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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    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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I'm absolutely terrified that at some point I'll lose my 70% TDIU P&T when I reach eligibility age for SSI. I know that each budget period the issue comes up to eliminate TDIU at retirement age to save money. Thusfar the Veterans Service organizations have protested and older Veterans, like me, approaching retirement age can breath a brief sigh of relief. I'm 60 years old now, and live in absolute fear and angst that in a few short years I'll literally end up homeless and destitute, my wife and college age child would lose benefits as well. I know no one has a crystal ball, but I am becoming more obsessed with contacting my service officer with the American Legion and submitting a claim for 100% P&T and looking into filing for Schedular. I've been 70% TDIU P&T since 2006. What is the likelihood that TDIU for senior Veterans will be on the chopping block. What should I do to protect my benefits. Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom. 

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I doubt you will be reduced on your TDIU/P&T  , you had it 10 consecutive years with out any improvement in your Disability ...your not working, so they would have to prove your s.c. disability has improved and you could go back to work...I don't much think the VA would do that.

Now a lot of Veterans worry about this very thing ...what if the VA Proposal to reduce my IU Benefits at retirement?

Some Veterans have other S.C. Conditions they can file claims on  ...> the 10% 20% add up  and when a Veteran is at the 70% rate and was inferred IU or even at 90% and was inferred the IU PAID at the 100% rate,   they use the other Conditions to bring there % up past the 100% rating   that makes it harder for the VA TO REDUCE below the 100% rating.

Example  if your rated 70% PTSD AND CAN'T WORK B/C OF THIS  S.C. CONDITION  AND WAS AWARDED THE IU...then your basically 100% if your getting paid at the 100% although your EOB Says your 70% PTSD 4.16 extra scheduler infeered the IU being paid at the 100% rate. 

SO If you had other conditions that would be related to your military service or secondary to a disability you have now  file claims on all these conditions, if you have one SC Condition rated at 60% by its self or combined to the 60%..then that opens up the SMC Doors.  

SMC =  (Special Monthly Compensation) Paid in Addition to your IU .

its then a Mandatory rating.

So having other S.C. DISABILITY' S AND RATED  it makes your rating percentage go up and therefor making it harder for the VA To reduce you under the 100%..your pay will stay the same at 100%

Edited by Buck52

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Thanks for such a prompt and thorough response. Although I do have tinnitus (not rated) from Air Force air craft and other exposure, and a knee condition (not rated), but documented in my military records, I've only got the 70% TDIU P&T for PTSD. I was discharged in 1977. Should I go for getting these conditions rated as well? Or is this a can of worms? 

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Unless you are working, or have "actually improved under ordinary conditions of life, I suggest you worry about something more likely to happen, such as being sucked into a sinkhole, getting struck by lightning, or hit by an asteroid.  

Or, you can just decide to let go and let God, because its all up to him anyway, and live your life fear free.  If you really want to worry (and many people do) then you can always find something to worry about.  

This is a portion of the regulations protecting your ratings:

§ 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 theservice-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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While I appreciate the feedback, I must admit that I may not have been clear. I'm very familiar with the regs pertaining to my disability rating and retaining it, et al. Senior veterans rated TDIU are faced with the very real possibility of losing their rating during each budget session. It nearly happened during the Obama administration, as well as the Trump administration. Nearly a quarter of a million senior veterans may lose their TDIU. Each time it comes before congress the Veterans Service Organizations aren't so quick to act on our behalf. My question may more succinctly be summarized in the following article: https://www.disabledveterans.org/2017/05/24/amvets-speaks-dav-legion-silent-benefits-cuts-affecting-elderly-veterans/

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Photo, every Congressional Budget, and probably correctly, will discuss the Grandfather and all other IU Cuts and the amounts of $$$$$ that would be saved. These aren't Vets or even Congressman or Senators, it's the US Govt BEAN Counters who actually do serve a purpose. anything less than discussing the possible vast Budget for IU and how tweaking the Regs could reduce the expense, would be derelict by omission.

How long your PTSD Rating, as well as the IU T & P No Future Exam Scheduled Award. After 60, just about you earning and reporting Earned Income in excess of $12,880.per year ($11.880 after 65) on your IU anniversary dated required 21-4140, would cause a 2nd look at your IU Award. At 69, you are nolonger required to file the 21-4140.

While IU,Filing New Direct or Secondary Claims is a Crap Shoot. If your single PTSD Rating is the "ONLY" cause of your IU, it's considered as the "Single SC 100%" for the SMC S statutory Housebound Rating requirement (Multiple 1 or more SC's that have their singular CSC of 60%) which would add $344.00 per month along with any SMC K (1 or multiples $104+/- each month.

Not unusual for PTSD & meds to cause SMC K ED.

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