Ratings increases?


Helping a vet with a reevaluation of his benefits. He was originally awarded 0% in 1976 for SC hearing loss, 20% for diabetes in 2003, and 20% for neuropathy in both legs in 2018. Should one request for reeval be filed for all, or separate for each? I'm afraid if one gets hung up that they'll all get hung up.


Jim's Reply:

All requests for an increase should be filed simultaneously. Trying to keep the claims separate would require that you file one, wait until it is completely adjudicated and then file the next. The process would take years to complete. If you file at the same time VA will treat each portion of the claim as an individual request and schedule separate exams, etc.

When the claim is filed it should clearly state that he seeks an increase to each claim and if you're able, tell VA what the anticipated increase would be according to The Schedule For Rating Disabilities. For example, if his hearing is worse and he deserves a higher rating that 0%, calculate the rating he deserves and state that clearly. If he has any degree of tinnitus, this is a good time to file for that as well.

Are there any secondary conditions that might be the result of the service connected diabetes? For example, if he suffers erectile dysfunction that may be secondary to the DMII and a claim should be filed.

Thanks for helping a veteran file a claim...feel free to ask more any time.