Veterans who receive a permanent rating are rarely reduced. Exceptions may occur when your award letter explicitly says it’s permanent or when new evidence prompts an unexpected re-assessment. You can request a higher-level review or file a Notice of Disagreement with the Board of Veterans Appeals during appeals. Both options are part of the Appeals Modernization Act framework.
What is an Appeal?
If you disagree with a decision issued by the VA, an appeals process may be initiated. Your best chance for winning an appeal depends on the evidence you provide. You must submit medical documentation of your condition, such as a doctor’s or referred specialist’s detailed diagnosis.
Based on the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA), the current appeals system provides several options for veterans who don’t agree with a VA decision. Appeals can be filed within one year after receiving a rating decision or board of appeals decision.
The first option is filing a direct notice of disagreement with the BVA using VA Form 10182. This option works well for veterans who want to focus their appeal on a single issue or specific evidence. The other option is to have a hearing with a VA law judge. This option typically takes the longest. The law judge will review your case in the presence of a veteran’s representative or accredited attorney.
What is a VA rating?
A rating is a designation VA assigns to your service-connected condition, determining how much disability compensation you receive each month. In general, a higher rating equals a higher monthly benefit payment. However, VA is sometimes able to reduce your disability rating.
A permanent rating is one that cannot be reduced unless and until you demonstrate substantial, sustained medical improvement that would warrant a reduction in your rated disability. Veterans with permanent ratings are considered protected and stabilized, meaning that they’re not eligible for future examinations except under rare circumstances.
A TDIU (total disability based on individual unemployability) rating is another type of permanent rating that cannot be reduced. This is assigned to veterans who cannot work and can’t be placed on the open market for employment. Veterans with this rating are also protected and stabilized.
What is a Medical Assessment?
A medical assessment is a clinical examination that can be taken by a healthcare professional. It can include a visual inspection of the consumer and an interview about their mental and physical condition.
Medical assessments can be used in a variety of settings, such as hospitals and workplaces. They can be useful for employers to determine whether someone is fit for work. A comprehensive medical evaluation can help a consumer understand their health as a whole so they can make changes to improve their lifestyle.
A medical assessment can be an important part of a claim for disability benefits, as it will provide a clear view of the applicant’s medical condition and their capability for work. Applicants should prepare for the assessment by gathering documents supporting their claims, such as medication notes, letters from their GP or AMHP, and information about how their condition affects them on good and bad days.
What is a Reexamination?
In most cases, a reexamination is prompted by medical evidence that indicates a change in your condition. However, a reexamination can also occur when the VA receives new information about your condition. This can be the result of either a new diagnosis or evidence of your injury improving.
Veterans with a P&T rating (permanent and total) or a 100% rating are generally not scheduled for reexaminations, but they can be reexamined if there is sufficient evidence that their condition has improved. This could be the result of a medical improvement award or new evidence that shows your injuries are not as severe as they were when the initial ratings decision was made.
There are a number of different ways to appeal a rating reduction, but the most effective is to file a notice of disagreement with the VA. This process allows you to submit fresh evidence, such as private medical records, the VA’s health record, and statements from people who know you well.