Requesting Supplemental Review in a VA Disability Case
Your VA claim was denied because you needed more evidence? Then supplemental review may be
your best option. Although, there are other options, like a higher-level review or a traditional appeal to the Board.
A Supplemental Review begins by filing Form 20-0955. It often leads to a revised decision within four
However, frequently, lack of evidence is not the only issue. Many claims also have presentation problems.
For example, Claims Examiners might fixate on things like certain words in medical reports.
This might lead them to deny the claim, even if they shouldn’t. A VA disability attorney helps
with both evidence gathering and presentation issues. That combination maximizes your ability
to obtain the benefits you deserve and need.
When to File
Almost all Veterans qualify for this expedited review process. The 2017 VA Appeals reforms not
only created the Supplemental Review process but also lowered the burden of proof. Previously,
new evidence during an appeal would only count if it could change the outcome. Now, Veterans
only must present “new and relevant” evidence.
Most often, this can include new or updated medical records. A VA medical center might have
your most recent records, or a private physician might see something VA examiners missed. In
other situations, vocational or other experts might describe the economic effects of a
disability. Even friends, family members, co-workers, or managers could submit statements
about the practical effects of a disability. In an increased rating claim, never underestimate lay
statements describing what you can’t do anymore.
How to File
Form 20-0995 comes with instructions. But these instructions are rather vague.
Section I is relatively straightforward. If you include your email address, they will send you only
electronic mail. Think twice and usually leave that blank. The benefit type is almost always
“Compensation.” This compensation usually includes free medical care at a VA facility, as well
as monthly cash payments.
In Section II, list the parts of the Claims Examiner’s decision you want to be reviewed. That is
different from all the decisions you disagree with. Only list the conclusions that the
aforementioned new evidence could change.
As for Section III, the VA can collect evidence from another government facility or a private
doctor. Typically, Veterans must sign waivers or releases. Alternatively, Veterans or their
representatives can gather this information themselves. That approach might or might not be
better. Sections IV and V are fairly straightforward as well.
The representative could be a VA disability attorney or a designated VSO (Veterans Service
What Happens Next
After you complete Form 20-0995 usually you just have to wait. Occasionally, the VA wants Veterans to submit to a medical examination. Be sure you keep this appointment if at all possible. If they
asked, that means they probably think there’s not enough evidence yet and you need the chance to give them more.
Occasionally, the VA sends satisfaction surveys. These survey responses have absolutely no
effect on the pending matter. However, the VA does incorporate this feedback into the
Supplemental Claims process, especially if several Veterans raise similar points. The brief
survey takes less than five minutes, so it’s usually a good investment of your time.
Count on Dedicated Attorneys
If the Claims Examiner did not consider all available evidence, then Supplemental Review is usually
the way to go. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact the
Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right. We are here to
represent Veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. Therefore, it does not create an attorney-client relationship.