It takes an average of 125 days (about four to five months) to complete a VA supplemental claim. The amount of time it takes VA to review your disability claim will vary depending on the type of claim filed, the number of injuries and their involvement, and the time it takes VA to collect evidence required to decide on your claim.
Unless you receive a request from the Department of Veterans Affairs that explicitly requests you to write a letter with more information, you should wait patiently until the claim is resolved. The organization has an online platform that helps veterans keep track of the supplemental claim process. The timeline might vary from veteran to veteran based on the complexity of the claim. To use the online platform, you need to have one of the following free accounts: a premium My HealtheVet account, premium DS Logon account, or a verified ID account created from the va.gov website.
According to VA, 81% of veterans filing supplemental claims receive some form of monetary aid. Additionally, 10% of veterans filing the claim have a disability rating of 100%, which means they can receive at least $2,800 every month.
A VA supplemental claim presents new and relevant evidence for a previous case that lacked valuable or required information that would help you get a more favorable decision. It can be filed at any time, but it is best to file the claim within 12 months after receiving your decision letter.
What Happens After Filing the VA Supplemental Claim?
After filing your supplemental claim, VA will receive your papers and notify you when everything is in order. If the claim were filed online, you would get an on-screen message from the organization immediately after submitting the form. If you sent the application through mail, VA would send you a letter confirming they have received your claim. However, when you submit the claim through the mail, it takes about seven days, plus waiting time for the letter to reach you after VA receives your claim.
After receiving the claim, the organization initially reviews the claim, and they will move to the next step if they don’t require additional evidence to support your claim. The subsequent step involves gathering evidence, reviewing it, and making a decision. The organization will ask for proof from the veteran, government agencies, and healthcare facilities during this step. Once they collect the evidence, it will be reviewed and a decision will be made. If the VA office requires additional evidence while reviewing your claim, the veteran may be returned to this step more than once.
The last step is preparation for notification, whereby the entire claim decision packet is prepared to be mailed. Before contacting a VA call center, give the package seven to ten business days for it to arrive. Once everything is in order, they will send it through U.S. mail and include the details of the decision on your claim.
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The Decision Review Process
Suppose a veteran disagrees with the decision made on their disability claim on or after February 19, 2019. In that case, you can choose one of the three decision review options available (Board appeal, supplemental claim, or higher-level review) to progress with your case. A reviewer will check the supplemental claim to determine if your new and relevant evidence can change VA’s decision.
The organization considers new evidence to be any information VA did not have before making their last decision. Relevant evidence should be information that agrees or disagrees with something in your claim. It is important to note that VA will not accept your supplemental claim if you don’t have new and relevant evidence.
Fortunately, if you get a supplemental claim decision review that does not favor you, you can request a higher-level review of the decision or file for a board appeal. It means they will take your case to a Veterans Law Judge to review the decision. Additionally, you can file another supplemental claim if you have more new and relevant evidence. However, you cannot file a supplemental claim if you have a contested claim or a fiduciary claim.
Seek Expert Legal Help for the Best Outcome
The supplemental claim decision review process can be complicated if you are not familiar with what you are supposed to get. You need to regularly check all the benefits you can get as a veteran, service member, or spouse. Having a disability attorney will neither speed up nor slow down the process, but their services will prove helpful when preparing a detailed supplemental claim to avoid unwarranted denials. A disability attorney will collect reports, develop strategies, and assemble information that VA requires to grant your claim quickly.
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