Sometimes the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denies applications for benefits. When veterans disagree with such decisions, they may consider appealing the initial decision. One such path they may take includes requesting a supplemental claim.
Before requesting an appeal of their applications, it may benefit veterans seeking benefits to have an understanding of supplemental claims.
What is a supplemental claim?
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a supplemental claim reviews a prior veterans’ benefits application decision. People may choose this review option if they disagree with a prior VA decision and will add or identify new, relevant evidence in support of their claims.
How does the supplemental claim process work?
According to the VA, to review a veterans’ benefits decision through a supplemental claim, applicants will complete the appropriate form and submit new evidence. They may gather themselves, or request that the VA gather on their behalf, documentation from a VA or federal facility or a private provider not previously reviewed by the department. A reviewer will examine the new evidence and determine if it supports changing or reaffirming the decision. The VA aims to provide supplemental claims decisions within four to five months.
What if an applicant disagrees with the supplemental claim decision?
Benefit applicants may request a higher-level review or a board appeal if they disagree with the decisions of their supplemental claims. These actions send their claims to a veterans law judge for review.
Having a service-connected disability may significantly alter a veteran’s life plans. However, options exist for veterans with disabilities to obtain financial and medical support through the VA.