REDUCTION IN VA BENEFITS
I got the reduction in VA benefits letter in the mail. The letter no veteran wants to receive. The letter threatened to reduce my benefits unless I acted quickly. Fortunately, the letter only required that I verify my dependents. However, there would have been significant negative impact for ignoring the letter. In this blog post, we will examine how to prevent the VA from reducing your benefits. Don’t let the VA steal what you have earned.
Reduction In Benefits: The Mailing Address
The letter proposing a reduction in benefits was was marked January 31st, 2023. However, I did not receive the letter until February 14th. The letter only gave me 60 days to respond. As a result, I only had 46 days to respond. That 14 day delay is unacceptable, but that is the reality of working inside the VA system. It is unclear what triggered this review, but these letters can come at any time. As a result, it is imperative that your mailing address always be up to date. This simple task ensures that you have time to respond.
You Are Nothing But A Number To A VA Employee
I don’t pretend the VA is my friend. I understand that the VA’s job is to scheme a way to approve a reduction in VA benefits. However, it is my job to ensure I receive the benefits that I earned. As a result, it is important to remove your emotions from a reduction proposal. Remember, this is war. Your job is to win.
Ongoing Documentation And Reduction In VA Benefits
This reduction in VA benefits proposal was a simple battle. I called the VA, and I confirmed my dependents over the phone. However, a proposal to reduce your rating(s) is much more involved. The time to win that battle is before it begins.
At a minimum, you must be seeing the VA at least once a year. Think of fighting the VA as a court case. You want significant evidence in support of your claims. As a result, it is important to continually be seen at the VA.
Your annual physical is optional, but it is a perfect time to confirm that you are still having issues. The majority of my claim stems from an on duty back injury. As a result, I always make sure the VA doctor understands that I still have ongoing pain and issues.
Reduction In VA Benefits: Mental Health
PTSD, anxiety, and depression are a significant portion of many veteran’s claims. As a result, it is important to document your mental health through a licensed professional. I understand that many veterans do not want to see a “shrink.” However, it is important to be able to prove that you are still affected by your service-connected mental health issue.
There is not a specific number of visits the VA requires each year to fight a reduction in VA benefits proposal. However, we always recommend that you have ongoing documentation. As a result, seeing a professional monthly or quarterly is a great way to document your mental health.
Tell The Truth – The Whole Truth
We had a veteran reach out to us with a question around VA benefits and upgrading his general discharge. The veteran was adamant that he did not have mental health issues. However, he then spent the rest of our conversation detailing his mental health issues.
As a result, I encouraged him to spend time studying mental health claims. I also encouraged him to seek professional mental health care. However, the veteran was his own worst enemy. He refused to acknowledge his mental health issues.
The VA rater can’t read your mind. As a result, you need to tell the rater how your issues affect you. Too many veterans sell themselves short. The VA’s job is forcing a reduction in VA benefits, but your job is to increase your rating.
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