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Insurance claims

If you disagree with a VA decision on an insurance 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.

Decision review options

Add new and relevant evidence with a Supplemental Claim

Download VA Form 20-0995: Supplemental Claim (PDF)

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. 
Learn how to file a Supplemental Claim 

Note: You must add evidence that VA didn’t have before that supports your case.

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

4-5 months

Our goal for completing Supplemental Claims is 125 days.

Ask a senior reviewer to do a Higher-Level Review

Download VA Form 20-0996: Higher-Level Review (PDF) 

When you choose to request a Higher-Level Review, you’re asking for another review of the same evidence. A senior reviewer will take another look at your case and determine whether the decision can be changed based on a difference of opinion or an error. 
Learn how to request a Higher-Level Review 

Note: 

  • 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 it take VA to make a decision?

4-5 months

Our goal for completing Higher-Level Reviews is 125 days. A review may take longer if we need to get records or schedule a new exam to correct an error.

Can I request a Higher-Level Review?

You can request a Higher-Level Review of an initial claim or Supplemental Claim decision. This option isn’t available after a Higher-Level Review or Board decision.

Appeal to a Veterans Law Judge by requesting a Board Appeal

Download VA Form 10182: Board Appeal (PDF)

A judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in Washington, D.C., will review your case. 
Learn more about how to request a Board Appeal

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

About 1 year

The Board’s goal for deciding appeals with no new evidence and no hearing is about a year.

Note: 

  • You have the option to add new evidence that will be reviewed by a judge.
  • You have the option to request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge.

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

Longer than 1 year

The Board will take longer to decide your appeal if you add new evidence or request a hearing.

Can I request a Board Appeal?

You can request a Board Appeal after an initial claim, Supplemental Claim, or Higher-Level Review decision. You can’t request two Board Appeals in a row.

Bring an action in district court

You also have the option to bring an action in a United States district court. You have 6 years to bring such an action after accrual of the right for which the claim is made. You may want to speak with an attorney about this option. 

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 Supplemental Claim. You can also appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Learn more about your options after a Board decision

What happens next?

Find out what happens after you request a decision review

You don’t need to do anything while you wait unless VA sends you a letter asking for more information. If VA schedules exams for you, be sure not to miss them.

Track the status of your appeal

What if I need help?

A Veterans Service Organization or VA-accredited attorney or agent can help you request a decision review. 
Get help requesting a decision review

What if I have more questions?

Get answers to frequently asked questions about decision reviews. 
Go to FAQs

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