What criteria is used to decrease my veteran’s disability benefits?

When the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awards you a service-connected disability rating, they retain the right to reexamine you later to see if your disability has improved or warrants the initial rating. Based on the reexamination, the VA can increase, reduce, or terminate your disability benefits. Not every rating will change, and not every veteran requires a reexamination. And before the VA can change your disability rating, they must first send you a reexamination letter.

There are a variety of reasons your VA benefits for a service-connected disability can be reduced or even terminated. Most veterans only have their benefits reduced if they have undergone a medical examination that adjusts their disability rating. In addition, the VA cannot terminate benefits for a service-connected disability if you have been receiving them for over 10 years—unless there was a serious error when your benefits were awarded.

In most cases, the VA can reduce your rating if:

  • There has been a notable improvement in your disability that allows you to live and work effectively.
  • Your entire service-connected disability medical history has been reviewed.
  • You have been sentenced to serve time in prison.
  • You failed to show up for a scheduled disability reexamination without rescheduling or without good reason.

What You Should Do If Your Benefits Are Being Reduced or Terminated?

If your benefits are being reduced or terminated, you have the right to appeal the decision. Find out more about your rights in our free book, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims, or contact the VA disability lawyers at Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 to get help with your case.

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska