Corrective surgery?


My husband currently gets 30 percent disability for his right knee and has been getting VA benefits for over 20 yrs. He is finally getting knee replacement surgery on that knee because it has him in constant pain. Does he need to file a claim regarding his surgery before the surgery takes place (which is scheduled for next week) or after the surgery while he is in recovery? 

I have seen different eligibility lengths for recuperative ratings. Some say 1-4 months while others say up to 12 months. I just need to know how he files correctly. He did notify the VA that he was having surgery and I think they said you couldn't really do anything until after surgery. Is this correct?


Jim's Reply:

A veteran can't file a claim for a surgical procedure until after the procedure is complete because until the surgery is finished, nobody can be sure it will be timely completed, etc. He could check in, find there's a reason the surgery can't be done and then what?

In any case once his surgery is completed he will receive a temporary 100% recuperative rating for a few months. Generally speaking, the 100% benefit is supposed to last about 6 months and he'll be notified of a C & P exam and once that's completed he'll receive a new, permanent rating. The differences in timing to get the C & P exam are mostly based on scheduling issues...VA never has enough examiners so his 100% benefit may last a year or longer. Good luck!