The Department of Veterans Affairs handles disability compensation claims of U.S military veterans. It is essential to understand the disability claim timeline and how the process works. Before 2017, any veteran who was not satisfied with their compensation or did not receive it was required to file an appeal with the Board of Veteran Appeals (BVA). However, the Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA) became law in August 2017 and was fully implemented in 2019. The primary goal of the AMA of 2017 was to streamline the complex appeal process and reduce BVA’s pressure of processing appeals, including establishing the VA supplemental claim timeline.
VA Supplemental Claim Timeline
AMA opened a new avenue, allowing veterans to use the supplemental claim lane to submit further evidence if VA denied their claim. The supplemental claim opened doors to a new decision review process, allowing a veteran to introduce new compelling evidence to enhance their rating. The implantation of AMA in 2017 introduced three VA appeal lanes to challenge a VA decision, including:
- Supplemental claims
- Advanced-review levels
- Reaching the board directly
The delegation of more straightforward VA claim cases to distinct VA offices dedicated to resolving veteran disability compensation issues has enhanced the efficiency of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Offices such as decision review operations centers use the expertise of decision review officers to solve veteran cases.
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What Is a Veterans Affairs Supplemental Claim?
A VA supplemental claim refers to an individual’s new claim if the VA denies their original claim. The VA can deny a claim for several reasons, including:
- The listed disability is non-service connected
- Filing and submission of wrong forms
- The information provided is inadequate
- Missed deadline
- The listed symptoms received improper ratings because they are non-severe
The supplemental claim allows you to challenge VA’s unfavorable decision. It saves you from the lengthy and complex process of BVA. A supplemental claim offers a quick alternative to the decision review process by allowing you to submit a new but crucial piece of evidence that you did not present with the original claim.
What Is the VA Supplemental Claim Effective Date?
The VA effective date refers to when a veteran or beneficiaries start receiving compensation for the service-related disabilities. It’s advisable to enact steps to preserve the original claim’s date, as a supplemental claim is a secondary appeal. It is essential to submit a supplemental claim within one year after the VA decision, to enable you to preserve the original claim’s effective date.
A veteran waiting for VA’s case decision can submit a supplemental claim for back pay. The situation arises when VA owes veteran benefits that have accrued since the effective date. VA handles the issue of VA supplemental claim compensation by granting the veteran a lump sum compensation package upon the case’s approval.
Veterans who preserve a claim’s original effective date receive compensation backdating to the held effective date. The new supplemental claim’s date becomes the effective date for receiving compensation benefits for veterans who wait for more than a year before submitting a supplemental claim. In such a case, VA’s retroactive benefits payment begins when submitting the supplemental claim.
Understanding the VA Supplemental Claim Timeline
The main objective of AMA was to save veterans the trouble of claim appeal by streamlining the decision review process. The supplemental claim lane gives the Department of Veterans Affairs 125 days to decide on a given veteran claim. A recent VA analysis shows that Veterans Affairs takes approximately 60 days to decide on a claim. Would you like to check the status of your VA supplemental claim? Feel free to do so anytime by using the VA Appeal Tracker. You can also get more information and updates by visiting VA offices located in your region.
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What Is the Success Rate for the VA Supplemental Claim?
The 2018 BVA annual report revealed that VA’s disability appeal’s case success rate was approximately 35.75%. There is no accurate data to explain the VA decision-review process success rate since the full implementation of AMA in 2019. Statistics, however, show that approximately 75% of veterans have submitted supplemental claims. The simplification of the process combined with straightforward forms has opened avenues for more veterans to receive their deserved compensation.
Contact a Lawyer for More Assistance
A personal disability lawyer can assist you in presenting new information or evidence to make your case more compelling. The lawyer’s advice is essential when submitting a supplemental claim as they know the things you may need to include to strengthen your case. The Department of Veterans Affairs denies claims without sufficient evidence to back them up. If your original claim has been denied, a personal disability lawyer can help identify the cause of the denial and assist you in submitting a supplemental claim. Call to learn more.