To receive disability pay, U.S. veterans are required to apply to the Veterans Administration for a rating so their disability can be assessed and a payment level determined.
VA disability ratings are set based on the severity of the condition and how it affects a veteran’s ability to earn an income and quality of life, a rating that can be raised or lowered as time progresses.
In some cases, veterans service-related disability ratings might also remain permanent depending on a few qualifying criteria.
When Are Veteran’s Disability Ratings Considered Permanent?
Though some veterans disability ratings can be reduced if a condition improves, others might be considered permanent if there is no expectation that the condition will improve.
These are some of the indicators that a VA disability rating might be or is considered permanent:
- The veteran is 55 years old or older, though a few exceptions may apply.
- The condition is considered static and has not improved for a period of 5 years or more.
- The disability is one in which no improvement is expected.
- A Ratings and Decisions letter stating that no further Compensation and Pension examinations are required has been received.
- A Ratings and Decisions letter stating that eligibility for Dependents Chapter 35 DEA / CHAMPVA is established has been received.
- A Ratings and Decisions letter with a checked box labeled “Permanent and Total” has been received.
- A veteran is receiving certain benefits like Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA), which is only available to those permanently rated.
Because the exact language may differ, understanding whether veterans service-related disability ratings are permanent can sometimes be confusing.
Veterans should look for one or more of these indicators as well as the notice that they are no longer required to have veterans disability rating Compensation and Pension examinations done.
That alone usually indicates that the rating is permanent.
Can A Permanent VA Disability Rating Be Requested?
When veterans believe their condition is permanent and they have shown no improvement over a length of time, they do have the ability to appeal for their VA disability rating to be made permanent.
This can be done by submitting a claim to the VA office dealing with veterans service-related disability ratings and decisions along with whatever supporting evidence and medical records they have that the condition has not improved and the condition is permanent.
The evidence will be reviewed and a veteran's disability rating may be adjusted to permanent if circumstances permit.
A Veteran’s Resource Rep Can Help With VA Disability Rating Issues
Understanding veterans disability ratings and how those ratings are assigned can be challenging, as these decisions involve the consideration and weighing of many factors.
Sometimes, veterans may feel as though they have received an incorrect VA disability rating or that their condition should be rated as permanent to avoid future Compensation and Pension examinations or the possibility of their rating being lowered.
Veterans who need assistance in understanding the veterans service-related disability ratings process or getting rating claims re-evaluated should seek assistance.
Veterans resource groups experienced with the process, how to address concerns relating to permanent or lowering ratings, and how to retain the most suitable disability rating for their condition can help.
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