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55 Year Old Rule?



I've seen on a couple of websites where it stated that your VA rating percentage is protected and they cannot reduce your rating once you reach 55 years old.  Is this true?  If so, where can I find this in the VA regulations for verification?  

Thank you to all who reply.

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Hi Harry59

You can find that in the VA  m21-1 manual here https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000015810/M21-1,-Part-III,-Subpart-iv,-Chapter-3,-Section-B---Scheduling-Examinations#2d. It is also based on 38cfr if you want the legal basis. If you are scheduled for a follow up exam, it should be noted as a comment on your decision letter as well as your Rating Code Sheet if it says you are "static." Static means no expectation of improvement, so a re-exam is not necessary. If you reach 55, then you also shouldn't be called either. HOWEVER, if you submit a NEW disability claim, then all bets are off and they can re-look at anything whey want in evaluating your new claim, so keep that in mind also.

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Thank you for the reply, and the reference. I have been at 70% for 18 years and I'm currently 61 years old. If I understand it correctly, the VA 20-year rule states that they cannot downgrade your percentage. I want to be evaluated for an increase and some secondary issues as well, and possibly a new claim, but I'm afraid I will be downgraded. You never know with the VA. I am currently receiving concurrent receipt so if I get decreased below 50% I will lose it. That financial blow would be devastating.  Any advice?  

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The VA don't play this game by their rules  they can make any Veterans life miserable if they want to/or choose to.,

All it takes is a VA Dr writing something like this '' This veterans disability has shown improvement and he is doing a lot better,  ,,and this goes into his medical records, R.O. Checks these medical records like hungry vouchers and Walla sends out the propose reduction letter because they were informed from a VA Physician that your S.C. disability has shown Improvement...

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Hello Buck, 

Does the VA RO only check a veteran’s records if a new claim is opened?

Somewhere along the way, on my almost 20 years of dealing with the VA, I picked that belief up. I can’t remember if it was from my DAV VSO or from a retired VA rater that I know.  


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