If your disability benefits claim is denied by the VA or if you receive a lower disability benefits rating than you believe is necessary, you may be able to appeal the decision. However, filing a successful appeal can be difficult, even in the best of circumstances.
You may have a higher chance of success using the supplemental claims method of appeals. Read on for more information about how to use the supplemental claims process for your disability benefits appeal.
A supplemental claim is a secondary method through which you can file a disability benefits or appeals claim through the recently implemented Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP). Put simply, RAMP lets you appeal your disability benefits decision through several claim lanes.
The first claim lane is the higher-level review lane. This requires asking the VA to look at the information you have provided and contacting you for a de novo review. You can’t submit any new evidence through this lane.
The supplemental claim lane has the VA look over new information you submit alongside your appeal paperwork. You must have new evidence to appeal the VA benefits decision through this lane.
The 2017 law called the Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA) restructured the Veterans’ disability benefits appeals process in order to streamline decisions and simplify processes across the board.
It was fully implemented in 2019, and now it requires Veterans like you to appeal disability benefits decisions through using supplemental claim lanes, higher-level reviews, or by filing a Notice of Disagreement to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
It’s a good idea to use the supplemental to appeal your disability benefits decision if you believe you have new or relevant evidence to support your claim on appeal. This evidence can include:
You can qualify for the supplemental claim lane if you meet the below requirements:
You should pick a different appeal option for your disability claim if you don’t have any new and material evidence to offer in support.
In order to use the supplemental claim lane to appeal your disability benefits decision, you have to submit a RAMP opt-in election form. Then, check “Supplemental Claim.” Be sure to opt-in to RAMP within one year of receiving your VA decision, so your claim retains its effective date.
Knowledgeable Veterans law attorneys are the best contacts to help you through the appeals process, including through using the supplemental claims lane. Contact Berry Law today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
VA’s Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) | VA.gov
Appeals Modernization | Veterans Benefits Administration
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