Years: Service Connection Is Protected
A disability rating cannot be denied service connection if a rating has been assigned for a period of ten years or more. The rating may have been reduced within that time, but never taken away. Once service connection is protected, the rating is still subject to fluctuation, but benefits may not be terminated after this time.
Can I Request A Permanent Va Rating
If you believe that your total 100 percent disability is unlikely to improve at any point in the future, you can write a letter to your VA Regional Office requesting a permanent rating. With your letter, you should include medical evidence showing that your medical condition cannot be expected to improve in the future.
Va Claims Processes And The 100% Permanent And Total Disability Rating
The VA claims review process for assigning disability ratings has everything to do with the nature of the medical issue, when and how it developed, and whether or not the problem is service connected and/or permanent.
That rating process does not take into consideration whether or not employment difficulties were caused by the condition. There IS a process that rates veterans in terms of how employable they are having the VA rated medical conditions, but this is done when applying for Total Disability Individual Unemployability Claims, not the initial VA claim.
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Va Voc Rehab And Tdiu
Additionally, many VA Voc Rehab counselors tell veterans they cannot receive benefits from the program while receiving TDIU. This assertion, however, is false without a deeper analysis. It is false to simply conclude all veterans with TDIU cannot use the program.
Logically, veterans can be unemployable given their current skill level or training, receive benefits from Voc Rehab, and then become employable once they gain employment.
In this latter scenario, the veteran should lose their benefits once they gain employment or at least once they have the ability to gain and maintain substantive employment. Now, VRE does ping Disability Compensation when veterans receive TDIU for an evaluation.
What Are The Benefits Of Being A 100 Percent Disabled Veteran
1 VA Disability Compensation Pay 2 Special Monthly Compensation Benefits for 100% Disabled Veterans 3 Veterans Benefits Banking Program 4 FREE Healthcare and Prescription Medications for Disabled Veterans 5 Disabled Veteran Benefits Travel Pay Reimbursement 6 State Property Tax Exemptions for 100 Percent Disabled Veterans
Any mental or physical condition can entitle veterans to a permanent total disability rating if the condition is not expected to improve and they meet the other required guidelines. However, only a few conditions will automatically grant veterans a permanent total disability rating.
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What Are Some Of The Va 100 Percent Permanent And Total Disability Benefits
Here are some of the VA 100 permanent and total disability benefits.
#1. No Cost Healthcare and Prescription Medications and VA Co-Pay Reimbursement
Veteransare charged a copayment for nonservice-connected care provided directly by VAor through a community provider outside of VA. The copayment amount isbased on the type of health care service you receive and your financialsituation. Copayment rates for each service are listed below.
SomeVeterans may be exempt from paying copayments and may qualify for free healthcare and/or prescriptions based on special eligibility factors. You can exploreyour eligibility for VA health care benefits using the online Health BenefitsExplorer tool or by contacting VA at 877-222-VETS .
#2. Dependents Educational Assistance
If your disabilities are determined to be 100 Permanent and Total , the DEA allows your spouse and children to be eligible for certain educational benefits.
A child is authorized 45 months of accredited schooling. VApresently pays a monthly stipend of around $805.00 for a fulltime student,subject to change. They can receive guidance counseling, tutors, etc. If achild has been in school and then the veteran receives a retroactive benefitthat includes the school dates, then the student can file for reimbursement forthe months that he/she qualified on the retroactive date.
A dependent spouse can also qualify for schooling. The dependentstudent or spouse must handle all the necessary paperwork.
How Does The Va Decide To Reduce Tdiu Benefits
The VAs process for ongoing evaluation of TDIU rating changed as of February 2019.
Under the old process, a veteran receiving TDIU had to submit an Employment Questionnaire every year. The form inquired whether the veteran was working and, if so, where, when, and how much income is being earned. Failure to provide these yearly updates within the designated timeframe would cause cancellation of TDIU.
However, that process has changed. The VA implemented a new process for employment verification as of February 2019. With this new process the VA uses a data wage match with the Social Security Administration to identify Veterans in receipt of TDIU who have also been working and paying into social security. Upon this match, the VA will then send out VA Form 21-4140 Employment Questionnaire, and a due process letter to the veteran. This letter must be responded to within the timeframe set forth in the letter.
The veterans earned wages do not automatically exclude the veteran from TDIU eligibility. Instead the VA reviews all facts and circumstances prior to rendering a decision on the TDIU continuing eligibility.
If you can work, keep in mind that you need to balance TDIU benefits only versus a job. Look at the dollar amount difference between the current benefit level and 100% and see if that would be more than how much you veteran could make at work. Everyones condition and circumstances are unique.
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Ssa Expedited Processing For Veterans
Is The Va Funded
Funding requirements are a one-time payment made by the VA to its Department of Veterans Affairs. Though most Veterans are paid two for their services, many do not. There is a 3% fee, as well as a 0 fee. 5% to 3. Those who dont have a big down payment or only have a small one or have used a VA loan previously will receive a 3.5% rate.
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What Do I Need To Know About The Va And Social Security Programs
Both Social Security and VA pay disability benefits. However, their programs, processes, and criteria for receiving benefits are very different.
A VA compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total does not guarantee that you will receive Social Security disability benefits. To be approved for Social Security benefits, you must meet Social Securitys definition of “disability.” To be found disabled:
- You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition and
- Your medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death.
If you receive VA compensation, this will not affect your Social Security benefits. For a quick, side-by-side comparison of each program, please reference this Fact Sheet.
What Does Permanent And Stationary Mean
Permanent and Stationary is a medical-legal term used to describe a stage in the workers compensation system. Usually it coincides with the injurys stabilization, but it does not necessarily mean that you will not continue to recover.
If you have not fully recovered after receiving temporary disability benefits, but have reached maximum improvement, your doctor will write a Permanent and Stationary report. This report describes your medical condition, work restrictions, and future care recommendations. Your doctor then sends this report to the claims administrator.
NOTE: You are entitled to receive a copy of your doctors report. You can make a written request to either your doctor or your claims administrator. Read the report carefully and make sure that you agree with the doctors conclusions. This report will affect your benefits.
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How Do I Receive Tdiu
To receive TDIU benefits, the veteran must apply for disability compensation and fill out two additional forms:
- Veterans Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability
- Request for Employment Information in Connection with Claim for Disability Benefits
You have to provide medical evidence in support of your disability benefits application. That evidence may include doctors notes, medical test results, and other documentation. The VA will also review your work and educational background. This evidence is used to determine whether you are able to hold down any sort of gainful employment.
When Your Va Disability Rating Might Be Permanent
VA deems a disability permanent when it is reasonably certain, based on medical evidence that the level of impairment will continue for the rest of the veterans life. For this reason, VA is allowed to take age into account when determining whether a disability is permanent and it can be more difficult for younger veterans to be considered permanently disabled. When VA decides a veterans service connected condition is permanent in nature, it no longer requires veterans to attend re-examinations. According to 38 CFR § 3.327, you are exempt from future examinations when:
- Your condition is static
- Your condition has persisted without material improvement for a period of five years or more
- The disability from disease is permanent in character and of such nature that there is no likelihood of improvement
- You are over 55 years of age, although some exceptions may apply
- The rating you received is the prescribed minimum rating or
- If a lower rating would not affect your combined disability rating
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Getting Assigned A Permanent Va Disability Rating
First off, a permanent rating may be assigned when medical evidence strongly suggests your condition will not improve over time. The severity of your condition, or multiple conditions, will factor into this, as will your age at the time of your claim. Now, a permanent status doesnt necessarily mean your rating is 100%. It only refers to the likelihood of your condition, whatever its rating, to not improve over time. A 100% disability rating is instead considered total, and likewise, it doesnt necessarily mean your rating is permanent. Having a permanent and total rating will, in fact, protect you from reexamination and rating reduction later in life, but both conditions must be satisfied in your initial exam, or later exam down the line.
You may always request a reexamination to determine if your condition is consistently severe or worsening in an effort to get assigned a total and/or permanent rating.
When Can The Va Reduce Or Eliminate Your Tdiu Benefits
Posted by Gregory M. Rada | August 9, 2019 |Disability Compensation
The road to approval for Veterans Administration disability compensation benefits is rarely smooth, but once granted, many assume the worry is behind them and benefits will continue without end.
Seeking disability benefits is not an easy decision for most veterans, and many will do everything they can to work to the fullest extent for as long as possible. At some point, though, some will be forced to step away from the workplace and seek aTotal Disability rating based on Individual Unemployability due to physical or psychiatric injuries sustained during military service.
Although VA has a process to reduce or take away hard-won benefits, that possibility is not the end of the story. Simply because the VA orders a reexamination does not mean a reduction or loss of benefits is a foregone conclusion there are ways to fight that outcome.
But, the first step in knowing how to do so is understanding when a reexamination will be ordered and what the VA will be looking for during the examination. A discussion of the analysis the VA goes through when it determines if a reduction or elimination ofTDIU benefits is appropriate will follow below.
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When Does My Va Disability Rate Become Permanent And Protected
Nothing in life is guaranteed, and that goes for your originally assigned VA disability rating. The VA may review and possibly lower your rating, pending the results of a Compensation and Pension exam, which may be scheduled only if your condition is not considered permanent when you first claim. That raises a couple questions. How does the VA decide your condition is permanent in the first place? And if it doesnt, can enough time pass before the VA declares your condition is permanent?
If its the second question youre concerned with, youre in luck. It is, in fact, possible to get a permanent, protected rating after a certain period of time.
Stabilized Ratings: 5 Years Or More
Any rating that has remained at the same level for five years or longer is considered stabilized. In addition to the general rating reduction rules that VA must follow , VA must also show sustained improvement in your condition. This means two things: VA cannot use just one re-examination to show sustained improvement. Rather it must show through medical records as well as a C& P re-examination that you are not just temporarily experiencing improvement or VA must show that evidence in your claims file predominantly demonstrates sustained improvement. In either case, VA must provide an explanation of why they are reasonably certain that your condition will continue to show sustained improvement.
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% Disabled Versus 100% Service
There IS a difference between a 100% service-connected disability rating and a 100% permanent and total disability. The easiest way to tell them apart? The VA does not simply issue a 100% disability rating and leave things there.
Any disability that has a chance to improve may still disable the veteran at such a level as to warrant A 100% total rating. But if the VA does not declare you PERMANENTLY disabled, that 100% total rating is subject to review.
State governments do their best to advise veterans of this nuance of the VA rating system, but its still easy to get confused. The City of Nashville official website reminds veterans, If your rating is NOT permanent and total, you WILL be re-evaluated and the rating MAY be adjusted based on the VAs determination.
The Nashville site adds that veterans can tell when a 100% rating is deemed permanent and total because the decision will approve Dependents Educational Assistance and Chapter 35 Benefits.
Tdiu Ratings Are Not Always Permanent
It is important to note that the Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability is not always permanent. For veterans that have been granted entitlement to TDIU, VA can only revoke TDIU status if actual employability is established by clear and convincing evidence ). In other words, VA can only sever your TDIU status if you have been found to be capable of substantially gainful employment. It is important to note that in order for the employment to be substantially gainful, the veteran would have had to be employed for at least 12 consecutive months and earning over the federal poverty threshold.
Note: VA can revoke your disability benefits if it determines that you obtained the rating through fraud or determined it made a clear and unmistakable error.
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When Can The Va Terminate My Disability Compensation
Benefits for disabilities with a service connection can be reduced , but rarely stopped altogether. If you have been receiving service-connected benefits for ten years or longer, your benefits receive special protection from termination. The VA cannot terminate these benefits unless you committed fraud or unless the VA made a “clear and unmistakable error” in granting you benefits . A clear and unmistakable error would include granting you benefits if you have a disqualifying type of discharge or if you had not meet the minimum service requirements.
Even if you have been receiving service-connected benefits for less than ten years, it is still quite rare for the VA to terminate these benefits. In any case, the VA cannot terminate your benefits unless you first receive a notice from the VA telling you about your right to have a hearing. You also have the right to appeal any decision to terminate your benefits.
If you receive a notice from the VA that your service-connected benefits may be terminated, contact a disability lawyer right away.
You Have Had The Same Rating For 20 Years
If you have had the same disability rating for PTSD for 20 years, VA cannot lower your rating, except in the case of fraud. For example, if you received a disability rating of 50 percent in January 1997, starting in January 2017 your rating can never fall below that amount unless VA finds evidence that you obtained it fraudulently.
If you have had VA disability for 20 years and your rating has gone up and down during that time, VA cannot reduce it any further than its lowest point during that period. For example, if you received your rating in January 1997 and it swung between 30 percent and 100 for two decades, then starting in January 2017 it cannot fall below 30 percent.
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