Whether you just received your disability rating, or if you just received a notice of review and re-examination, you may be wondering how often is VA disability reviewed. As experienced VA benefits attorneys, Tabak Law, in Milwaukee, WI can provide you with the answers you are looking for.
Is a VA Disability Review a Bad Thing?
A VA disability review is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a standard thing, and you can expect to have one between 2 and 5 years after the date of the VA disability benefits decision. Afterward, they may recur depending on your situation and your condition, but expect them to continue to come up every 2 to 5 years unless there is a reason why they would stop conducting reviews. Want to know what those reasons could be? We cover them in the next section.
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When Will the VA Stop Conducting Disability Reviews?
There are actually several circumstances where the VA will stop performing reviews and essentially lock in your rating. Those situations include the following:
- You have a permanent disability—This happens when the VA is reasonably sure that your condition will not ever improve, or at least will never improve enough to change your disability rating.
- 100% disability rating—The VA can still reevaluate a 100% disability rating, but in these cases, the burden of proof is on the VA to show that there has been a significant change in your ability to function in daily life.
- Stabilized rating—If your rating has stayed the same for 5 years or more, the VA can still change your rating, but it requires both medical records and a re-examination to prove that you have improved and your improvement is not temporary.
- Continuous rating—If your rating has stayed above a certain level for 20 years or more, then the VA cannot lower your rating below that level.
- Turning 55—Once you hit the age of 55, the VA can no longer conduct disability reviews under most circumstances.
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What if You Cannot Attend a VA Disability Examination?
If you receive a notice but are unable to attend, then you need to call them to reschedule with a valid reason for why you cannot attend at the given examination date. In most situations, the VA will understand and allow a reschedule. If, however, you do not reschedule, and instead decide just not to show up, then you may have your benefits reduced or even terminated completely.
Can You Appeal a Rating From the VA?
Of course, you can appeal for a change in your rating. Once you receive this letter, you have 60 days to submit new evidence, but you can also request a hearing in the first 30 days. If you request a hearing, then the VA cannot reduce your benefits until that hearing.
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