Veteran Shocked By Disability Rating Reduction From 70 To 0 Percent
One veteran recently wrote in on our Facebook group, Disabled Veterans – Chapter 31 Voc Rehab, of their horror of a disability rating reduction. That rating reduction was from his $1,300 per month payment to $0.
For most Americans, that kind of change can result in homelessness or at least a great deal of stress. Making matters worse, the veterans who experience such disability rating reductions tend to be those suffering from mental health conditions.
So, not only are veterans in that situation already stressed due to the issue, but they are then doubly panic-stricken when forced into an unexpected financial hardship.
I guess the lesson here is to never trust that your disability payment can be dependable. Instead, treat it like an unexpected bonus every month.
RELATED: Quick Facts When Applying For VA Voc Rehab
Why is that? How is VA able to yank us around?
VA can play with the squishy standards for assessing the extent of or the impact of their disabling conditions. Veterans with a PTSD rating are required to come back to VA every few years for a new assessment, and each new visit gives the agency another chance to reduce that veteran’s disability rating.
RELATED: Is Army PTSD Misdiagnosis Scheme Also Fraud?
Even if VA’s decision when reducing your rating is not legal, it will still take at least three years for the veteran to appeal through the appeals process.
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Disability Rating Reduction Message Chain
Check out the comment thread:
John: FUCK THE V.A. I just got a letter stating that my service connected disability for P.T.S.D. AND MAJOR DEPRESSION DISORDER is going from 70% to 0% because I am improving
Voc Rehab Forum Responses
Romon: How is that? What did u tell them u were doing better?
Jeff: Never curse the VA contact them to see what is going on?
Romon: Go to DAV they cant drop u down just like that…Its the law
Eric: How does that happen?
Eric: only way I can see this if you told them at a c&p increase exam that you have absolutely no more symptoms
Cesar: That’s tough, hope all goes well
Jose: ~ file a Notice of disagreement ASAP. Then proceed to doing research on your issue [ PTSD ] and read what is called the Code of federal regs’. ~ in it you’ll find the laws and in some cases which were landmarks’ [ ones which made a rule change ] you have to ARM yourself with the ammunition that they use on you and fight them at their own game. ~ stay focused
Josh: Something tells me we aren’t exactly getting the full story here.
Thomas: You missed appointments or stopped ordering your meds?
Brian: There has got to be more to it. I’m thinking you skipped reevaluation. Even if you say your getting better I don’t think they can drop you.
Romon: This can’t be the full story. They have to notify you that they are thinking about reducing your percentage and then you have time to fight it before it happens. They just don’t send you a letter stating that without just cause or you gave them reason to believe u were better. You would have to go back the C&P etc. You need to go see a DAV rep not VA and get on top of it and contact your congressman
David: How often do you have to go to appoints to maintain your rating? I am a college student so its a little difficult to go weekly like the VA prefers.
Thomas: Mine was lowered before based off of some notes without warning. It was wrong so I argued that and it went back but I got a letter saying it was done initially from 50 to 30
Janet: If you are rated P&T can the change it?
Corey: Check the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. This will help explain what symptoms (and the severity of the symptoms) garner certain percentages. This will help during your appeal.
Corey: Also, you should have received notification of WHY you rate a certain percentage, and VASRD criteria for the next higher percentage.
Johnny: Curse the va all you want, they told me 2yrs ago my hearing has improved so they cut mine. Still on appeal.
I thought sleep apnea is a static disease and cannot be reduced..
When it comes to the VA and legislators the only thing that is static is their inability to get things done. The Decision Officers at Regional offices are taking their direction from Central. I don’t necessary disagree with that entirely but I’m concerned about the quality of decisions. The further up the food chain decisions are made, the less discretion the local VBA has. The DRO’s have less discretion and, in fact, Veterans with reductions in their disability evaluations have more hoops to go through for adjudication of those reductions. The VA is suppose to notify Veterans prior to any reduction. This is called due process. However, in my case, even that wasn’t followed. In addition, theVA won’t even follow the science any more when it comes to sleep apnea. I’ll most probably win on appeal but it will be years. So, veterans need to fight this abuse of power. We are the “warriors” of today that are being disenfranchised. Everything is being run by matrix. No heart, soul, or compassion. You’ll find that in the dictionary only in today’s bureaucracies. Just keep fighting and take care of your self and your family in the process. Adapt, persevere, overcome.
I recently was reduced from 50% to 0% on my Sleep Apnea, secondary to SC PTSD., I’m a 64 year old Vietnam Veteran. I suffer from Agent Orange Ischemic Heart Disease, with a Myocradial Infarction and 4x by pass in 2004. For years I was denied Service connection for PTSD. I also had SC right radial surgery in 1993 (no MEB). I retired from Marine Corps in 1996. Even though I had two bad knees, herniated disc from injury on active duty, high cholesterol, depression secondary to PTSD, I never received any compensation till I filed in 2006. I was working full time but it became harder to work due to stress and physical pain. However, I was able to work part time. I put in a request for increase from 10% to 30% for my dominant right wrist which now has Akyliosis and an earlier effective date on Sleep Apnea which had been previously denied but I was awarded 50% based on Sleep study at a Board Certified non VA facility. At my C&P for Right wrist, I was told I will get recommended increase due to meeting criteria.
Then the decision letter this year. My request for increase of wrist denied due to “lack of specific diagnosis” though the primary SC diagnosis “Kienbock’s disease of right lunate” included observable akyliosis. Then instead of a decision of my request for an earlier effective date for my Sleep Apnea, I get the reduction from 50% to O%.
Since then, I have been depressed, and PTSD symptoms have gone
through the roof. I have had to go back to my doctor for med evaluation and the VSO is asking for a reconsideration. Something about the “Allen Aggravation law” that may have been misapplied.
I also am gathering information on kidney disease and autoimmune problems from drinking Camp Lejeune well water for 2 years, 1978-80.
My physician has been treating me for past several years to fight those and other medical problems.
I don’t want to say anything that will be misinterpreted but this has weighed heavy on me. With all the rhetoric of supporting veterans, I certainly have been feeling unsupported these days.
so now that i’m better and requesting a reduction in ptsd rating, why have they increased it?
I feel all the same I’ve been fired from six jobs in four years what do they want me to do eat a bullet or walk into a mall and start killing people and then the fuckin va says yeah he’s got ptsd alright only now we don’t have to pay him bcuz he’s on death row…oh and if any cops read this I actually believe in the oath I took to protect this country against all enemies foreign and domestic so I will never ever hurt the innocent and will die to protect my fellow Americans
On my c/p it stated no more exam needed or something like that. my c/p started in 12/2014. that was a 23 yrs difference between I had PTSD. I thought about trying to get it back dated, but then I think the’ll say you rating is 0 therefore i’m not going to do anything. I guess it’s the safe way to go.
Can the VA reduce or terminate disability compensation and pension for any reason without first sending notification in the mail? How much notification is the VA required to give before they can reduce or terminate disability compensation and pension for any reason?
I just got a letter from the VA on 12/24/15 telling me that my compensation rating is going to be reduced from 60% to 0% because I was a no-show at a re-evaluation for my condition scheduled for August 2015. I never received a letter about the re-evaluation at any time in 2015. I have attended over twenty VA related appointments in 2015. No reason for me to miss such an important appointment. I have to say that all this mess is a little too convenient for the VA and not so for me. Would like to know if there are some other veterans out there that have gone through the same situation. I also have the 60% disability rating for almost twenty years. Is it legal for the VA to reduced to 0% after that long of a time has passed? We would be facing financial hardship and the real possibility of loosing our home. Any sound advice about legal help in this case would be very welcome. I am located just outside Seattle, WA. Thank you for your time and any help you can give to me and my family, and thank you for your service fellow veterans.
They tried dropping Me from 100% to 40 % , went to Congressman an Case went in my Favor.
Thanks for the advice. I am going to contact my state Congressman and my state representative also, thank you.
What all did you include in your letter to the Congressman??
Horacio – I don’t understand why your benefit rating got reduced, but VARO Seattle should have notified you by mail and told you what avenue is available to you to appeal.
Go back and request your full medical record at VAMC Seattle and see if doctors have documented that your condition/conditions have significantly improved. This is the only reason I see them taking your rating, or you have stopped going to VA for continous treatment of your disability/disabilities.
Fuck the VA
The VA is pissing the wrong group of people off don’t they know that or is greed and the liberal democrat agenda against veterans more important.
I was rated at 60% for a heart condition of atrial fibrillation, as my condition worsened and I had an ejection fracture of 15 % and couldn’t walk 20 feet without almost passing out. The VA said I was all better. They reduced my rating to 10% witch in turn forced me back to work full time and work more hours. As a result I had a Stroke. Now I am half parilized and blind in left eye and have mutable other issues from the stroke. That was one year ago when I file a claim. And nothing even after giving copies of my medical records not once not even twice and get this it the sixth time and the VA is still asking for the medical records. I’ve sent them cert, signature return receipt even walked them in. And nothing.
Now I know why vets are killing them selves. In the end I’ve lost my house cars anything of value and worked all my life for, and I’m homeless and still waiting I had to split up my family wife and kids living with relatives and I’m living in my wife’s uncle garage. And not a penny to my name. The VA charges me for my blood thinner and other Ned’s I can’t afford to pay the copy’s so the VA is kind enough to take the cost out of my $130.00 comp pay and that’s leave my with$ 3.64 to live on. I should just put a billet in my head and call it a day. Semoer Fi and good luck with the VA. I’m gave up its been down hill ever since Obama took office for me. I blame him.
let’s not put politics in this you probably are being used by one politician or another to convince other people with low IQ’s like the skinheads and KKK’s to vote the way you want them to vote. The time of the maroon’s are past and the lie’s are proven daily this scare tactic no longer walks. You need to try and upgrade your lie’s.
I’m so very sorry to hear of your (family) hardship. Isn’t there $$$ out there from VA for this purpose of no income? In addition to writing g your congress, I would try and get the media involved. God speed.
The VBA’s understanding of significant life events is about on par what they know about fornication.
In award letter it said proposing decreasing PTSD from 70 to 10% as I had improved. However, I am on several medications. I will be 65 in a few months. Also, it said you could call and ask so I did. They said not to worry yet I would be receiving a letter proposing the decrease. My wife went back through the papers they send and said, here is the letter. Compensation board said no it was not the letter. We took it to the local VSO and yes it was the letter. Had we waited any longer and took them at their word that it was not the “letter” they would have taken my compensation.
The problem that veterans, such as yourself, are faced with is the scammers trying to milk the VA, it is that the fraudulent claims that continue for years, even decades because the VA doesn’t follow up on the alleged disabilities. I know someone making an extremely good living-education…compliments of the VA. This person claims mental health issues alledged(PTSD), not getting treatment for, that are not obvious, yet can focus on a high GPA in college and getting a high paying position with the VA as a social worker, go figure.
WHY IS THE VA NOT CHECKING HER FOR HER SO CALLED DISABILITIES???? Your guess is as good as mine. She is a scam artist for sure and should be charged with fraud. She is a lesbian and hasn’t lived with her “husband” in a year, she still takes that $100 spousal support-probably for her shoes. It is ridiculous what our non-combat vets get for making up disabilities. She has perfect teeth, an alcoholic ad claims TMJ-yes, she gets money from the VA for that. Now, it is a well known fact that she doesn’t have TMJ any longer and alcohol really is a major cause of TMJ….. the list goes on with this person and she goes through life unscathed. I have reported, documented, etc. to no end and they don’t do anything about this person. She forged a federal document when she was a service officer-I reported this to VA OIG nothing happened. Bankruptcy fraud-nothing happened.
I have faith the VA will get these fraudsters and compensate veterans that truly are in need. Best of luck and thank you for your service!
Even if a veteran was never in combat his job provided plenty of back up. All the billion’s of dollars spent on the Iraq shoulder’s that won’t fight should be given to all the veterans out there; because even if they was not combat veterans they had the balls enough to sign up. Because every soldiers job is 11B when it comes to the nitty gritty. So I wish that we concerntrate on who is really gettting the real money certainly not the veterans
Only is 11B are 11B! I hate hearing that everyone did my job, BS! You did 5% of what I did in combat!
I’m about to be ruined. I am going to lose everything. Bye.
Very informative comments and information overall. On the other hand, I don’t believe that there is an agency or anyone stepping up to oversee many of these internal issues. It just appears that there is no penalty for treating a Veteran unfairly.
Veterans with PTSD are between a rock and a hard place. The VA wants Veterans to make weekly appointments, but it causes major stress during, before and after the appointment because we all know they will say the Veteran is better or improving, eventually losing their rating. If they don’t go to the appointments they will say you are better and you will lose your rating. So the question is what to you do? Continue ordering and taking your medication from the psychiatrist because PTSD never goes away, Veterans learn how to cope with it, but it is always there which means you will always have a disability. Secondly, you should seek medical care from a civilian psychiatrist or mental health professionals who you can build a relationship with. Continue seeing these professionals for the duration, but still be sure you know what is being written down so it can’t be used against you later.
I so agree, I had been suffering in silence with my head buried deep in denial for over 20 yrs. After meeting the man of my dreams and falling in love, having everything in life I’ve ever wished for, I couldn’t get any peace and I felt so along and bottle up. Slowly I started to open up to my Fiance, now husband about my experience in the Gulf War. Long story short, I went to VA in such of help. I had a Psychiatrist With no military experience, let long combat experience that I was borderline bipolar. What a joke, needless to say, I dropped her like a hot dam potatoe. I have since been diagnosed with ptsd and am receiving treatment. Everyday is a battle field, you have to fight constantly just to find some piece of your former self. It like taken 2 steps forward, but then u take 5 steps backward. Most days I can’t function. The war is never over, it’s always inside of you… on top of all that you have to fight the Government Who left u along and vulnerable without any support. No wonder I’m mad as hell!! Use us then toss us Aside like rags!!!
I was 60% disabled and I applied for an increase since it was hard for me to work, when i went for my exam the lady examining me was having a bad day or something and was very rude to me for no reason, when I got my letter it stated that I told my examiner I was getting better and was not in any pain (which I was obviously or i wouldnt have applied for an increase) lost all my disability, have fought for three years to get it back with no luck.
I think it is clear that veterans need protection from VA examiners and other professionals in VBA. I would suggest doing things like bringing a second party as a witness or recording conversations when legal. Some states are single party notice states and others are dual party. Be sure to consult with a lawyer prior to using your recorder to document interactions with VA officials.
great idea. I have become quite the transcriptionist. my type writer is out of tape. recorder is the next trend
Same here. They tell lies when they send the results to the rating officers. Like it’s there dame money! When you say yes to a question they say no! What you should do is contact your congressman and report them. You can also file a 4128 and report them to VA in Nashville. Tell VA EVERYTHING YOU CAN REMEBER WHAT THE EXAMIERS SAID AT THE C&P EXAM. I TOLD EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF ON THEM. RECORD THEM WITHOUT THEM KNOWING BY PLACING A SMALL RECORDER OR PHONE IN YOUR POCKET. WHEN THE NURSE CALL YOUR NAME, SAY EXCUSE ME, LET ME TURN MY PHONE OFF, BUT DO THE OPPOSITE! THIS WILL GET THEIR ASS!
DONT GIVE UP!!! I finally got my disability even though they only gave me 80% after giving up on the old claim that I had been fighting for three years and just filing a new one, however I still got screwed out of 20% rating for a condition that I have been getting paid for years which would make it 100% . I also got screwed out of thousands in back pay because they said I missed a appt for a C&P exam that I was never notified about or I promise you I would have been there..makes no sense
I wish to pass on to older veterans who are aged 65 or older, this Option 22 submitted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concerning reducing the deficit on mandatory spending. This Option 22 is about those veterans who are listed as 100% TDIU (total disability individual unemployability). They want to take TDIU veterans aged 65 or older off of total disability by unemployability, because, their reasoning is people at that age or older are retired from the work force anyway and 100% TDIU veterans aged 65 should no longer be compensated for being unable to work. That’s it in a nutshell. Under Title 38 though, it clearly states that TDIU is awarded based on the veterans disability and not his age. This hasn’t become a Bill yet, but Congress is looking at it. Write to your Congressman and tell him or her to oppose this turning into a Bill. Tell your veterans organization about this Option 22…..It’s all about screwing over older veterans!
Years back I was being reevaluated due to problems with my back. At time I was an out patient going weekly to Rehab Med. Clinic at VA Palo Alto, Calif. for about 5 years with 3 of it in hot water swim pool Kinseotherapy. Woke up one morning & could not stand straight up due to 10 level pain in legs. The Rehab clinic did 2 EMG (nerve conduction) tests with 6 doctors involved & said they were negative. Did a catscan (does not show soft tissue) that was negative, & canceled an MRI that would have revealed the problem. They injected my back on an X-ray Machine & relieved the pain & started intense therapy. At same time I was doing the reevaluation & saw outside doctors that said I should have 100 % on my back alone & wrote letter to VA. VA said they were wrong. Got an appointment with Neurosurgery & they looked at same EMG tests & asked me to stay over on this Friday evening as they wanted an overtime MRI. The MRI showed a severely ruptured disc at L-5 exactly as outside doctors had reported problem. They did surgery Monday morning & It was determined it was caused by dysfunctional knee of my crushed leg. I have severe problems with back & severe nerve damage also for which the surgeon apologized stating it could not be helped . The reevaluation board gave me
100 % rating including 30 % for unemployability. I questioned why & they said it was just easier to do it that way. It has been thrown in my face 3 times by VA employees that I am not 100 % disabled, they just felt sorry for me & were being kind to me. It is the VA way !!!
I could write a book on problems with VA !!!
The employees shouldn’t be like that to you at all. The VA I go to the majority of employees are also vets and they are great! We have CVSOs that come to the hospital and even the CVSOs are vets. If employees aren’t nice patients turn them into patient advocate and the employees give the number out. Change hospitals.
Thank you for all you do for the vets.
Thanks for your outstanding comments (Option 22, Veterans Benefits Manual and the Federal Veterans Laws, Rules and Regulations, etc). Please don’t stop posting your comments.
For the vet that cursed VA, I have learned that I caught more flies with honey. There are very good and not good professional people (VA and private medical people) in any organization. Since I retired from the service, I have gotten the most positive feedback from my medical reports from VA’s personnel. I started with 30% in Nov 2002 and I am up to 90% as of Nov 2013. I blame myself that it took me so long to increase my disability. With God and education I can tackle any mountain!
I want to pass this info. on to veterans. As part of my ammo to use to get my award; I purchased the Veterans Benefits Manual and the Federal Veterans Laws, Rules and Regulations from Lexis Nexis. These two manuals are of great use for veterans. They contain all the benefits and rules that pertain to veterans. I have read up on them and used them. I’ve even taken information from them and given it to VSO’s who didn’t know about certain rules and laws under Title 38. Both of these manuals together will cost between $230.00 and $260.00 with tax, shipping and handling. The CD-Rom version has the M1 and the M21-1MR on it. It sells for $220.00. LexisNexis number is:1-800-533-1637. Get your ammo before you start dealing with those people at the VBA!
Totally Agree there AWESOME books There expensive but well worth the money especially if you only get a 10% increase within a month or two of that rating you will have the books paid for.
I served 3 years 4 months and 18 days in Viet-Nam as a “grunt”. I got awards over there to back that up. I’ve got PTSD, bad! The VA turned me down 4 times for service-connection on this because I did not get my paperwork in order. I just assumed that I could trust those people to accept my word on stuff. But what did they do? They screwed over me instead. I decided to get off my rear end and get all my paperwork in place and then start dealing with those people again. The result? I was awarded….Don’t ever trust those people. Get your paperwork and hold onto it. Paperwork is ammunition. Those of us who were in combat know you have to use your ammo!
I bought a book titled Grunts; the author signed it for me. I have PTSD too and checked records last week. I have appt. to get my paperwork in order with active psychiatrist. I was almost raped. Sexual Assault investigation in process. thanks grunt
THERE IS THE “FEAR” THAT MOST(MYSELF INCLUDED) VETERANS FACE DAILY. WE ARE UNABLE TO GET “GAINFUL” EMPLOYMENT, EVEN THOUGH THE “POWERS-TO-BE” SAY THERE ARE JOBS OUT THERE. WE HAVE BEEN “STIGMATISED” BY OUR ILLNESSES(DUAL DIAGNOSTIC). FATHER”BUSH” GOT US IN, BABY”BUSH” STARTED THE DECLINE AND NOW “OBAMA WANTS TO TAKE IT AWAY. IT SEEMS THAT WITH EACH CHANGE OF “ADMINISTRATION”, WE GET LESS AND LESSER. CAN YOU FANTHOM WHAT THE NEXT GROUP OF “WARTIME” VETS ARE GOING TO BE IN FOR. PRAY, PRAY,ETC. FOR OUR “AMERICA”. THE NEXT WAR MIGHT BE “REVOLUTIONARY WAR II” . REMEMBER THE CRY OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR : NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. WE HAVE ALL THESE GROUPS THAT ARE “SUPPOSED TO BE OUR REPS, BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT STORY. WE (VIET NAM VETS) WERE MILITANT, BUT THESE NEW ERA VETS MAKE US LOOK LIKE PROM QUEENS.(NO OFFENSE) LOOK AT THE CLIMATE IN OUR COUNTRY, ALL THE GUN CRIMES, SENSELESS ASSAULTS, CITIES GOING DOWN ETC., IT’S TIME FOR ALL “AMERICANS” TO “WAKE-UP”, THIS HAS A “RIPPLE” EFFECT ON US ALL.
Please do not blame current policy on this or any sitting president. Most policy and laws are passed by congress. This congress has vowed not to pass any legislation under the current presidential regime. Just something to think about. The general opinion is to outsource. In my humble opinion, in the past decade, the more the Federal Government has outsourced, the service we have received has degraded. Just some observations.
Sometimes we have to move to another city or state to get a job or go to school. Has nothing to do with Veteran it’s the availability of jobs. New training or a move has solved many unemployment problems. But one must be open for changes
What hole did you climb out of. What part of the field were you at when you drew such a conclusion? I think you are in the wrong ball park all together. You may even be bowling because you do not have anything to substantiate your statement.
It is better to be thought a ________________, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
I think there’s more to this story than what is being said. When you’re a veteran and you have to deal with these people (VBA), you have to think like you’re at war with them, because, believe it or not; they are definitely at war against you, the veteran. Don’t think of these people as your friend and that they are on your side. Believe me, they are not on your side. Never trust your enemy. Get to know them, but never, ever, trust them!
When obummer gets all his illegals in here he is gonna cut everbodys to 0 to pay for their houses and education and insurance
I assume you are referring to President Obama. Please do your homework and find out how many other presidents have allowed illegals to enter and stay in this our country.
Sorry I meant to say our country,
How many Presidents allowed the released of a twice deported illegal that murdered two California Highway Patrolmen on duty in cold blood.That’s the type of illegal that Obummer will give amnesty to,plus child molesters and rapist who deportations will be stop.
Thank you. The uniformed is why we as a country cannot get many thingsnecessary. They fight the wrong battle hatred racism. We need to stick to the point and fight to get the benefits we need
Get the HELL off of Obama! You and the world had mental illnesses before Obama took office! Reasons why you were denied BENEFITS!
Amen, it is sometimes funny and irritating as heck at other times at the amount of hatery and disrespect shown to our president. One can’t help but but wonder, is it mainly due to his race?
Don’t you feel stupid….2017 and none of the paranoid shit you stated ever happened. Straight Racist type shit or just uneducated or just plain stupid. Smh
Hahaha!! Yes sir you are exactly right!! Where did all these cry baby little pussys come from!! I’m sure today they’re all on the transgender train… Ugh… These liberals are putting more and more of their mental disorders “transgender/LGBTQ” all over the news and exploiting their ignorance.
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