When veterans file VA disability claims to receive benefits, they must provide evidence of their condition, which will be assessed and a rating issued.
Disability ratings are what determine the amount of VA disability benefits can be received.
Yet it is important to note that some VA disability ratings can be reassessed within five years of their assignment according to the VA Disability 5-Year Rule.
What Is The VA Disability 5-Year Rule?
The VA Disability 5-Year Rule is a rule that can affect VA disability ratings within 5 years of a veteran receiving that rating.
It gives the VA the right to ask those receiving VA disability benefits to submit to a re-examination and reassessment of their condition to ensure the rating is still correct within that 5-year period.
Can the 5-Year Rule Affect VA Disability Ratings?
Yes, it can.
Although the rule is primarily in place to protect veterans with VA disability claims to maintain their rating or even increase it if additional criteria are met, ratings might occasionally be lowered, too.
The main purpose of these re-examinations is to determine the status of the condition and what benefits the veteran is still entitled to and whether that is more, less, or the same as what they are already receiving.
Once a veteran’s rating has been the same for over five years, their condition is considered static and they are not required to undergo any additional re-assessments unless the veteran wants to be re-assessed for a condition that is worsening.
How Is the VA Disability 5-Year Rule Applied?
The VA Disability 5-Year Rule is used to revisit a veteran’s service-connected condition after some time and determine whether it is worsening, improving, or staying the same.
Some veterans receiving VA disability benefits might be asked to undergo re-examination within 2 to 5 years of receiving their disability rating so their impairment can once again be assessed.
Usually, if there has been no change within that time, VA disability ratings will stay the same.
If the disability is found to have worsened since the time of the veteran’s VA disability claim, their rating and benefits can be increased if they qualify.
If their disability is improving and their degree of impairment is reducing, their rating and benefit amount could be lowered as well.
Should Veterans Be Concerned About the 5-Year Rule?
It is understandable that veterans might be concerned about the VA Disability 5-Year Rule and the potential of having their VA disability rating reduced.
Since it is required when requested, the best thing that any veteran can do in the meantime is to keep up with their treatment and medical visits as well as maintain thorough records of their condition for evidence.
Before any VA disability rating can be reduced, veterans are notified by the VA of this proposed change and given a 60-day period to contest it and provide supporting evidence that their rating should not be reduced.
Fortunately, the VA rarely seeks to re-evaluate veterans who are over 55 years of age, even within the first 5 years of their rating.
Get Help From A VA Disability Ratings Expert
Hopefully, any veteran required to undergo re-examination under the VA Disability 5-Year Rule to retain their VA disability benefits will be unaffected by their reassessment and their rating as well as benefit level stays the same.
By presenting the right evidence within the appeal period, entitled veterans may be able to prevent their disability rating from being reduced.
Veterans facing a rating reduction after their 5-Year Rule re-evaluation should seek assistance from experienced VA disability claims experts such as those at True Vet Solutions who can help them challenge that decision.
If you need help with a VA disability claim, True Vet Solutions can help you get the benefits necessary to increase your quality of life – call (888) 802-1549 for help to get the disability rating and benefits you deserve!