What is a protected disability rating?

 A lot of veterans have questions about if the VA can reduce your disability. Short answer is yes, but there are ways in which you can be protected from any sort of a disability rating decrease. 

5-year rule

If your rating has been in effect for 5 years it can’t be reduced unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis and the VA has documentation supporting that you’ve improved permanently.

10-year rule

A service connected disability cannot be terminated if it has been in effect for 10 years. Compensation may be reduced if there’s evidence that the condition has improved. Of course there’s an exception to this if the VA can prove fraud. 

20-year rule

If your rating has been in effect for more than 20 years, it can’t be reduced below the lowest rating it’s held for the previous 20 years. Once again the exception is if the VA can prove fraud. 

What do these proteced ratings mean?

Let’s give an example, if you have a shoulder injury that gives you a 40% disability rating when you complete your VA evaluation, after 5 years, the VA can’t reduce this below 30% unless they prove the injury has healed on a sustained basis. After 10 years the benefit can no longer be terminated, and finally at 20 years, your VA disability rating cannot be reduced below a 40%.

We understand that the claims process can be confusing; if you have any questions about your claims process Gumps V.A. Comp. Services would be more than happy to help answer them. Please give us a call at (888) 854 8677 or book an appointment with an accredited agent here.

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