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The VA rated me a 100% disabled veteran after I had a heart attack.  Prior, I was rated at 30% for IHD resulting from Agent Orange exposure.  After I left the hospital the VA downgraded my rating back to 30%.  I still have IHD and the doctor said I could have another heart attack at any time.  I thought I would stay at 100% since the VA recognizes I have IHD.  Why did the VA downgrade my rating?

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A1:  IHD, is rated by MET, 0-3, is 100%, 3-5 60%, 5-7 30%, 7 and above is 10%. So when a stress test is done and the Dr looks at the results then the MET is determined.  (GR)  6/26/19

A2:   I don't know whether this will be helpful, but I hope it is. Did you conduct a stress test recently? The VA regulations focus heavily upon stress test results along with continuing care and meds when determining percentage of disability.  (AG)  6/26/19

A3:  Check it again. You are probably looking at a report that only covers THIS health problem, because this is the only one you were in the hospital for. The other problems do still exist, but this particular problem is the only one that will be in this report, because this is the only one they worked on while you were in the hospital this time.  (JM)  6/26/19

A4:   I have heard of the VA upgrading when you go into surgery and during your initial recovery. Then they revert it back to the prior rating. If you want it increased then you will have to reopen a claim and have proof as to the reasons why. Since you had surgery they consider you all well and healed and improved just their mind set. Contact a VSO and your congressman for help and if you put enough pressure on then they may increase it but most likely a new claim will have to be done.  (JRM)  6/23/19

A5:  I'm sorry to hear thiat this happened to you. I have a serious question for your 100% rating.

When you received the 100%, did they tell you that it was 100% P&T? That's Permanent and Total . My understanding is that if you are granted 100% P&T that the VA will not take it away, that in fact is why they call it PERMANENT & TOTAL.

My understanding is that if you only receive 100% without P&T then the VA unfortunately can set you up with additional C&P visits with doctors whom the VA contracts. I have read that these contracted doctors can be good but unfortunately some are terrible. Some are from 3rd world countries and can barely speak English. I saw one of those Contracted Doctors and that C&P was a nightmare.

Buddy, if my reply is posted and my email is included in the post feel free to contact me, just I'd yourself in the subject area so I don't trash it.

Q? do any vets who see my post agree with my reply? Is that in fact how the P&T works?  (CB)  6/26/19

A6:  I would see the nearest Nam claims rep. I have found that they relate and get what we deserve more than any other reps. Hope this is helpful. Would like to know what the outcome is.  (PG)  6/26/19

A7:  V.A. will downgrade if the raters believe there is any indication that your condition has improved. Hopefully you have a private cardiologist, if so see that doctor and show the V.A. letter that proposes the downgrade. If your doctor disagrees with V.A. obtain a written statement and submit to the V.A. before their proposal to downgrade becomes effective. You may also consider an appeal if V.A. disagrees with your doctor.  (JH)  6/26/19

A8:  When you went to the Hospital to have the Surgery you were given 100% Temp Disability for up 12 Months til you heal. Your VSO should have explained that to you. To get Pernament and Total Disability is another avenue, of VA Paperwork, and New & Material Evidence.  (DW)  6/26/19

A9:  I went through the same thing in 2015. I had heart surgery 03-2015..April 02 I filed for an increase on my current rating for IHD at that time(10%). The VA Comp folks rated me at 100% May 2015...only to find out a few months later it was supposed to only be for 3 months after surgery. I have had one heart attack and heart surgery twice and I was ony at 10%...I did get upgraded to 20% later on after much verbal fighting with my state VSO and the VA comp folks.  (DB)  6/26/19

A10:  That is the 'routine process' Getting 30% money is MUCH better than having IHD. Praise the Lord you had the surgery and are doing better. Health before Money.

However, if your condition returns and worsens, then you should submit a claim of an increase, if you have documented evidence that your IHD as returned or worsen. Good luck and God Bless.  (JL)  6/26/19

A11:  You can still apply for IU that will get you the same as 100% if the Doctor says you will be unable to work due to your conditions.  (FU)  6/26/19

A12:  A4 below is the correct answer. You had surgery to correct the problem. You no longer have the problem that gave you 100%.  (RC)  6/27/19

A13:  I am retired veteran of 30 years, I have had 7 heart attacks, 8 operations, 10 stents. I've never had the VA rate me at 100%--even temp. My highest "combined" rating is 40%. Be thankful you're operation succeeded. By now, you're probably massively changing your diet and exercise, new life mission and all that. I suggest that you obtain a new blood panel called TMAO and ADMA, which look at your gut bacteria propensity for major cardiac events (inflammation & plaque) and arterial elasticity. The VA does not analyze it NOW, but MIGHT in the future. I had to pay $50 per test at Quest, reluctantly ordered by my VA primary b/c I demanded it, but who woke with my results of MACE (major cardiac) within 3 years!! Good luck to you and others here!!  (RB)  7/29/19

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