It can be disheartening receiving news that your VA disability claim has been denied, especially if you have spent considerable time preparing your claim. Attending medical appointments and completing forms can be exhausting, and the prospect of doing more work to appeal your case can be less than appealing to you.
Benefits of Adding Evidence to Your Case for Consideration
If your claim is denied initially, you have several options available to appeal that denial. One of these options is supplementing your claim with additional evidence for consideration There are a few benefits to doing this:
- It gives you the opportunity to update the VA on new, more recent information about your injury or disability that was not available when you initially submitted your claim
- You are able to add relevant information you forgot to include when you initially filed your claim
- You can support existing records, making the information in those records stronger
In short, there are advantages to adding information and evidence to your claim and few disadvantages to doing so.
Adding Evidence Through a Supplemental Claim
To add new evidence in support of your claim, you may either complete a Supplemental Claim (Form 20-0995), or you can request the Board of Veterans’ Appeals review your denial upon a consideration of the evidence in your case. Note that there is no option to submit new evidence for consideration if you ask for a Higher-Level Review.
If you are filing a supplemental claim, asking that the VA look at new and relevant evidence related to your original claim, be sure the new information is both “new” and “relevant.” This means the information or evidence must not have been submitted to the VA and that it must be related to the original claim in some way.
You can submit the new and relevant records to the VA yourself, or you can ask the VA to assist you in locating the records you wish to have considered. If you choose the latter option, you must be able to identify the location and nature of the records with enough specificity that the VA can find them with a reasonable amount of effort.
If you are asking the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to consider new evidence, you must first properly request Board review, informing the VA that you would like the Board to adjudicate your claim based on evidence or a hearing before a veterans law judge. Note that there are time limitations that you must meet to have your new evidence submitted.
Speak with a Veterans Law Disability Appeal Lawyer About Your Claim
Adding evidence to your claim, while helpful, is not as straightforward as it might appear at first. Having an experienced attorney’s help can ensure you choose he most effective way to add evidence to your case and meet the procedural requirements for doing so.