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AFTER Retirement or Separation—What NOT to Do Regarding a VA Rating

RonG

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RonG submitted a new resource:

AFTER Retirement or Separation—What NOT to Do Regarding a VA Rating - Reduced rating, Unnecessary or Unwise Claim for Increase, Use VSO

This does not pertain to the PEB/MEB/IDES processing.

A fellow member of another board to which I belong recently posted the recommendations below. They are important since he is a current rater with the VA.

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About twice a year I’d say I post warnings like the following. Cases where you just have to shake your head. Some info may or may not be tweaked to protect the guilty.

Rated a claim for increase that wound up being a GIANT decrease.

Vet a couple week ago received a BVA...
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Provis

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Ouch~! I just read the post. Yeah submitting claims without thinking things through CAN backfire.
 

Camp P Marine

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1. Other words of wisdom include never file an increase on your back if it is at 40%.

2. If the only service connected condition is mental health @ 70% with IU awarded, it would be very risky to claim an increase. Downside risk is steep and upside is no additional benefit.
3. One can withdraw their claim prior to it being rated by submitting a request in writing (VA FORM 21-4138) notifying which contention(s) to withdraw.

4. If adverse action is proposed one can request a hearing within 30 days to suspend the adverse action pending the hearing.

38 CFR § 3.105

(i) Predetermination hearings.

(1) In the advance written notice concerning proposed actions under paragraphs (d) through (h) of this section, the beneficiary will be informed that he or she will have an opportunity for a predetermination hearing, provided that a request for such a hearing is received by VA within 30 days from the date of the notice. If a timely request is received, VA will notify the beneficiary in writing of the time and place of the hearing at least 10 days in advance of the scheduled hearing date. The 10 day advance notice may be waived by agreement between VA and the beneficiary or representative. The hearing will be conducted by VA personnel who did not participate in the proposed adverse action and who will bear the decision-making responsibility. If a predetermination hearing is timely requested, benefit payments shall be continued at the previously established level pending a final determination concerning the proposed action.
 
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