The VA 5-year rule protects your disability claim by not allowing the VA to reduce your disability rating unless your condition has significantly improved over time. This rule pertains to a rating that has been in effect for five years or longer. After a five-year period, the rating is considered a stabilized rating.

Changes to Your Disability Rating

United States Armed Forces Tags and Flag PatchUnder the 5-year rule, your rating is considered stabilized and cannot be changed unless there is a change in your condition’s improvement over time or if you made a complete recovery from your disability. The rating can be changed or eliminated if it was determined to be based on fraud.

The 5-year rule protects Veterans by not allowing the VA to assume that a service-connected condition has improved over time or that the Veteran has made a complete recovery. In some cases where this assumption was made, the Veteran had their benefits lowered or discontinued. The 5-year rule avoids this and does not require a Veteran to have their condition re-examined if they have received the same rating for their service-connected condition for at least five years.

Re-examination of Your Condition

The VA typically re-examines your condition within the first two to five years after your initial examination. A re-examination can also occur for the following reasons:

  • Material evidence that your condition has improved
  • Material evidence that you have made a full recovery from your condition

If you have had the same service-connected condition for certain periods of time, protections under specific rules will apply. In addition to the 5-year rule, there are also 10- and 20-year rules that provide rate protection for your disability.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you have questions about the VA disability 5-year rule or have concerns about your disability benefits, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can help determine if you are eligible for compensation, answer any questions you may have about your disability claim, and help get you the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.