If you disagree with a VA decision on a fiduciary claim, you can choose from 3 decision review options. You can file a Supplemental Claim, ask for a Higher-Level Review, or request a Board Appeal.
Mark your calendar
You have 1 year from the date on your decision to request a Higher-Level Review or a Board Appeal. You can file a Supplemental Claim anytime, but we recommend you file within 1 year from the date on your decision letter.
Add new and relevant evidence with a Supplemental Claim
When you choose to file a Supplemental Claim, you’re adding new evidence that supports your case or identifying evidence for review. A reviewer will determine whether the new evidence changes the decision.
How do I file a Supplemental Claim?
You’ll need to fill out a Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim (VA Form 20-0995).
Note: You must add evidence that VA didn’t have before that supports your case.
How long does a Supplemental Claim take?
Our goal for completing Supplemental Claims is an average of 125 days (4 to 5 months).
Ask for a Higher-Level Review
When you choose a Higher-Level Review, you’re asking for another review of the same evidence. A higher-level reviewer will review your case and determine whether the decision can be changed based on a difference of opinion or an error.
How do I request a Higher-Level Review?
You can request a Higher-Level Review online right now.
You can also request a Higher-Level Review by filling out a Decision Review Request: Higher-Level Review (VA Form 20-0996).
- You can’t submit any evidence.
- You and/or your representative can speak with the reviewer on the phone. You can tell them why you think the decision should be changed and identify errors.
How long does a Higher-Level Review take?
Our goal for completing Higher-Level Reviews is an average of 125 days (4 to 5 months).
Can I request a Higher-Level Review?
You can request a Higher-Level Review of an initial claim. This option isn’t available after a Higher-Level Review or Board Appeal.
Appeal to a Veterans Law Judge by requesting a Board Appeal
When you request a Board Appeal, a judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals will review your case.
How do I request a Board Appeal?
You can request a Board Appeal online right now.
You can also request a Board Appeal by filling out a Decision Review Request: Board Appeal (Notice of Disagreement) (VA Form 10182).
What are my Board Appeal options?
If you select a Board Appeal, you have 3 options. We encourage you to work with your representative to decide which of the following options is best for you.
Option 1: Request a Direct Review
A Veterans Law Judge will review your appeal based on evidence already submitted. You can’t submit evidence and can’t have a hearing.
The Direct Review option will take about 1 year for the Board to complete.
Option 2: Submit more evidence
You can submit more evidence for a Veterans Law Judge to review. You must submit this evidence within 90 days of the date we receive your request for a Board Appeal.
The evidence submission option will take more than 1 year for the Board to complete.
Option 3: Request a hearing
You can request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge. You can choose to add new and relevant evidence, either at the hearing or within 90 days after the hearing. Adding evidence is optional. Your hearing will be transcribed and added to your appeal file.
You can choose from 3 different ways to speak with the Veterans Law Judge:
- Virtual hearing from your home
- Videoconference hearing at a VA location near you
- In-person hearing at the Board in Washington, D.C.
The hearing request option will take more than 1 year for the Board to complete.
Can I request a Board Appeal?
You can request a Board Appeal after an initial claim or Higher-Level Review decision. You can’t request 2 Board Appeals in a row.
After a Board decision
If you disagree with the Board’s decision and have new and relevant evidence that supports your case, you can file a new claim. You can also appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
What happens next?
You don’t need to do anything while you wait unless we send you a letter asking for more information. If we schedule exams for you, be sure not to miss them.