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How Often Does the Va Require a Re-Examination of PTSD?

The VA can schedule your PTSD to be re-evaluated if at the time of their decision they believe there is a chance your PTSD might improve in the future. This occurs for a variety of reasons including that the veteran has not had PTSD for a long period of time or there is an expectation that treatment will improve symptoms,

The Department of Veterans Affairs can reduce or terminate your disability benefits under some circumstances, but they can’t unless you are requested to appear for a re-examination. The VA is legally entitled to require you to have a re-evaluation and it’s vital that you agree to the re-evaluation to keep receiving your benefits.


Scheduling of Re-Examinations or Re-Evaluations

When you first start receiving disability benefits from the Veterans Administration, they will determine whether you should be scheduled for future re-evaluation in order to determine if your PTSD symptoms have improved in the future.

If the Veterans Administration decides that your PTSD requires future re-evaluation, you will normally be scheduled within 2 to 5 years from the date of their decision to grant disability benefits.


What the VA Does During A Re-examination for PTSD

A PTSD “review” examination is almost identical to the Compensation and Pension (C&P) examination that you underwent when you first applied for PTSD. The examiner will be focused on learning the current severity of your symptoms and whether they have remained the same, improved, or worsened.

Only certain health care providers can re-evaluate for PTSD. They can be a board-certified or “eligible” psychiatrist, a licensed doctorate level psychologist, a doctorate level mental health provider who works under close supervision of a board-certified or eligible psychiatrist or licensed doctorate level psychologist, a psychiatry resident under close supervision of a board-certified or eligible psychiatrist or licensed doctorate level psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, a nurse practitioner, a clinical nurse specialist, or physician’s assistant under close supervision of a board-certified or eligible psychiatrist or licensed doctorate level psychologist.

The re-evaluation of your PTSD should include the following:

  1. Medical history since your last C&P examination. This includes any hospitalization and/or outpatient care from the time of your last exam, significant medical problems, frequency and severity of your psychiatric symptoms, length of remission, and any treatments including statements on how effective the treatment has been and any side effects.
  2. Psychosocial adjustment since last exam or re-evaluation. This could include any DWI’s, arrests, and time in jail.  Any educational accomplishments, how much time you missed from work, family relationships, and leisure activities. As well as any substance abuse issues, history of violence or suicide attempts.
  3. PTSD Assessment. The examiner, with your help, should be able to determine the specific PTSD symptoms you’re experiencingalong with the degree of severity of the PTSD symptoms you may be experiencing.


Appearing for the Re-examination

It’s vitally important that you appear for your re-examination for your PTSD. If you don’t show up or call to reschedule, your benefits could be reduced or terminated without any medical evidence.


What You Should Do if the VA Proposes to Reduce Your Benefits

If the Veterans Administration proposes to reduce your PTSD rating, the first thing to do is not panic. Once you receive a copy of the proposed reduction, you have 30 days from the date on the notice letter to request an informal hearing with the Decision Review Officer that is proposing the decision to reduce you. You can use this hearing to explain why VA is wrong for proposing to reduce your rating. You also have 60 days to submit any evidence that shows the reduction is not warranted.

If you don’t respond to the VA, they will issue a final decision going forward with the reduction, and your monthly payment rate will be reduced 120 days later.


Can The VA Reduce My PTSD Rating?

Yes, your PTSD rating can be reduced.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may lower your disability rating and thereby reduce monthly benefits for post traumatic stress disorder if they find your illness has improved.


Why You Need An Attorney

When dealing with the VA, it’s important that you have someone on your side who understands veterans law. If your PTSD rating has been reduced, a PTSD attorney can help you appeal the reduction in an effort to get your rating back. In addition, the VA often fails to follow their own regulations when doing a rating reduction, and a PTSD attorney can help identify any VA errors that could result in a reversal of the reduction. So don’t wait when calling After Service, LLC. 

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