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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Gastone

What's the difference for Rerating PTSD SC's held for less than 5 yrs, BIG!?

Question

Yesterday a Nam Vet (72 yrs) got in touch regarding a VA Notice of Intent to reduce his PTSD 70% SC (Awarded approx 2014) and his IU Award (Awarded after the PTSD). My immediate response was to tell him to have his VSR immediately File for a Reduction Hearing.

This Vet was beside himself, as I imagine most Vets receiving an Intent to Reduce would be. Turns out he has a 24 yr old daughter that has suffered since childhood with ADD. His VSR recommended that he File a Comp Claim on her behalf for Direct or Secondary AO SC of her MH problem. 

By all rights, this VET being 72, IU T & P No Future Exams Scheduled, should have been home free regarding any Reduction C & P for any of his SC'd conditions. He was, right up to filing the New Claim for his daughter about 7 mos ago. He recalls being called down to the Det VMC for a PTSD Exam, just didn't realize it could result in a PTSD Reduction.

3 weeks ago he received the "Intent to Reduce" based on the PTSD C & P. The Dr (Assume Psychiatrist) said in his determination the Vet had greatly improved and the DBQ ended up supporting a PTSD 10% SC Rating, WTF.

As it turns out, Vet's with SC PTSD Ratings  (or any other Condition) held for less than 5 years are subject to possible reduction based solely on a recent C & P PTSD EXAM or VMC MH Records. If a Vet has any Rating for 5+ years, the Rater has to review the VMC Record in its entirety and can't rely on a recent snapshot  C & P opinion. There has to be documented Medical Evidence demonstrating significant improvement over a long period of time.

Any Vet out there, had a similar Rating Reduction proposed?

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I had a proposed reduction.  It was a joke.  They threatened to take away my dependents benefits?   I submitted a new dependents form and it went away.  VA LOOOOOOVES to scare Vets into not applying for additional benefits they deserve, by making them fear a reduction.  Knowledge is power.  

They should have never scheduled this Vet for a reduction exams...those are not supposed to be given beyong age 55, but then there is that fear factor, that VA wants to uphold.  

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Yes, this is the fear factor to discourage vets from making more claims.  If I was called in for a C&P exam for any of my issues I would be getting an IMO in a hurry and I would also be expecting a frame-up as well.  Back in the 80's I had a C&P exam and that VA shrink was intent on severing my entire service connection.   Too bad I had been SC for about 15 years at the time.  First we get the Fear Factor for those on TDIU and now we hear about reduction exams.  Does the government think they balance the budget on our backs?

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Curious in my case if I’ll have a reduction exam given to me especially since I’m still in my 30s? My 100 scheduler rating has one Single 100 rated Disabilty Residuals of my sTBI which has been made Permanent and total. And several other rated two 30s, one 20s, and three 10s.

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Is your TBI Rated in conjunction with PTSD? Generally speaking, PTSD Ratings for Vets under 55 always have a "Bulls Eye" on them for Re-Rates at 3 to 5 yr intervals.

Ask your POA VSR to eyeball your C-File for any "Diary Dated" scheduled Re-Exams.

Keep in mind the 72yr old Nam Vet I mentioned above. You file a New Secondary Claim, all bets are off, all SC's are open for Review.

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I would say that for all vets rated 100% or TDIU keep going to the VA for treatment and keep a steady flow of complaints.  This is why after I got TDIU I did file more claims based on AO exposure .  I do believe that if you have legitimate secondary claims that mean money or could be fatal then file. 

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