Did you know that the VA schedules routine re-evaluation exams for your service-connected conditions if they are not listed as static? If the answer is yes, then you are ahead of the game. Most Veterans don't know that the VA does this and more importantly they don't know what conditions of theirs are considered static. Keep reading to learn more about RFE's and static conditions.
Now that some of you are likely panicking, here is how to check if your service-connected conditions are static. It is listed on the VA Disability Code Sheet. This is different than ebenefits or disability verification letter that you can download from the VA.gov website.
You can ask your accredited VSO to download the VA Disability Code Sheet from the Veteran Benefits Management System (VBMS)
You can request this directly from the VA
The VA disability code sheet (example below) will have each condition listed with associated code, if it is considered static, and the historical rating percentages with dates.
As you can see this is very helpful to have for your overall claims strategy.
Now moving on to the RFE's....
Why does the VA conduct RFE's?
there is a need to verify either the continued existence or the current severity of a disability
it is likely that a disability has improved
evidence indicates there has been a material change in a disability
the current rating may be incorrect, or
it is otherwise required by the regulation or diagnostic code (DC) under which the Veteran is service-connected (SC).
When does the VA schedule RFE's?
It depends on the condition and situation of your case. This information was updated in the 38 Code of Federal Regulations in 2021.
For conditions that the VA considers to likely improve, an RFE will be scheduled in 3 years from the time of rating decision
For reexamination to monitor for evidence of sustained improvement in a stabilized SC disability that is shown to have improved, an RFE will be schedule in 18, 24, or 30 months from the time of rating decision
For examination to evaluate post-therapeutic residuals of an SC malignancy, an RFE will be scheduled within 6 months following the end of you treatment
For many other conditions it is about every 5 years
Why does this matter? How does this information help me?
If you are not yet considered P&T, it can be helpful to know this information in preparation of a reexamination. You can ensure your treatment records are up to date. You can prepare your doctor or a private company like MRPY Professional Services to prepare a DBQ if you get notification that the VA will conduct another rating decision routinely for your condition. Lastly, it will not blindside you if you receive a proposed rating reduction letter, you can be prepared to defend your rating percentage.
Click below to be taken to our contact page if you are in need of a nexus letter or DBQ for your medical conditions. (note we do not have mental health providers on staff for mental health claims)