Decision reviews FAQs
If you disagree with a VA claim decision, you can request a decision review. Find answers to commonly asked questions about decision reviews.
Your decision review options
What are the 3 decision review options—and which is best for me?
The 3 decision review options are Supplemental Claims, Higher-Level Reviews, and Board Appeals.
Can I choose a different review option after I’ve submitted a form?
You may be able to switch to a different option if you meet certain requirements.
What’s the deadline for requesting a decision review?
For most VA benefits, you have 1 year from the date on your decision letter to request a Higher-Level Review or a Board Appeal. Certain types of VA benefits have time limits that are less than 1 year. Your decision letter will tell you the deadline.
You can file a Supplemental Claim at any time, but we recommend that you file within 1 year from the date on your decision letter.
What if I disagree with a VA decision review?
If you disagree with a decision review within 1 year, you have options to request another review. You’ll need to submit the request within 1 year from the date on your decision letter.
If you disagree with a decision review after 1 year has passed, your only option is to file a Supplemental Claim.
Evidence needed for decision reviews
Can I submit new evidence with my decision review?
This depends on the decision review option you request.
You can submit new evidence with these options:
- Supplemental Claim
- Board Appeal—evidence submission type
- Board Appeal—hearing type
You can’t submit new evidence with a Higher-Level Review, or with a Board Appeal if you select the direct review type.
What type of evidence do I need for a Supplemental Claim?
You’ll need to submit or identify new and relevant evidence that you think will change our decision.
If you’re filing a Supplemental Claim for a presumptive condition now covered under a change in law (such as the PACT Act), you’ll need medical evidence that documents the diagnosis and severity of your claimed condition. You don’t need to prove that your service caused the condition. You only need to meet the service requirements for the presumption.
VA’s duty to assist
What’s VA’s “duty to assist”?
We’re required to help you gather evidence to support your claim for VA benefits. This is called “duty to assist.”
What’s an informal conference?
An informal conference is a call with the higher-level reviewer for your case.
What if the reviewer finds an error?
This depends on what type of error they find.
What are the types of Board Appeals?
There are 3 types of Board Appeals: Direct Review, Evidence Submission, and Hearing.
What happens if I request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge?
You can choose from 3 different ways to speak with the Veterans Law Judge.
Can I change my Board Appeal type after I’ve submitted a form?
You may be able to switch to a different type of Board Appeal if you meet certain requirements.
What if I have an appeal in process in the legacy system?
If you’ve already appealed a decision dated before February 19, 2019, you’ll follow the legacy appeals process.
Can I opt in to 1 of the 3 new decision review options?
There are 2 points in the legacy appeals process when you can either opt in to a new decision review option or continue your appeal with the legacy process.