Occasionally, the VA will send a Veteran a proposal to reduce or terminate their benefits. The VA does this to ensure that they are compensating a Veteran for their current level of disability, often because they believe the Veteran will recover from the disability over time or they have received evidence (such as medical records) indicating that the Veterans disability has improved. When this happens, they will schedule a VA disability re-evaluation.
If you receive a proposal to reduce, you have a couple of options. One option is to ask for a hearing within 30 days from the date you received the letter. This will stop any reduction or termination until you have exercised your right to be heard. This option will keep you at the same rate of pay until after the decision from the hearing. This can be a formal motion or a request written out on a Statement in Support of Claim—VA Form 21-4138. The VA will not be able to make the proposed reduction in pay until after the evidence has been adduced and a decision was made at the hearing.
Your second option in response to a proposal to reduce benefits is to forego a hearing pending a decision on the proposal to reduce, in which case you have 60 days to file evidence showing the eligibility factors which entitled you to the benefit continue to exist. If the VA doesn’t receive your certification that these factors continue to exist within the 60-day period, the proposed reduction or termination of benefits will be put into effect. For compensation purposes, the reduction in pay will begin the last day of the month following 60 days after notice was given.
If you miss your examination, your benefits will be reduced or terminated unless you can show good cause for missing the appointment. If the Veteran shows good cause. he/she has 60 days to indicate willingness to report to a re-examination or show evidence why their benefits should not be reduced or terminated. It’s very important that you attend your examination, as missing the exam gives the VA an easy path to reduce or terminate your benefits.
At Berry Law, we are dedicated to helping Veterans in their fight for disability benefits. We are a Veteran owned and operated business that is committed to fighting on behalf of our fellow Veterans. If you have been denied disability benefits by the VA or were given too low of a rating, we may be able to help. Contact the experienced, VA-accredited attorneys at Berry Law today to see if we can help you.
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