VA disability ratings are assigned from 0% to 100% in 10% increments, but a veteran’s rating can be reevaluated if there is reason to believe their condition may have changed. A veteran who receives a reexamination notice should be prepared for their rating to increase, decrease, stay the same, or terminate.
How Reexaminations Are Scheduled
If you are scheduled for reexamination, you will receive a letter notifying you of the date, time, and place for the exam. The VA is not allowed to simply revise your rating without an exam, and you may request that your appointment be changed if the proposed time doesn’t work with your schedule.
Reexaminations most often occur two to five years after a veteran’s condition is first evaluated. However, they can take place any time there is evidence to support the view that your condition has significantly changed. The reexamination is conducted the same way that your original Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam was performed.
When the VA Wants to Decrease Your Benefits
The VA can’t decrease your benefits unless the exam shows a material improvement in your ability to handle the ordinary conditions and stressors of life and work. If the VA believes your benefits should be reduced, you will receive a letter proposing that your monthly compensation decrease. While the letter is not a final VA decision and thus can’t be appealed, you will have a chance to respond by submitting evidence indicating the severity of your condition and/or attending a hearing to state why you believe your rating is correct. You have 30 days to request the hearing and 60 days to submit evidence.
Your attorney can help you prepare for your hearing and determine what evidence will be most helpful. Often, you will need to find an independent medical expert who can provide private medical evidence to refute the conclusion of the professional who conducted the reexamination. It is also possible that VA law isn’t being applied correctly to your case, so your attorney will examine your file for any potential errors that could affect your right to benefits.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.