New and Relevant Evidence? How to adequately support your VA Supplemental Claim

The new VA Appeals Modernization Act, which went into effect on February 19, 2019 replaced the old “Reconsideration” or “Re-Opening” of a previously adjudicated claim with something called the VA Supplemental Claim, aka, Option #2, the Supplemental Claim Lane in the new VA appeals process.

#RIP Reconsideration

If you’re thinking about filing a Supplemental Claim, that means your previously submitted VA disability claim was denied, and most likely, denied for one of three reasons:

  1. No medical diagnosis of a disability or condition
  2. No clear “Nexus” meaning the disability or condition was NOT caused or made worse by your active duty military service (direct service connection) or by another service-connected disability (secondary service connection)
  3. No evidence of symptomatology to support a VA disability rating under the law

Now, in order to qualify for a Supplemental Claim, a veteran MUST present “NEW” and “RELEVANT” evidence NOT previously considered.

This is a big concept, and one that all veterans need to understand.

As defined in 38 CFR 3.2501:

NEW evidence is evidence not previously part of the actual record before agency adjudicators.  

RELEVANT evidence is information that tends to prove or disprove a matter at issue in a claim.  Relevant evidence includes evidence that raises a theory of entitlement that was not previously addressed. 

When determining if evidence is relevant consider whether the evidence:

  • Relates to an element for which the claim was previously denied, OR
  • Raises a theory of entitlement NOT addressed by the previous decision.

Okay, let’s look at some examples to clear things up a bit:

Example #1:  After VA denies service-connection of lumbar strain due to “no Nexus,” the Veteran submits a new medical nexus letter from a qualified medical professional. This would be considered “new” because the VA hadn’t seen it before and “relevant” because it would help to prove or disprove the “Nexus” aka, the link between the veteran’s current lumbar strain and his/her active duty military service. (NEW AND RELEVANT MEDICAL NEXUS OPINION)

Example #2:  After VA denies service-connection for migraines because “disability does not exist,” the Veteran submits a medical report showing the existence of the disability along with a medical diagnosis of migraines. This would be considered “new” because the VA didn’t have this medical report at the time of the previous denial and “relevant” because it would help to prove or disprove that the migraines disability does exist and has been diagnosed in a medical record. (NEW AND RELEVANT MEDICAL RECORDS)

Example #3:  After VA denies service-connection for knee injury as “not incurred in-service,” the Veteran submits a buddy statement for the first time from a friend who witnessed the event when the Veteran injured his knee in-service. This would be considered “new” because the VA hadn’t seen the buddy statement before AND “relevant” because it would help to prove or disprove that the knee injury did in fact occur in-service. (NEW AND RELEVANT LAY STATEMENT AKA “BUDDY LETTER”)

If you have new and relevant evidence not previously considered, then you’re ready to file a VA supplemental claim, and here are the steps:

How to File a VA Supplemental Claim:

A Veteran can file a Supplemental Claim within 1 year of a decision if you have new and relevant evidence not previously considered:

To file a Supplemental Claim, fill out the Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim (VA Form 20-0995). Download VA Form 20-0995.

By Mail:

Send the completed form and any supporting documents to the benefit office that matches the benefit type you selected on the form.

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444

In Person:

Bring your completed form and any supporting documents to a regional benefit office. 
Find a regional benefit office near you.

By Fax:

Fax your completed VA Form 20-0995 and any new and relevant supporting documents to 1-844-531-7818.

Need more medical evidence to service-connect and get rated at the appropriate level in support of your VA supplemental claim? Join VA Claims Insider Elite and have our medical team get started on your VA disability claim for FREE:

Want to listen to the VA Claims Insider Podcast? Click HERE now.

About the Author:

New and Relevant Evidence? How to adequately support your VA Supplemental Claim brian reese
Brian Reese the VA Claims Insider

Brian Reese is an Air Force service-disabled veteran, and his personal frustration with the VA disability process led him to found VA Claims Insider in 2016, which provides veterans with expert resources for successfully submitting winning VA disability claims. He is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy. His eBook, “The 9 Secret Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim,” has been downloaded more than 250,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans. Brian is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011. Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy and holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

📣 Want to help even more Veterans? Please CLICK AN ICON ABOVE and "SHARE" this post on Social Media! Thank You! 🚀


Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Easy VA Claims to Win!

How to File a Claim on (step-by-step)!

How to Get a 100 Percent VA Rating (if deserved)!

Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.