What is the VA 10 year rule? – 10-year rule for survivors

Veteran affair department gives the percentage to the disability of a veteran that is governed by the year rule. The rating given to the disabled veteran ranges from 0 % to 100 %. The benefits and compensations are provided to the veterans and their families on the basis of these disability ratings.

The disability percentage is ranked up to 100 % only and no veteran can get the disability percentage of more than 100 %. Likewise, there are the 10-year rule, 20-year rule, and more set to compensate and help the disabled veterans.

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VA 10 year rule for disabled veterans

The veteran affairs department gives compensation to disabled veterans based on their disability rating. This 10-year rule says that the compensation given to disabled veterans for 10 years can not be reduced even there is an improvement in the condition of a veteran.

This rule is set to help disabled veterans and it also prohibits the veteran affairs department from reducing the benefits and compensation to the veterans even if they grow older than the age of 55.

The veterans who are given a disability rating of 100 % are also protected under this rule and their benefits can not be cut after the improvement of their condition.

Considerations of the 10-year rule

There can be cases where the veteran affairs department misdiagnoses the condition of a veteran. This means that they are given a higher disability rating but their condition is not worst or they don’t have more than one medical-related issue. #

If such circumstances occur, then the veteran affairs department may review the medical examination of a veteran. This condition then does not apply to the 10-year rule.

The medical conditions of a person change with the change of time. The condition don does not stay the same. Some conditions get improved and some get worsened. It all depends upon the diet and the environment of the patient.

In such cases, where the condition of veteran changes with changes of time, the veteran affairs department may find new ways to diagnose and check the disability and may use different diagnostic codes for a disability rating.

Difference between service-connected and pre-existing issues

Veteran affair department provides the veterans with VA compensation even if they had a pre-existing condition when they entered their service. The condition is examined properly and a rating is given to them for their condition. VA keeps a check on the condition and takes measures if the condition gets aggravated.

For example, when the veteran joins his duty, he had a condition of a 10 % disability rating. The veteran department will assign him a rating of 20 % where 10 % is the aggravated rating. The veteran will be compensated for the benefits provided to the disabled veteran with a 10 % rating only, and not the 20 % rating.

This rating and compensation are given because, in the eyes and documents of the veteran affairs department, the 10 % disability pre-existing issue was aggravated by the 10 % disability of service-connected issue.

Related: What happens to my VA disability when I turn 65?

The veterans who have been given the disability rating for more than two decades can be protected by the VA department. Their VA rating will not be reduced below that level that they are already receiving. This rule prevails even if the condition of veterans gets improved.

10-year rule for survivor’s compensation

Disability dependency and indemnity compensation pay and benefit are provided to the survivors of a disabled veteran. These compensations are only provided when the veteran had a disability of 100 % and he lived for at least 10 years with the condition before his death occurred if their death is not caused by the service-connected disability. The spouse is given the benefits such as education, house, financial support, job preference benefit, etc after the death of the veteran.

Is VA disability rating permanent?

The veteran affairs department offers benefits for the veterans and they are provided for a certain period of time only. It depends upon the condition of disability of the veteran. However, the benefits and compensations provided to the veteran cab get permanent in few cases.

To make the rating permanent, the veteran’s affairs department conducts a medical examination. When the disability rating is permanent, then the veterans are exempt from any other medical examination in the future.  Following conditions are required to assign a permanent disability rating to a veteran:

  • The condition of a disabled veteran is not changing(static)
  • The condition remains for the period of five years or even more, such condition is known as a stabilized condition
  • The disability is not improvable at any stage of life and it must be the result of the service-connected issue
  • The veteran is 55 years of age, there are other conditions as well for age limit
  • The disability rating a veteran receives is a minimum rating prescribed by the veteran affair department
  • The lower rating assigned by the veteran affair department would not affect the minimum combined rating of a disabled veteran

When can VA reduce 10- year rating?

The disabled veterans whose condition changes with the time are sent to compensation and pension examination. The veteran affairs department then evaluates the disability and rates them with a proper rating.

If the VA finds out about the improved condition of a veteran from the medical examination, then it can reduce the disability rating from the present rating of a veteran. However, the rating is reduced only where there are the following cases:

  • The veteran affair department has reviewed the entire medical examination history of a disabled veteran
  • The veteran has been through a thorough and detailed examination enough to show the disability rating for the purpose
  • The veteran affair department finds the necessary improvement  in the condition and health of veteran that is enough to carry out daily routine works including the employment

When the VA finally decides to reduce the rating and benefits of a veteran, they give 60 days to the veteran to submit an application as proof, and 30 days to the veteran who wants to request a hearing.

VA will not end or reduce the benefits of veterans under the 10-year rule but if there is some kind of fraud, then VA might change the compensation and rating as well.

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