evidence with the VA Then use your private Dr's reports. if you don't have any of their reports..you need to go get an IME'IMO ASAP.
Note I think you only have 30 days to respond to proposal to reduce so respond as soon as you can and let them know what your intentions are that you Disagree with there decision and your gathering your evidence & you request an additional 30 days to be able to get your evidence because your disability has not improved and is consider static and will not improve in your life time but you need a Specialist Doc to state that.
This is just my Opinion
I'm sure other elder hadit members that know more about this type of disability will chime in.
you need to copy and pates the VA Reasons and Bases to your proposal here on hadit preferble in this post. & be sure and black out your name and SS Number & any personal information.
the elders can help you more if they know what they said....you possibly can make them CUE Them self!??
For some reason I'm not able to upload files or add links. Do you need to have a certain number of posts to do either of these?
Go to the nearest Va Rep. office and file the paper work saying you want a DRO hearing, that you do not agree with the decision to reduce. You have thirty days to file this, if not they are going to reduce you.
The first thing you need to do is request a hearing, and get competent help for it. You want to argue that your conditions do not meet the criteria for improvement, below:
§ 3.343 Continuance of total disability ratings.
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