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Getting A Proposal to Reduce VA Disability Benefits: Request A Personal Hearing ASAP!

Many veterans with VA disability claims are familiar with the VA’s reevaluation process. Whenever the VA determines that there is a need to verify the continued existence or severity of a disability, it will request that the veteran be reexamined and, if needed, have his or her compensation amount reevaluated. When this process results in the VA issuing a proposal to reduce the veteran’s compensation, veterans are able to fight this decision.

First, for 60 days following the issuance of the “proposal to reduce” letter, the veteran can submit any evidence he or she thinks shows that the proposed reduction should not occur. This includes any updated medical records, newly found service records, or any other relevant evidence. At the end of the 60 day period, regardless of whether the VA has been able to review the evidence yet, the reduction will take place. Should the VA come to a decision that the original compensation rate was correct, the veteran will be given back pay for the money lost effective the date of the reduction.

Second, if the veteran would like to have a personal hearing before a decision review officer to argue any point of their claim or present evidence in support of their claim, he or she can use VA Form 21-4138 to notify their local regional office of this request. Hearing requests must be filed within 30 days of the issuance of the proposed reduction letter or else the VA may continue with the proposed action. If the VA receives the request within the 30-day time period, payments will continue at the present rate until the hearing is held and the VA makes a decision. Veterans can also submit requests for a hearing and continuation of benefits via official letter to the VA.

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