Introduced as part of the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program in 2017, the supplemental claims option is a relatively new addition to the VA appeals process. A supplemental claim can be filed whenever a veteran is unsatisfied with his or her rating decision and would like his or her claim to be reviewed by the VA. To protect the effective date for service connection of the claimed condition, the VA Form 20-0995 must be filed within one year of the decision date. If the supplemental claim is filed after the one year deadline, the VA will still accept the claim, but it can only be used to reopen the claim for that issue.
In order for the VA to accept a supplemental claim, a veteran must enclose new and relevant evidence:
- New evidence is information that VA didn’t have before the last decision.
- Relevant evidence is information that could prove or disprove something in the veterans claim.
How To Complete VA Form 20-0995
Section 1 – Claimant’s Identifying Information
This section is the most straightforward of the entire form. You will be asked to provide your name, social security number, VA file number, date of birth, service number (if applicable), insurance policy number(if applicable), claimant’s name (only applicable for DIC claims), the claimant type, your current mailing address, and your contact information (phone and email). You will also be asked to check a box regarding what type of benefit you are appealing. Here, you can only check one box, so if you plan to appeal decisions for multiple types of benefits, you will need to complete separate forms for each benefit type.
Section 2 – Issue(s) for Supplemental Claim
In this section, you will need to list each issue that you are appealing. For example, if you received a decision granting you a 30 percent schedular disability rating for PTSD, but you feel that you are entitled to at least a 50 percent schedular disability rating, you need to write “Entitlement to at least 50 percent schedular disability rating for PTSD” in one of the boxes in column 13A, and the date of the decision granting you a 30 percent schedular disability rating in the adjacent box in column 13B.
Section 3 – New and Relevant Evidence
This section discusses the need for new and relevant evidence in order to file this type of claim. The boxes included in this section are only relevant if you want the VA to retrieve federal records as the new and material evidence associated with your claim. If you do want the VA to retrieve federal records for you, you must complete columns 15A and 15B with name, location, and dates of the records you seek.
Section 4 – Certification and Signature
In this section, you will sign and date the form in order to authorize the appeal.
Contact the Veterans Law Office About Your Supplemental Claim
Our veterans disability lawyers have extensive experience assisting veterans with fact-finding, gathering evidence, and submitting supplemental claims to the VA. If you are a veteran who is looking for help with your supplemental claim, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation.