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Not worth it

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Holllie Greene



I am considering not appealing.  Why?  I do not trust the raters, I do not think they understand MS (multiple sclerosis) and I do not want to go through anymore time wasting.  In hindsight I should have left things alone, requesting an increase created more issues/problems plus the county VSO's appear like they could care less.  I know I have "NEVER GIVING UP" in my profile but in this instance perhaps I should.  This VA runaround has me feeling defeated already.  You can't fight city hall or the VA.


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I don' know what stage in the process you're at, but I would do some research for a good attorney, then let them worry about it. Sure, they get some of your back pay, but they have a better chance of winning your appeal than you do. Then sit back, send any info they ask for and wait. Let them fight for you. Just research va attorneys until you find one you feel comfortable with.

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

I realize the stress of stepping back into VA red tape. I once felt that way myself, but a dearly departed admin here

@carlie told me, "If you give up, then they win."


Just curious, but have you been awarded SMC S and/or housebound?


"If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid."
- From Murphy's Laws of Combat

Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert, so use at own risk and/or consult a qualified professional representative. Please refer to existing VA laws, regulations, and policies for the most up to date information.


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Vync is right: "if you give up, then they win"

If you feel like the local VSO's stink, find someone else or get a lawyer.

Having dealt with 2 regional offices and gone 3 times to the BVA:  The local office can be spotty.  Sometimes they get it right, but when they get it wrong, boy do they get it wrong.  

BVA is way better, more through and will provide a clear rational if they deny you.

At the least, let it ride to the BVA.  

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About four years ago the VA started saying they were going to reduce my benefits and sever a service connected decision.  It was all illegal due to the twenty years of benefits and ten years of service connection.  At this point I got a VA lawyer.  After ten years and two remands I won my case.  The VA local office stepped way out of line and it was noted in my remand in a backhanded way.  Never let the $%#$ get you down.  If you need to get a lawyer and go on auto pilot. 

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I remember wondering  years ago if  my rating would ever increase from what it was to what it is now. I would ask people who's job it was to advise people about benefits. The one constant thing I heard was don't ask for an increase unless your willing to take  a reduced rating... what I said, and was told yes the va is more likely to review all your issues and reduce your  rating... So you know what I did.. I did exactly the opposite. ( I   could write a book about all the actions I took to get my rating to where it is.. but no one really cares about it but me)... so my answer to you would be... if its important enough for your to raise the question then its important enough to request an increase. If you can't do it yourself seek out a lawyer ( most only get paid if you win) , or a good advocate. Best of luck to you...

                                                                                I am not a lawyer so take my opinions with a grain of salt...

If I had listened to the nay sayers, I would never have acheived any ratings after I was awarded TDIU in 1999. Now I have not one but two 100% ratings, a TDIU  and 4 SMC awards !  I say JUST GO For It

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” -Albert Einstein.






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  • Moderator

I agree with Richard1954.  Its a myth perpetuated by VSO's and VA employees that VA can reduce youbecause you requested an increase.  Its not true.  VA can reduce you IF YOU MEET THE CRITERIA FOR REDUCTION, and for no other reason.  I wont go into the criteria, but its basically if your condition has improved.  (And this does not mean you had one good day..it has to be sustained improvement..we all have good days and bad days).  

It saves VA, and VSO's a lot of work if you never bother to apply for an increase.  So, they use fear tactics to get you to fear filing for an increase.  Unfortunately it works.  No doubt one or two vets filed for an increase and got reduced.  This is similar to if you were wearing a red shirt, you got reduced, therefore, anyone who wears a red shirt will be reduced in benefits.  Its a logic error.  

Neither wearing a red shirt nor applying for an increase causes a reduction in benefits.  What does cause a reduction is when your condition improves to the point where you meet the reduction criteria, below:

Read it over, and see which applies to you.  (Is your rating, new, temporary, or permanent (over 5 years)?  



 3.344 Stabilization of disability evaluations.

(a)Examination reports indicating improvement. Rating agencies will handle cases affected by change of medical findings or diagnosis, so as to produce the greatest degree of stability of disability evaluations consistent with the laws and Department of Veterans Affairs regulations governing disability compensation and pension. It is essential that the entire record of examinations and the medical-industrial history be reviewed to ascertain whether the recent examination is full and complete, including all special examinations indicated as a result of general examination and the entire case history. This applies to treatment of intercurrent diseases and exacerbations, including hospital reports, bedside examinations, examinations by designated physicians, and examinations in the absence of, or without taking full advantage of, laboratory facilities and the cooperation of specialists in related lines. Examinations less full and complete than those on which payments were authorized or continued will not be used as a basis of reduction. Ratings on account of diseases subject to temporary or episodic improvement, e.g., manic depressive or other psychotic reaction, epilepsy, psychoneurotic reaction, arteriosclerotic heart disease, bronchial asthma, gastric or duodenal ulcer, many skin diseases, etc., will not be reduced on any one examination, except in those instances where all the evidence of record clearly warrants the conclusion that sustained improvement has been demonstrated. Ratings on account of diseases which become comparatively symptom free (findings absent) after prolonged rest, e.g. residuals of phlebitis, arteriosclerotic heart disease, etc., will not be reduced on examinations reflecting the results of bed rest. Moreover, though material improvement in the physical or mental condition is clearly reflected the rating agency will consider whether the evidence makes it reasonably certain that the improvement will be maintained under the ordinary conditions of life. When syphilis of the central nervous system or alcoholic deterioration is diagnosed following a long prior history of psychosis, psychoneurosis, epilepsy, or the like, it is rarely possible to exclude persistence, in masked form, of the preceding innocently acquired manifestations. Rating boards encountering a change of diagnosis will exercise caution in the determination as to whether a change in diagnosis represents no more than a progression of an earlier diagnosis, an error in prior diagnosis or possibly a disease entity independent of the service-connected disability. When the new diagnosis reflects mental deficiency or personality disorder only, the possibility of only temporary remission of a super-imposed psychiatric disease will be borne in mind.

(b)Doubtful cases. If doubt remains, after according due consideration to all the evidence developed by the several items discussed in paragraph (a) of this section, the rating agency will continue the rating in effect, citing the former diagnosis with the new diagnosis in parentheses, and following the appropriate code there will be added the reference “Rating continued pending reexamination ___ months from this date, § 3.344.” The rating agency will determine on the basis of the facts in each individual case whether 18, 24 or 30 months will be allowed to elapse before the reexamination will be made.

(c)Disabilities which are likely to improve. The provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section apply to ratings which have continued for long periods at the same level (5 years or more). They do not apply to disabilities which have not become stabilized and are likely to improve. Reexaminations disclosing improvement, physical or mental, in these disabilities will warrant reduction in rating.

[ 26 FR 1586, Feb. 24, 1961; 58 FR 53660, Oct. 18, 1993]


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