VA Rating Reductions
VA is able to make rating reductions, meaning that under certain conditions VA may reduce your disability rating. Why does VA reduce ratings? There are two circumstances in which VA typically will reduce ratings: scheduled re-examinations and evidence of a change in condition. In terms of scheduled re-examinations, VA will evaluate whether your disability should be scheduled for a future re-examination to determine if your benefits need to be adjusted. VA usually makes this determination if they believe your disability can be expected to improve. VA can order a re-examination at any time if there is evidence that a condition has changed and gotten better.
However, there are certain rules VA must follow for rating reductions. For instance, a proposed rating (as well as a final decision) must be based on a review of the veteran’s entire medical history. VA must show that there has been an actual change and sustained improvement in the disability. The examination reports must be based on multiple, thorough exams. Finally, VA must show that the change in the disability reflects material improvement in the veteran’s ability to function under the ordinary conditions of life and work.
If you get notice of a potential rating reduction, there are a few things you can do. If a reduced rating will affect the amount of monthly compensation you receive, VA is required to send a notice proposing the reduction of your benefits. Within 30 days of the date of the notice proposing to reduce your benefits, you have the option to request a hearing. If you request a hearing, VA cannot reduce your rating until a final determination is made. From the date of the notice that proposes to reduce your rating, you have 60 days to submit evidence if you believe the reduction is not warranted. If, after 60 days or the review of your submitted evidence, VA sends a final decision that reduces your rating, you can file an appeal in either the Supplemental, Higher-Level Review, or Notice of Disagreement lanes.
To read the full blog and learn more, click here – Rating Reductions: What VA Can and Cannot Do