Change in Rating

AKtrooper345

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Hello
Asking for a friend who isnt on here. They received theor follow up rating and were downgraded from 100% to 60% for a single disability. The verbage in the letter says "your compensation payment will continue unchanged", but by our calculation they should only now be at 90% overall (we used calculators online that include the bilateral adjustment for muscoskeleton stuff). The way I read this, the VA is saying they will stop receiving SMC, but will continue to receive 100% compensation benefits and that they may still be 100%;maybe weve missed something?View attachment 5974
 

RonG

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Hello,

If you want to double check the combined ratings,
I recommend using the Hutsky calculator, developed by a friend of mine. It has been successfully used by hundreds at another site.

You can download the excellent Hutsky calculator at http://lasestrellas.info/VBN/Hutsky-Star3.xls <--LINK
It is in Excel and you will have to enable editing once you download it to your computer

It includes bi-lateral ratings.

There are several SMCs. I have SMC-S which pays a couple of hundred dollars more than what I received at 100% P&T. I also have SMC-K.
You mentioned, "The verbiage in the letter says 'your compensation payment will continue unchanged'." It is unlikely that a withdrawal of SMC-S (my inference of the SMC) results in the same amount of VA compensation.

From Cornell Law regarding SMC-S:
Total plus 60 percent, or housebound; 38 U.S.C. 1114(s). The special monthly compensation provided by 38 U.S.C. 1114(s) is payable where the veteran has a single service-connected disability rated as 100 percent and,

(1) Has additional service-connected disability or disabilities independently ratable at 60 percent, separate and distinct from the 100 percent service-connected disability and involving different anatomical segments or bodily systems, or

(2) Is permanently housebound by reason of service-connected disability or disabilities
. This requirement is met when the veteran is substantially confined as a direct result of service-connected disabilities to his or her dwelling and the immediate premises or, if institutionalized, to the ward or clinical areas, and it is reasonably certain that the disability or disabilities and resultant confinement will continue throughout his or her lifetime.



Ron
 

AKtrooper345

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Thanks Ron!

To piggyback off this question. My friend has 0% for chronic sinitus and 0% for chronic rhinitis. He was unable to get a sleep study in the army, but just had one earlier this year (he got out in 2018). He has pretty bad sleep apnea and is required to wear a CPAP. He wants to file for sleep apnea secondary to the two afforementioned disabilities. Does the VA acknowledge that the sleep apnea is secondary to those or is a nexus note needed to make the link?
 

AKtrooper345

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Thanks Ron!

To piggyback off this question. My friend has 0% for chronic sinitus and 0% for chronic rhinitis. He was unable to get a sleep study in the army, but just had one earlier this year (he got out in 2018). He has pretty bad sleep apnea and is required to wear a CPAP. He wants to file for sleep apnea secondary to the two afforementioned disabilities. Does the VA acknowledge that the sleep apnea is secondary to those or is a nexus note needed to make the link?
Started new forum for this question
 

Camp P Marine

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
The Veteran's payment will remain unchanged until the reduction is finalized. He can request a timely hearing within 30 days of the date of the letter to suspend the action.

38 CFR 3.105

(e) Reduction in evaluation - compensation. Where the reduction in evaluation of a service-connected disability or employability status is considered warranted and the lower evaluation would result in a reduction or discontinuance of compensation payments currently being made, a rating proposing the reduction or discontinuance will be prepared setting forth all material facts and reasons. The beneficiary will be notified at his or her latest address of record of the contemplated action and furnished detailed reasons therefor, and will be given 60 days for the presentation of additional evidence to show that compensation payments should be continued at their present level. Unless otherwise provided in paragraph (i) of this section, if additional evidence is not received within that period, final rating action will be taken and the award will be reduced or discontinued effective the last day of the month in which a 60-day period from the date of notice to the beneficiary of the final rating action expires.


(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.
 

oddpedestrian

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@Camp P Marine

He cannot request a hearing if his compensation amount remains the same your due process rights only apply to the dollar amount not the percentages.

Nevertheless, we have a caveat here that I need to research on I am not sure if this applies to SMC pay I know it applies to disability percentages.
 

Camp P Marine

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
ah true. Only if the monetary award is affected (combined evaluation reduction, SMCs, etc.) He could then ask for a Supplemental Claim VA Form 20-0995 (with new and relevant evidence), or a Higher Level Review, VA Form 20-0996 (no additional evidence is allowed), or Opting into the new process using VA Form 10182 to the BVA.
 
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