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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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decrease in 100 percent rating


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This begs the question, has it improved? If so be glad. If not then fight the reduction. Decrease in pay sucks but disability pay isn't always meant to be forever.

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This is exactly why so many people suggest that when you've been granted a pretty fair rating, you should think twice before "poking the bear".  Any time you claim something as secondary to a Service Connected disability, you can expect a re-examination of that issue.  

You can challenge the proposed reduction.  To succeed in avoiding a reduction, though, you'll need medical evidence that your current rating is the correct one.  Check out the rating schedule to see if your level of disability meets the 100% requirements.  If you're confident that it does, you'll need an examination and opinion that supports your staying rated 100%.

Best of luck.

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Well, not exactly.   The VA has rules, too, about poking bears.  The bears are protected, too.  The VA has to show "actual improvement under ordinary conditions of life".  

I suggest you force VA to prove you have had actual improvement, that is, if you have been rated over 5 year or are P and T.  

Ask for a hearing in the proposed reduction.

 
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§ 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.


 

 

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This begs the question, has it improved? If so be glad. If not then fight the reduction. Decrease in pay sucks but disability pay isn't always meant to be forever.

Edited by brokensoldier244th
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Broken has a great point. Assuming that your condition has NOT gotten better, I would request two things. First, request your hearing without delay. Second, get a copy of the C&P and see if the comments reflect what they examined, and compare those to your last (100% rating results.) If they didn't do as complete a job as the first, then challenge the adequacy and request an other exam. They also can't reduce if you have had your current rating 5+ years without another eval. I'm not sure why they had toeval your disability if it wasn't related to ed anyway. Also, check the credentials of who did the exam; if not a doc in that field, you have a good chance of trumping it if you went and got an independent med opinion (dbq) that says you should be rated at 100%.

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One of the things I would be doing is getting not only the DBQ, but the Letter from the VA to the C&P about what to Look for.

I would be challenging the Credentials of the Dr to offer that specialized knowledge.

Most of the time ED exams DO NOT INCLUDE physical exams. So did yours? Did they do the ROM measurements and other stuff in the Law and DBQ to document their opinion?

While the others are right, that every claim for an increase opens your entire record to review, that review has to be by a qualified Dr. and they must have gotten a specific request for that opinion. A Podiatrist cannot say "yep his foot hurts but his PTSD is cured" it would have no legal probative value.

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