How Often Does VA Re-Evaluate Disability

VA usually reevaluate your disability within 2-5 years after your last examination. Of course, VA may only do so if it finds evidence of any improvement in your condition. Note that permanent or protected veteran disabilities are exempt from this rule.

Getting the green light to receive benefits from the VA is reassuring. However, you need to be aware of the changing of your rating and the matter of reevaluations.


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.

When Does VA Usually Call You for a Reevaluation?

 VA usually calls for a reevaluation five years after your last examination. The norm is that if VA finds out you have a service-related condition, it gives you a prestabilization rating. Afterwards, it will run an initial evaluation within 6-12 months after your service in the military ends. Then once VA decides to grant you disability benefits, they will run a reexamination once every 2-5 years.

We should mention that VA may call you for a reexamination at any point if it finds out that your conditions have changed. It may also do so if evidence of any mistakes in the rating surfaces. According to the 38CFR 3.327(b) by federal law, the VA must not request reexamination without any reason or evidence.

Lastly, if your conditions fall within the categories of permanent or protected ones, VA may not reexamine so soon or never at all.

Difference Between a Static and Permanent Disability

A static disability is when your body has a naturally permanent condition. Meanwhile, a permanent disability is when a disability isn’t necessarily permanent in nature, but the medical reports suggest that your body won’t completely recover from it. Hence, VA still deems it as a permanent disability.

Both static and permanent conditions fall within the permanent disabilities. Hence, VA won’t call for Routine Future Examination (RFE) in either case. But the former may require only one RFE just to ensure the condition won’t improve.

VA won’t mention a disability to be permanent directly, but they will mention that they won’t need to run any future examination.

Understanding the Protected VA Disability and Rules

Protected VA disabilities are conditions that will not get any reevaluations based on their year range. It is so unless VA finds out anything fake or forged. Here are explanations of all the rules-

  • VA 5-Year Rule: Only if your condition shows symptoms of improvement, the VA may reevaluate it after five years of your first exam. Afterwards, unless your disability gets a remarkable change for the better, they won’t go for any further exams.
  • VA 10-Year Rule: If a disability rating has been active for ten years, the VA cannot altogether remove it, albeit it can still reduce the rating for any improvements.
  • VA 20-Year Rule: If a disability rating has been active for 20 years, then VA cannot lessen the rating past the lowest rating for that disability within these 20 years.
  • VA 55-Year-Old Rule: VA can’t lessen the disability rating of any veteran over the age of 55, let alone eliminate it.
  • VA 100% Rule: VA can reduce the rating of a total disability (disability rating reaching 100%) only when the medical report shows a material improvement.

Possible Results of a Reexamination

 Depending on the examination report, there can be one of these four results-

  • No Change of Rating: If the report shows your conditions are the same as before, your rating will not change. Also, if there are changes in individual disabilities, but the overall rating turns out to be the same as prior, the rating will see no change either.
  • Reduction of Rating: If the report shows an improvement in your disability, the rating will reduce.
  • A Higher Rating: If your disabilities have worsened in the report, an increase in the rating will follow.
  • Repeal of the VA Benefit: If the examination shows no disabilities that make you eligible for VA benefits anymore, VA will rescind your disability payments.

Regarding a Possible Wrong Result from an Exam

 If VA reduces your rating or repeals your VA benefits, it will let you know. If something is wrong with their decision, you can send evidence against it within 60 days. Your other option is to ask for a hearing within 30 days. Afterwards, the VA will give their final verdict. You can also file an appeal if the decision still seems wrong to you.

When submitting your disagreement and evidence against the result of a reexamination, consider providing the following to VA-

  • Get a report from a doctor that shows the condition of your disability and proves that something was wrong with the VA’s decision. You can easily handle this task by getting an eligibility rating from the VA Disability Coach.
  • Write a detailed formal letter to VA if it seemed like the examination was not thorough enough.
  • Get written statements from your close ones, like family or friends, where they explain your conditions and mention any easy-to-miss mental disability.

We highly recommend hiring a VA-accredited lawyer, claimant agent, or VSO to assist you throughout the process.

How Does VA Contact You for a Reexamination?

 When VA decides to run a reexamination, they will call or mail you. You will have 60 days to answer afterwards. Even if it is an unwarranted reexamination, you must still respond. And you either have to attend on the examination date or request a change in the time for the session.

Unfortunately, failing to respond to the notice or attending the exam without any rescheduling request will give VA the right to reduce or eliminate your VA benefits as they see fit. 


 If you are a veteran receiving disability benefits, you must be aware of your disability rating and note any worsening of your condition. In the event your disability aggravates, appeal to VA with a higher rating claim

In any case, they will usually reevaluate your conditions every 2-5 years, but only if they find evidence of any improvement in your disability. And for permanent or protected conditions, you can rest assured as VA won’t likely ask for any reexamination that often unless they find any fraud in the initial exam.