The approval of your VA disability claim is more complicated than whether your claim is approved or not. Also significant to your award is the disability rating the VA assigns to you. This number is meant to reflect how significantly your condition impacts your ability to work. The higher your disability rating is, the greater the amount of benefits you can receive.
But change is a constant in life, and the way your disability impacts you today may not be the way it affects you years down the road. So Ohio veterans may wonder, “Can the VA reduce my disability benefits if my condition improves?” While the short answer is “yes,” the full reply is more nuanced.
The General Rule: Your Rating Can Be Reviewed and Reduced
If you receive a disability rating and your disability thereafter improves, the VA may have the right to review your condition and revise your disability rating. If it does so, the amount of benefits you receive on a monthly basis would correspondingly decrease. The VA cannot do this without first providing notice of its intent and conducting a thorough review and allowing you a chance to object to the proposed decrease.
Even veterans who receive a 100% disability rating can have that rating reduced. But again, the VA would need to conduct a thorough examination of the veteran’s condition and give the veteran a chance to challenge the proposed reduction.
Veterans Who Are Protected from Rate Decreases
The general rule notwithstanding, there are veterans who are protected from a rate decrease. These veterans include those who:
- Were assigned their disability rating when they were 55 years of age or older
- Receive total disability based on individual unemployability
- Have a total and permanent disability rating, such as paralysis
- Have maintained their disability rating consistently for 20 years
Other veterans who have maintained their disability rating for shorter periods of time will have their right to receive benefits protected, but not necessarily their rating. For example, a veteran who has maintained their disability rating for ten years will be entitled to receive benefits in the future, but the rating can still be reduced if evidence supports it.
No Protection for Fraudsters
If the VA shows that the veteran’s rating or claim is based in whole or in part on fraud, the VA is under no obligation to protect the rating, regardless of any other rule that may apply.
Seek Help from Your Cincinnati Veterans Disability Benefits Lawyer
Veterans Law Attorneys is a skilled Ohio law firm dedicated to helping veterans in Cincinnati and throughout the state receive the full amount of disability benefits they are entitled to receive. We will help you obtain the maximum disability rating and can help you appeal unfavorable rating decisions.
Your VA disability benefits can mean the difference between being able to support yourself and not, so protect them aggressively. In Veterans Law Attorneys, you have a strong and knowledgeable partner ready to help you. Set up a consultation with us by calling 833-753-5168 or reaching out to us online.