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How often should I get my issues treated? Fear of rate reduction one day.



Like most of the people on this forum I have multiple rated disabilities.  I go to the VA and see my PCP at a minimum once a year sometimes every six months depending on if I need to be seen.  I see one of my other Doctors (MH) at the VA when needed but usually every six months just to talk.  In fearing that the VA will one day come at me for a rating reduction is there anything I need to know or do to keep my doctor apprised that nothing has really changed with me or gotten better?  Basically I complain when something bothers me and don't when it's not but I don't want to screw myself either somewhere down the road.

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Your profile says you are 30 percent.  Have any of the conditions to which you are sc actually improved?  (Probably not).  

"Fear of reduction" is a tool used by VA to paralyze Veterans into believing if they apply for an increase, they will be reduced instead.  It works (for VA) except when Vets come to hadit to realize its mostly unfounded fear, mostly because of this regulation, which protects Veterans:

§ 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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Bronco, I appreciate the information very much.  I just had a C&P exam last week (xrays are being performed today) to ask for an increase in my knees due to instability and I also pushed for hip issues as a secondary.  Guess I just fear they will take my request for an increase or new condition and try to reduce me.  Correct, my issues are not any better and I don't expect them to but I also didn't want to just ignore going to the VA (or my private doctor for that matter) to say on the record that my conditions are still there.

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I have been SC since 2002 (thats the effective date, and the date I applied), and on hadit since 2007.  Plus, I was on another Vets forum before hadit.  

Mostly, the reductions are just smoke and mirrors.  The VA has tried to reduce me twice!  Smoke and mirrors.  Both times it was for dependents!   I had my wife write a letter, testifying "she is still my wife" and we have continiously lived together as man and wife since our marriage in 2006.  Both times, the VA wrote back a letter which "quashed" the proposed reduction.  

Yea, they try to reduce you sometimes.  Im ready for em.  I will hold VA accountable for "every word" of 38 CFR 3.3 "44".  

I have a 44 magnum..and I know how to use it!  Its loaded 3.3 "44", and I will unleash the full power of my "44" if the VA tries to reduce me again.  They better not mess with me!!!!

I have read "44" at least 100 times!  

I "know" to reduce me, they "not only" have to prove that I "actually improved under ordinary conditions of life" (not from resting and not working), but they have to show that my improvement is "not just a good day", but will likely last, AND They have to give me the benefit of the doubt?  PLUS, they really need TWO doctors exam to do this, and only then if those 2 exams were "at least as thorough" as the exams used to rate me.  They used "dozens" of exams to rate me..multiple, multiple doctors..all saying the same thing..

They would have better chances to reduce me if they bought a lottery ticket instead.  I know what my medical history is, know where my records are, know how many doc exams I went thru.  They dont even have enough C and P examiners to "refute" what about a dozen doctors have already said about me!  The exams have to be "as thorough as the one(s) which granted benefits".  

    Most importantly, I have hadit and Berta.   VA "knows better" than to mess with Berta!  I think the VA "gets" that they are better off adding Covid to the VARO water supply than to mess with her.  Both are a disaster!  

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I'am sorry broncovet

but can you explain this to me

''I have been SC since 2002 (thats the effective date, and the date I applied)''

My reason for asking  I have never heard of a Veteran getting an effective date the date he first applied? unless he was approved first time around?

I was denied my first go round  1998 and appealed and got service connection at 0%  in 1999, I appeal that   and later got a 50% increase  2000.  And applied for increase in Jan  2002 AND WAS AWARD a 30 %increase on my SC Disiability with  TDIU P&T  and a 10% for tinnitus  my early effective date is  Jan2002  NOT 1998.  ALL MY APPEALS WERE ON TIME OR I FILED  MY NOD within the year  . ON EACH TIME I FILED so I was in my correct appeal time limit.

SO I think what they did was give me a EED on the date I was awarded the TDIU P&T Jan 2002,  ALTHOUGH THE RATEING SPECIALIST  MENTION'' I SHOW TO HAVE HAD TO STOP WORKING IN 1999.''  BUT HE WENT WITH THE PRIVATE DR IMO WHICH WAS  JAN 2002,   FOR ALL MY DISABILITYS EXCEPT ONE, I filed PTSD Claim in Oct 2014 and was approved first time around for 70% and got the SMC S Housebound  the EED FOR THAT IS OCT 2014  WHEN IFIRST FILED FOR IT but was awarded in May 2015 (8 months retro) at 70%

I WISH THEY WOULD GO BY THE DATE i FIRST FILED  (April 1998) BUT THEY WON'T.  THERE GOING BY  THE DATE THE private Dr mention his IMO  which was Jan 2002  there would be 4 years of retro at 100% minus the 50% in 2000 they approved me for 50%       if my EED was 1998.

BUT I HAVE A LOT OF WRONG DATES IN MY C-FILE rating sheets are all mixed up with  different dates  its a complete mess  AND IT IS HARD TO FIGURE .....>OUT AND THEY KNOW THAT....

THEY SAY MY EED on all my disabilitys is 1998....except the PTSD Claim  its correct Oct 2014. as to which I was approved in MAY BUT THEY DID GO BACK AND PAY ME THE 8 MONTHS RETRO   ON THIS CLAIM i FILED A ITF on April 2014  and they went back to that date .

My reason for not filing for a EED is they will use the date the Dr mention I could not work due to my sc disabilitys   which WAS THE DATE Jan 2002  so thats what they say my EED is.Jan 2002

I WISH I had access to the VBMS and a smart claims agent or attorney to help me  I would file for a EED.

Edited by Buck52
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