You may be wondering, "How do I know if my VA rating is permanent?" Unfortunately, it is not always obvious. But it is worth knowing, because a permanent placement protects you against future early retirement reductions. Read on to learn how to tell if your review is permanent and what factors lead to permanent reviews.
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This article is about permanent VA assessments
- What is a permanent disability rating?
- How does the VA define permanent assessments and what are the criteria?
- What is a permanent and complete VA rating?
- What is Static VA Disability?
- How do I know if my VA rating is permanent?
- Protected and stabilized ratings vs. permanent assessments
- The 5 year rule
- The 10 year rule
- The 20 year rule
- 55 years of reign
- Permanent VA handicap rating
- Individual unemployment and permanent assessments
- How Our VA Disability Attorneys Can Help You
Wouldn't it be nice to know that the VA payment you receive is constant instead of having to worry about being invited to an examination that could change your VA score and the amount you receive? This will mean that you have a permanent disability. How do you know if your VA rating is permanent? This post explains.
What is a permanent disability rating?
A permanent disability rating is awarded by the VA if your condition is not expected to improve or change over a lifetime. If you receive a permanent disability rating, your VA disability benefits must be protected from reevaluation and are unlikely to change.
How does the VA define permanent assessments and what are the criteria?
The VA issues a permanent rating for a condition that is not expected to improve or change during the veteran's lifetime. This classification can apply to conditions such as the loss of a limb or many long-term conditions. This means that the VA does not need to reassess the condition since no change is expected.
The VA should not send you for a reexamination if:
- Your disability has not changed
- There has been no significant improvement for 20 or more years
- You are over 55 years old
- You already have a minimum rating
- Your combined disability rating will not change
Since the condition does not change or reassess, the rating remains the same throughout life.
You are not applying for permanent employment. The VA determines this when an assessment is made based on your condition and symptoms.
What is a permanent and complete VA rating?
A VA rating can be total without being permanent or permanent without being complete, but they are often in pairs. A permanent and total disability (P&T) is when a veteran's medical condition prevents them from continuing in "substantial gainful" employment and is not expected to improve over time. Veterans with a P&T rating are not reevaluated and receive 100% monthly benefits for the rest of their lives. The rating is not changed and the payment is not reduced. Age may also be taken into account when determining whether a condition is permanent and totally disabling.
"Reductions can be a real problem and the continuous and complete assessment protects you from that," he saidVA-Behindertenanwalt Mike Woods. "Sometimes it can be pretty scary when you get that letter from the VA and they threaten to drop the valuation from the $3,000 a month you get to $800 a month. With permanent and full protection, it gives you a lot more protection."
Conditions that qualify for P&T include:
- Injuries that are unlikely to improve with treatment
- A completely debilitating, long-term illness
- Permanent loss or loss of the ability to use both hands, both feet, one hand and one foot, or the ability to see in both eyes
- Permanent confinement to bed
P&T scores are typically not given for infectious diseases or injuries unless they result in one of the conditions listed above.
What is Static VA Disability?
The VA occasionally uses the word "static" to describe a veteran's disability. You may be wondering if there is a difference between a static disability VA rating and a permanent disability VA rating; there is no. A static VA rating is considered permanent. A VA judge will consider the nature, history or severity of the handicap when assigning a static score. If the VA indicates that a disability is static or permanent, the veteran will not be required to conduct future examinations of his or her condition.
How do I know if my VA rating is permanent?
Sometimes VA award letters will specifically state that the rating decision is permanent or have a box checked indicating that it is. However, this is not always the case. If it does not appear from the decision that the assessment is permanent, but no future investigations are planned, the assessment can be permanent. If the letter implicitly states "no future exams scheduled," your assessment is permanent. If future exams are scheduled, VA does not consider the rating to be permanent.
Another indication that you have a permanent rating is if you are receiving benefits that are only given to living veterans with a permanent and full rating, such as:educational support for relatives(DEA).
You can log in to youre-benefitsAccount to review your current VA disability ratings. There you can also find out if your ratings are permanent.
"The company got me to 70% and I was satisfied. I was awarded individual unemployment and I am so grateful for that to this day. My future is no longer bleak. These people work very hard for you.„
R.C., a Hawaii Navy veteran
Protected and stabilized ratings vs. permanent assessments
VA will not reevaluate certain conditions if it knows they are unlikely to change or are permanent. Withprotected reviews, it is more difficult, but not impossible, for the VA to reduce or remove your rating.
The 5 year rule
Your VA rating is considered stable when the VA determines that it is not likely to change and has not changed for five years. Once you hit the five-year mark, it becomes more difficult for the VA to try to change your rating and lower your payment amount. After five years, a VA disability rating can only be downgraded if there is sustained improvement in condition over more than one rating.
The 10 year rule
Once you have received VA disability payments for a condition for 10 years, the VA cannot cancel your benefits for the condition. The VA can still lower your rating, and therefore your payment, if they see a significant improvement in your condition, but they cannot remove your disability from that condition, even if your rating has been lowered in that decade.
The 20 year rule
When you have received VA disability payments for a condition of the same rating or above for 20 years, it is considered 'continuous'. The VA cannot lower a continuous rating below the level it was originally assigned. The VA can only downgrade your rating after 20 years if they can show that your original claim was fraudulent.
55 years of reign
Veterans receiving VA disability benefits for service-connected illness are exempt from future examinations once they turn 55. It55 years of reignprotects the veteran's performance.
The only exception is that "under unusual circumstances" the VA may request a reassessment of a rating for a veteran over age 55. The VA does not define exceptional circumstances, but may apply, for example, to a veteran who has been treated for certain types of cancer and must be reevaluated six months after treatment ends.
Permanent VA handicap rating
A permanent rating is considered protected and stabilized. Since the condition is not expected to change, there is no need for the VA to reevaluate or change the assessment.
Individual unemployment and permanent assessments
Total disability based on individual unemployment (TDIU)is for veterans who are unable to work due to service-related mental and physical health problems. The TDIU terms are considered "complete" but are not always permanent. VA should not downgrade TDIU ratings unless there is clear and convincing evidence of actual employability. If your condition is not expected to improve enough to be able to work, you may be entitled to ongoing TDIU benefits without a reassessment.
"Total disability is good, but permanent and total disability is even better," Woods said. "TDIU may be considered temporary, but permanent and total disability will be protected against future reductions."
How Our VA Disability Attorneys Can Help You
Woods and Woods has helped thousands of veterans across the country get the VA benefits they deserve. Call us for a free case evaluation to find out how we can help. If we take your case, you only pay if you win.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If I do not have a permanent and complete assessment, will I be re-assessed in the future?
Maybe. If you did not achieve permanent and total disability for your conditions, the VA can reevaluate your ratings later, or you can request it. VA may downgrade your rating upon review.
Can a 100% VA disability rating be permanent and complete?
Yes. Some veterans with a 100% rating are also eligible for assessment of permanent and total disability VA benefits. Although VA disability ratings total 100%, they are not automatically considered permanent. The question is whether your condition is so advanced that no improvement is expected over time.