Supplemental Claim Lane
The Supplemental Claim Lane is a part of the new appeals process, Appeals Reform, scheduled to take effect in February 2019. In the Supplemental Claim Lane, claimants are allowed to submit “new and relevant” evidence in support of their claims. This is the only lane in which the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a “duty to assist” you in gathering evidence.
What to Expect in the Supplemental Claim Lane
When you receive an unfavorable decision from VA, you have the option to appeal. When you file your appeal, you must choose one of three lanes: the Supplemental Claim Lane, the Higher-Level Review Lane, or the Notice of Disagreement Lane.
Choosing the Supplemental Claim Lane means that you are electing to have someone at the same level as the original reviewer look over your claim. However, you have the option to add what VA now refers to as “new and relevant” evidence.
VA’s Definition of “New and Relevant” Evidence
New and relevant evidence “must raise a reasonable possibility of substantiating your claim” and cannot be “repetitive or cumulative of the evidence [VA] had when it decided your claim.” In other words, evidence that was not previously submitted to VA that tends to prove or disprove your claim.
This might include new medical evidence regarding your condition or lay evidence that helps establish service connection. Our team may be able to help you gather new and relevant evidence to support your claim.
How the Supplemental Claim Lane Differs from the Other Appeals Lanes
The Higher-Level Review lane is for claimants who do not want to submit new and relevant evidence to their case, but simply want a higher-level reviewer (a more senior VA adjudicator) to give their claim a new look.
The Notice of Disagreement, or Board of Veterans’ Appeals, lane is for appellants who want to appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Those who choose the Board of Veterans’ Appeals lane can choose one of three dockets within that lane, including:
- Hearing docket (i.e. claimants schedule a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge and can submit new evidence)
- Evidence-only docket (i.e. claimants can submit new evidence but do not want a hearing)
- Direct docket (i.e. appeals go directly to the Board without a hearing and without submitting any new evidence)
Note: Claimants can change their request for a certain review option at any time prior to VA issuing a decision on their claim. Receipt of an unfavorable decision also presents an opportunity to change your appeal lane.
Call 800-544-9144 Today to Speak with a Member of the Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD Team
Our team is qualified in helping veterans navigate the appeals process. We have the ability to determine whether the Supplemental Claim Lane is the best option for your situation. Call today for a free case evaluation: 800-544-9144.
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