VA Form 20-0995 is one of several newer forms in a decision review process that replaced the legacy process in 2019. If you disagree with a VA decision that was dated on or after February 19, 2019, you can now choose from three decision review options or “lanes” (Supplemental Claim, Higher-Level Review, or Board Appeal) to continue your case.
In the summer of 2017, the Appeals Modernization Act was signed into law. The Act was designed to improve timeliness, transparency, and fairness and went into effect in early 2019.
The old appeals system used variations of 21-526ez, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension.
If you want to learn more about how to use VA Form 20-0995 to appeal your claim decision, read on.
- Common Questions About Using VA Form 20-0995 for your Supplemental Review
- What can VA Form 20-0995 be used for?
- What info will I need to fill out VA 0995?
- How do I submit the form?
- What constitutes “new and relevant” evidence for VA Form 0995?
- What sources of evidence work?
- TIMING: When should l file, what happens after I submit, and how long will it take for the VA to decide after submitting VA 20-0995?
- What if I want to choose a different review option after I’ve submitted a form?
- Battlefield Lessons Learned: The Missing Links to Win Your VA Disability Claim (NEW TIPS!)
- Don’t hesitate to use form 20-0995!
- About the Author
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Common Questions About Using VA Form 20-0995 for your Supplemental Review
What can VA Form 20-0995 be used for?
If you disagree with a VA decision (commonly, a denial) and want to provide new evidence to support your claim, then Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim (VA Form 20-0995) is the form to use.
(If you want to pursue a Higher-Level Review to address your disagreement with a VA decision, use VA Form 20-0996. HLR allows you to submit your claim to a more senior VA official. Read more here.)
The Board Appeal “lane” is also called the Notice of Disagreement Lane (appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals). The form to use for the Board Appeal is VA-10182. (Read more about this option here.)
If you want a review of your claim, you’ll need to choose one of these options. Your choice will depend on several factors, such as whether you have new evidence (Supplemental Review, VA-0995), whether you have a complicated case (benefitting from more experienced personnel, indicating the need for Higher-Level Review VA-0996), or whether you want a hearing with a judge (Board of Veterans Appeals).
What info will I need to fill out VA 0995?
Section 1 – Claimant’s Identifying Information
This section requires basic information: full name, Social Security Number, date of birth, current mailing address, telephone number, and benefit type (e.g. compensation, pension/survivors benefits, etc.).
In this section you’re also asked to check a box regarding what type of benefit you’re appealing. You can only check one, so if you plan to appeal decisions for multiple types of benefits, complete separate forms for each benefit type.
Section 2 – Issue(s) for Supplemental Claim
In this section, list each issue that you are wanting the VA to reopen and adjudicate. Each specific issue must be cited along with the date of the VA decision notice in which it was originally either denied or partially granted (for example, if you received a decision granting you a 70 percent disability rating for a condition, but you feel that you are entitled to a 100% rating).
This section also includes a checkbox to indicate if you’re opting in to the new appeals system following a Statement of the Case (SOC) or Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC) from the legacy (former) appeals system. If you had a claim in the legacy system, checking that box withdraws all eligible appeal issues listed on the form from the legacy system and affirms your participation in the new system. (NOTE: if you take this option, it may alter the effective date of your claim.)
Section 3 – New and Relevant Evidence
This section addresses the need for new and relevant evidence for Supplemental Claims via VA-0995, and is used if you want the VA to obtain records on your behalf. Complete columns 15A and 15B with name, location, and dates of the records you want retrieved.This will allow the VA to retrieve public records on your behalf; if you want the VA to gather evidence from a private provider, you must fill out and sign VA Form 21-4142 (PDF) and include it with your Supplemental Claim form (VA Form 20-0995).
NOTE: VA Claims Insider does not recommend having the VA retrieve your evidence; instead, we recommend that you submit your own copies of your new and relevant evidence with Supplemental Claim VA Form 20-0995.
Section 4 —5103—Notice Acknowledgement
If you select “NO” in this section, the claim will not be adjudicated for 30 days and the VA will mail you a notice of that fact. Select “YES” and click on the Notice Acknowledgement link to view the notice so your Supplemental Claim is not delayed.
Section 4 – Certification and Signature
Sign and date the form to authorize your Supplemental Claim request. You’re signifying that the information on your 20-0995 form is true and correct.
How do I submit the form?
You can obtain a PDF here.
Submit your hard copy of VA 20-0995 by mailing it to the Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center: PO Box 4444 Janesville, WI 53547-4444. You can fax to 844-531-7818 or 248-524-4260, walk it in to your nearest regional benefit office, or via direct upload @ Centralized Mail Portal™ (digitalcontentservices.com)
You can also ask a regional benefit office for a copy of VA 20-0995 to fill out. Or you can call the VA toll-free hotline at 800-827-1000, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET, to request a form. You can receive the form via email upon request.
What constitutes “new and relevant” evidence for VA Form 0995?
In order for the VA to accept your Form 20-0995, says the VA: “You can file a Supplemental Claim if you have new and relevant evidence that we didn’t have when we reviewed your case before.”
New evidence is information that VA didn’t have before the last decision. Relevant evidence is information that could prove or disprove something in your claim.
Generally, new records from a doctor showing the same diagnosis will not be considered new. An independent medical evaluation is also considered new evidence.
A supplemental claim via VA Form 20-0995 may be a good option if you’ve had new testing, received a new or different treatment, experienced a worsening of your condition (confirmed by a professional), or if you’ve seen a new healthcare provider about your condition. If you obtained or discovered new evidence or information about your condition after submitting your original claim via any means, it should be included. If you simply forgot to include relevant information in your initial claim, VA Form 20-0995 is the form to use to update your claim.
What sources of evidence work?
Your Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim (VA Form 20-0995) can include evidence of the same types and formats that are useful in an initial claim (as long as they’re new and relevant). This can include lay evidence in the form of a buddy letter or personal statement; private medical records or service/ VA medical records (recent or from your active-duty service at any time in your career); or an independent medical opinion (IMO) from an objective provider.
You can gather the new evidence for your Supplemental Claim 20-0995 on your own, or you can request assistance from the VA in locating the appropriate records. VA Claims Insider Coaching and mastermind can be helpful for many veterans in staying with the process of gathering and obtaining all the correct documentation.
TIMING: When should l file, what happens after I submit, and how long will it take for the VA to decide after submitting VA 20-0995?
To protect the effective date for service connection for a condition you’re trying to service-connect with the claim, VA Form 20-0995 must be filed within one year of the decision date being appealed.
If the supplemental claim is filed after the one year deadline, the VA will accept the claim, but it can only be used to reopen the claim for that issue.
You don’t need to do anything after submitting VA Form 20-0995 unless VA sends you a letter asking for more information. If an exam is scheduled for you, be sure not to miss it and make sure to prepare for it. (Our best tips on preparing for a C&P exam are here.)
The average response time for a supplemental claim is 125 days, but it can take up to five months or longer to get a VA decision on a Supplemental Claim. When your review is complete, VA will mail you a decision packet that includes details about the decision on your case.
To check on the status of your appeal, you can view it at VA.gov or call 800-827-1000.
What if I want to choose a different review option after I’ve submitted a form?
You can switch from VA Form 20-0995 Supplemental Review if your original request hasn’t been decided yet. You can switch appeal options within one year from the date on your VA decision letter for the claim you want reviewed. You must include a letter with your new form that says you want to withdraw your existing decision review request.
At VA Claims Insider we’ve seen one option work when another didn’t, and we can help you assess your options. The key is to not give up! Denial is not the end. Reach out for a free discovery call if you need support.
Battlefield Lessons Learned: The Missing Links to Win Your VA Disability Claim (NEW TIPS!)
Don’t hesitate to use form 20-0995!
The appeals process exists to help you get your claim resolved, and support your continued efforts to get the rating and compensation you deserve. At VA Claims Insider we encourage you not to give up, even if you’ve been denied—it isn’t over til it’s over! The Supplemental Claim (VA Form 20-0995) is one tool to move you forward in the process.
MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE
Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that you pursue the monthly compensation payments due to you for disabilities connected to your military service.
Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and therefore not getting the compensation they deserve. At VA Claims Insider, we help veterans understand and take control of the claims process so they can get the rating and compensation they’re owed by law.
Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim (FDC)—so you can increase your rating in less time!
If you’ve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or have received a low rating – or you’re not sure how to get started – reach out to us for a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call, so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you deserve. We’ve supported more than 15,000 veterans to win their claims and increase their ratings. NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.
About the Author
Elizabeth has served for her entire adult life, and has 20 years of combined skills in human resources, logistics, and organizational leadership.
Elizabeth joined the military at age 17 and completed basic training before her senior year of high school. She enlisted to follow her family tradition, as her father and three uncles served before her. Her career began in signal, led to logistics, and ended in recruiting in 2020. She was deployed to Kosovo in 2008, and served in Recruiting and Retention for the Missouri and Kansas Army National Guard from 2011-2020.
She is a VA Claims Insider coach as well as client, and has a passion for working with fellow veterans.