How Do I Know If My VA Disability Is Static?

You can determine if your VA disability is static by reviewing the decision letter from the VA. The letter should have a permanent and total disability rating, mention terms like “static” or “protected,” and not mention any future examination.

Having a static disability rating comes with a lot of advantages from the VA, including long-term stability and peace of mind knowing your benefits will not be reduced any time soon. But how would you know if your disability rating is static or permanent?

This blog will go through nearly everything you need to know about a static disability rating from the VA. We will cover basics like the definition of static disability to listing conditions that usually get a static or permanent rating.


Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discussion with an experienced Team Member. Learn what you’ve been missing so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you’ve earned for your service.

What is a static disability?

A static disability is a condition that’s considered to be somewhat permanent by the VA. Therefore, once the VA assigns a rating for a static condition, they usually do not need any further examination or re-evaluation to see if the condition has improved or not. 

For a disability to be considered static, one of the following factors needs to be unchanged in the condition–

  • Nature
  • History, or
  • Severity

Examples of static VA disabilities

Static disabilities have a lot of impact on an individual’s daily life and are expected to remain stable. Here are some examples of conditions that can be considered static disabilities by the VA –


Total blindness in both eyes can be considered a static disability. Service-connected permanent blindness is unlikely to improve over time. Therefore, the VA is unlikely to take future examinations and continue to provide disability compensation.

Loss of limb

Loss of limbs or amputation is another example of a static disability. Veterans who have lost one or both hands or feet during their time in service will receive a permanent disability rating. 


Conditions like quadriplegia or paraplegia result from spinal cord injuries and cause motor function loss. These conditions, in nature, are unlikely to improve significantly over time. Therefore, you may receive a permanent disability rating for such illnesses.

Severe respiratory disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), severe asthma, etc., are conditions that fall under severe respiratory diseases. Such disabilities can worsen over time and then reach their maximum level, where the VA rating will remain stable. 

Chronic organ failure

Conditions like end-stage renal disease fall under chronic organ failures and are considered to be static disabilities. 

Severe mental health conditions

While most static conditions are physical illnesses, some mental health disorders can also receive permanent VA ratings. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may require long-term, ongoing treatment and are likely to get a permanent rating.

Can the VA take away a static disability?

Even though the benefits for a static disability are usually considered permanent, the VA has the right to re-evaluate these conditions and reduce the rating if they notice any substantial improvements. These are the instances where the VA can take away a static disability benefit provided to veterans –

  1. Fraudulent claims: Veterans who provided misrepresented information or through fraudulent means can lose their disability benefits. If a veteran has given false medical data or has hidden factual information, the VA can take away their benefits even if they are permanent.
  2. Substantial improvement: Even though static disabilities mostly remain unchanged over time, there could be some instances where a veteran’s health has truly improved from such conditions. In those rare examples, the VA may look at the veteran’s medical documents over time and re-evaluate their condition by medical examination. In these cases, the VA may reduce the rating instead of taking the disability away entirely.

Protected VA disability ratings

Some VA disability ratings are safeguarded or protected from getting reduced or revoked by the VA. Although the VA has the right to re-evaluate any rating under specific conditions, protected VA ratings are highly likely to remain unchanged. 

Here are some of the instances where your VA disability ratings may be protected –

Stabilized ratings

When a VA rating remains the same for a long time (five years or more), it is a stabilized rating. In these ratings, having the VA reduce or retract benefits is rare, and they can only do it by demonstrating enough medical evidence that shows significant improvements.

100% total ratings

A total disability rating is when a veteran’s condition is rated 100%, and similar to stabilized ratings, total ratings remain unchanged unless the VA can prove significant health improvements.

Permanent and Total Disability ratings

Disabilities that get a 100% VA rating and do not have any chance of improvement are considered Permanent and Total Disability. In this case, the VA will likely never take re-evaluation exams from the veterans assigned with the rating. However, they can take away the benefits if false claims were involved.

How do I know if my disability rating is permanent?

Although the VA has the authorization to re-evaluate any disability rating, there are instances where you can determine whether or not your rating is permanent. Knowing this will prevent you from worrying about losing your benefits or getting lower compensation. 

Here are some ways to understand the stability of your service-connected condition –

  • Check the rating decision: Check the letter you have received from the VA about your rating. Look for terms like “Permanent and Total.” If they are present or the box beside them is checked, you have a permanent disability rating.
  • Stable condition: If your condition remains stable for a long time and it does not have many chances to improve in the future, you are likely going to have a static rating.
  • Age: Older veterans are more likely to get a permanent disability rating compared to younger ones.

According to 38 CFR § 3.327, some specifications of disability will exempt veterans from having to take future re-evaluations and examinations. However, the VA has the right to change its decision at any time. VA Disability Coach can help you in case you face the threat of getting your VA disability rating reduced. 


To conclude, any disability being considered static by Veterans Affairs would require the condition to be stable. If you have received a 100% total rating or have had the same rating for several years, you likely have a permanent rating that has a lower probability of getting reduced by the VA.