Can the VA Take Away 100% Permanent and Total Disability

Yes, the VA has the authority to reduce your disability rating, including the 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) rating.

However, it doesn’t happen overnight! Veterans Affairs needs to provide justification for such reductions. 

If you are a veteran enjoying 100% Permanent and Total disability benefits, you might assume it to be ‘permanent.’ However, under specific circumstances, the VA can review your case and decide to re-evaluate the ratings previously assigned to you.

Even though it is much harder for VA to redo Permanent and Total ratings compared to regular disability ratings, it can happen. Here is everything you need to know to protect your benefits.


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Understanding VA Disability Ratings

VA disability ratings are essential metrics that the VA uses to understand the severity of a veteran’s condition to determine the amount of compensation and benefits they can be entitled to.

These ratings can range from 0% to 100%. However, not all disabilities have a 100% rating as a maximum.

Sometimes, periodic re-evaluations can be assigned by the VA to see if your conditions have improved or not after receiving your disability benefits. 

During such re-evaluations, if your conditions are improved, the VA can lower your rating, meaning you will be receiving a reduced amount of compensation if the rating is still above 0%.

Factors Affecting VA Rating Reductions

These are some of the aspects that can affect your VA disability ratings, including a 100% Permanent and Total disability.

Medical History Review

The VA will review your medical documents related to a service-connected disability which they are providing benefits for. These reviews help them assess your health condition and see any improvement over the years.

Medical Examination

In some instances, you will be asked by the VA to conduct a medical examination to understand the current situation of your physical or mental health.


The VA will have to find evidence of your daily life’s improvement in places like work to consider reducing your disability ratings. 

Notice of Reduction

Suppose the VA finds any reason to reduce your disability ratings. In that case, they will provide you with a notice of this decision, allowing you to respond if you disagree with their decision. 

If the VA has decided to reduce your disability benefits, you need to submit proper evidence and documents to keep that from happening. VA Coach can help you in this process to ensure you keep getting your compensation.

Permanent Disability Ratings

When your service-connected condition is unlikely to improve over time, the VA assigns you a permanent disability rating. 

Older veterans are more likely to receive a permanent disability rating as some conditions are likely to be permanent for the elderly. 

If you get a permanent disability rating, you won’t have to go through any future health evaluations from the VA to determine whether your condition has improved. 

However, in some cases, the VA can lower a permanent disability rating, such as–

Clear and Unmistakable Error

Suppose the VA concludes that the permanent disability rating was granted based on fraud or a clear and unmistakable error (CUE). In that case, they have the ability to fix the error and perhaps lower the rating. Significant proof indicating the mistake or fraudulent action would be required.

Substantial Improvement

Although it is uncommon, if there is strong proof of significant improvement in your health that is unrelated to fraud or error, the VA may consider lowering your disability rating. This improvement would have to be large and long-lasting, demonstrating that the disability’s impact has lessened over time.

The Process of VA Rating Reductions

If there is a possibility of the VA reducing your disability rating, the process may follow these steps –

Reviewing Medical History

The VA will go through your medical documents from the past to the current day to find evidence of improvement in your health. 

C&P Exam

You may be required to attend a Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam scheduled by the VA similar to the one you did before receiving your disability benefits. The VA healthcare professionals will test your symptoms to find signs of improvement if there are any.


Based on the review of your medical history and the C&P exam, the VA will decide whether they have enough reason and evidence to reduce your disability rating. In order to come to that conclusion, the VA needs to see a consistent and significant improvement in your health.

Notice of Reduction

After making a decision to reduce your disability rating, the VA will give you a notice of the reduction proposal. If you get such a notice, you have a window of opportunity to provide the VA with more evidence to challenge the VA’s decision, generally within 60 days.


If the VA follows through with their decision to reduce your benefits, you can appeal their decision to get back to receiving the compensation you used to get. 

Protected Disability Ratings

Protected disability ratings, such as the 100% Permanent and Total ratings, are usually not likely to reduce over a long period of time – for example:

  • A rating that has remained the same for over five years or more
  • A 100% total rating for a condition

The VA will need to gather significant evidence of major health improvements to lower disability ratings for veterans who have such protected ratings.

Challenging VA Rating Reductions

If you received a notice from the VA about getting your disability ratings reduced, you can challenge their claim by providing more evidence or appeal their decision. This is a more complicated process, and that’s why you should get expert help from organizations like VA Disability Coach


While the likelihood of a 100% Permanent and Total disability rating getting reduced is low, the VA has the authority to do it if they find major health improvements in your medical history. However, if you think your condition has barely shown any signs of improvement, we recommend fighting the decision so that you keep receiving your disability compensation.