Veterans garner immense respect within the United States of America and that is why the state has various mechanisms in place to help them on their return from active service.
Veterans can file for disability with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and applicants must first know the eligibility requirements.
To qualify for VA disability benefits, veterans must meet three basic requirements:
Service in the United States Armed Forces: This includes all branches, such as the National Guard, Coast Guard, and the Space Force.
A current illness, injury, or disability: Both physical and mental conditions are eligible for VA disability benefits.
The condition’s relation to military service: The recipient’s condition must be either caused by or worsened by their service, regardless of whether they were on active or reserve duty.
Qualified dependents, including spouses, partners, and children, can also be eligible for VA disability benefits.
However, it’s important to note that veterans with certain types of discharges, such as “other than honorable,” “bad conduct,” and “dishonorable” discharges, may not qualify for these benefits.
Disabilities can change over time, and the VA does actually have the power to reduce disability rating for a variety of reasons.
If you have a 100 percent Permanent and Total (P&T) rating, it is very unlikely you will be re-evaluated or have your rating reduced. That will only happen if your 100 percent rating was found to be fraudulent.
The following could also lead to a review, according to Cuddigan Law:
You have a 100% P&T rating but open a new claim for compensation to include Special Monthly Compensation (SMC). Special monthly compensation (SMC) is a higher rate of compensation that the VA pays to Veterans who lost or lost the use of, specific organs or body parts due to military service.
(Loss, or loss of use, means amputation or no effective remaining function of an extremity or organ.) If the VA Rater can see that one or more of your impairments have improved or could get better, your rating may be reduced.
You have a 100% P&T rating and open a new claim for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. This will automatically trigger a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam for the increase. The VA may reduce your rating if the C&P examiner determines your condition has improved or could improve.
If a VA Quality Review finds a Clear and Unmistakable Error (CUE) for the original 100% P&T rating, your rating could be reduced. (While Veterans often request CUE motions to get the VA to re-evaluate and approve benefits or increase their rating, they can also be used by the VA to reduce or deny an individual’s disability benefits.)