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Is My VA Disability Rating Permanent?

There are a few occasions in which your VA disability rating may become permanent. To determine whether your service-connected condition still warrants a particular disability rating, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will require you to undergo an examination.

When Your VA Disability Rating Might Be Permanent

For your rating to be permanent, you must meet specific criteria, including:

  • Your condition is static (unchanging);
  • Your condition has “persisted without material improvement for a period of five years or more;”
  • The “disability from disease is permanent in character and of such nature that there is no likelihood of improvement;”
  • You are over 55 years of age, although some exceptions may apply;
  • The rating you received is the prescribed minimum rating; or
  • If a lower rating would not affect your combined disability rating.

VA will also leave your disability rating alone if you have received the same rating or higher for 20 years or more. This is known as a “protected rating.”

Permanent and Total Disability

If  VA rates you as permanently and totally disabled, your disability rating should not be reduced. Permanent and Total Disability means your service-connected condition is 100 percent disabling with no chance of improving.

TDIU Ratings Are Not Always Permanent

It is important to note that the Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) rating is not always permanent. If VA determines you are able to get a job and maintain substantially gainful employment for 12 months, you may lose TDIU benefits. This means you would no longer be eligible to receive compensation at the 100 percent rate based on unemployability.

VA Can Take Away Your Disability Rating

VA can take your disability rating  away if it determines that you obtained the rating through fraud or determined it made a “clear and unmistakable error.”

Our Team May be Able to Help If the VA Is Attempting to Take Away Your Disability Rating

If the VA is attempting to lower or take away your disability rating, the veterans’ advocates at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help.

Call 800-544-9144 today for a free consultation with a member of the CCK team.

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