Table of Contents
- What is VA Form 20-0995, and how do I use it?
- Who is eligible to use VA Form 20-0995?
- What are the benefits of completing VA Form 20-0995?
- How do I access VA Form 20-0995, and where do I submit it?
- How long does it take to process VA Form 20-0995?
- How does VA Form 20-0995 relate to other VA benefits and services?
- How can I get help with completing VA Form 20-0995?
- What types of disabilities can I apply for with VA Form 20-0995?
Are you a veteran or a family member of one struggling to get the disability benefits you deserve from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?
It’s no secret that the claims process can be a daunting and frustrating experience, especially if you don’t agree with the VA’s decision. But don’t lose hope just yet! VA Form 20-0995, also known as the “Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim,” might be the solution you’re looking for.
This form allows you to request a review of the VA’s decision and provide additional evidence to support your claim. So, let’s dive into what VA Form 20-0995 is all about and how it can help you get the benefits you deserve.
What is VA Form 20-0995, and how do I use it?
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a wide range of benefits and services to eligible veterans, including disability compensation for injuries or illnesses related to their military service. However, the claims process can be complex and challenging, and sometimes the VA may make a decision that the veteran disagrees with. In such cases, VA Form 20-0995 can be used to request a review of the decision and provide additional information or evidence to support the veteran’s claim.
So, what is VA Form 20-0995? This form, also known as the “Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim,” is a powerful tool that veterans and their families can use to appeal a decision made by the VA regarding their disability claim. However, it’s important to note that VA Form 20-0995 can only be used for claims filed on or after February 19, 2019.
When a veteran files a claim for disability benefits with the VA, the VA will decide on the claim and notify the veteran of its decision. Veterans who disagree with the decision can file an appeal using VA Form 20-0995. The form must be filed within one year of the date of the VA’s decision.
To use VA Form 20-0995, veterans must provide the following information:
Veteran’s personal information, including name, address, and Social Security number.
The date of the VA’s decision being appealed.
The type of benefit being claimed (e.g., disability compensation).
A statement explaining why the veteran disagrees with the VA’s decision and why they believe the decision should be changed.
Any new evidence or information that the veteran wants the VA to consider?
A statement explaining why the new evidence or information was not provided earlier.
A signature and date.
It’s important to note that the more specific and detailed the veteran’s statement and evidence are, the better their chance of success on appeal. The VA will review the new evidence and make a new decision on the claim.
After submitting VA Form 20-0995, veterans can expect to receive a decision from the VA within 125 days. However, it’s important to note that this timeline may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of new evidence submitted.
Who is eligible to use VA Form 20-0995?
To be eligible for VA disability benefits, a veteran must have served in the active military, naval, or air service and have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. The veteran must also have a current disability related to their military service.
Additionally, the following individuals may be eligible to use VA Form 20-0995:
Surviving spouses and children of veterans who have died due to their military service or who have a service-connected disability.
Dependents of veterans who have a service-connected disability and meet certain criteria.
Former prisoners of war who have a service-connected disability.
Veterans exposed to certain environmental hazards or participated in certain tests and experiments.
Keep in mind that VA Form 20-0995 can only be used for claims filed on or after February 19, 2019. If a veteran filed a claim before that date, they may be eligible to use other forms to appeal the VA’s decision.
In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, veterans and their families must also provide specific information when filling out VA Form 20-0995.
This includes the veteran’s personal information, the date of the VA’s decision being appealed, the type of benefit being claimed, a statement explaining why the veteran disagrees with the VA’s decision, any new evidence or information that the veteran wants the VA to consider, a statement explaining why the new evidence or information was not provided earlier, and a signature and date.
It’s important for veterans and their families to understand their eligibility for VA Form 20-0995 and other VA benefits and services. If you’re unsure if you’re eligible for VA disability benefits or have questions about the claims process, you can contact Trajector for assistance. Additionally, many organizations and resources are available to help veterans navigate the VA system and ensure that they receive the benefits and services they’re entitled to.
What are the benefits of completing VA Form 20-0995?
Opportunity for additional review
VA Form 20-0995 provides veterans and their families with an opportunity to have their disability claims reviewed by the VA. By submitting this form, veterans and their families can request a review of a decision made by the VA and provide additional information or evidence to support their claim.
Increased chance of receiving benefits
By submitting VA Form 20-0995, veterans and their families may be able to provide additional evidence or information that could help support their claim for disability benefits. This could increase their chances of receiving the benefits they’re entitled to.
Faster processing time
In some cases, submitting VA Form 20-0995 may result in a faster processing time for disability claims. This is because the VA must prioritize the review of claims submitted on this form.
More personalized review
VA Form 20-0995 allows veterans and their families to provide a statement explaining why they disagree with the VA’s decision and any new evidence or information they want the VA to consider. This allows for a more personalized review of the claim and can help the VA understand the specific circumstances of the veteran’s case.
Access to resources
By submitting VA Form 20-0995, veterans and their families may be able to access additional resources and support services from the VA. These resources can help them navigate the claims process and ensure that they receive the benefits and services they’re entitled to.
Ability to appeal decisions
If the VA denies a veteran’s claim for disability benefits after reviewing VA Form 20-0995, the veteran may still be able to appeal the decision. Several different types of appeals are available, depending on the case’s specific circumstances.
How do I access VA Form 20-0995, and where do I submit it?
Accessing VA Form 20-0995 is a simple process that can be done online or in person. Here’s how to access and submit the form:
Visit the VA’s website at www.va.gov and navigate to the “Forms” section.
Search for “VA Form 20-0995” and click the link to download the form.
Fill out the form completely, including all required information and any additional statements or evidence that you want the VA to consider.
Save a copy of the completed form for your records.
Submit the form online using the VA’s “eBenefits” system or by mail or fax (see below for more information).
Visit your local VA regional office or VA medical center.
Ask for assistance in completing VA Form 20-0995.
Fill out the form completely, including all required information and any additional statements or evidence that you want the VA to consider.
Make sure to bring any necessary documentation with you, such as medical records or service records.
Submit the form in-person to a VA representative.
Submitting the form:
Once you’ve completed VA Form 20-0995, you can submit it online via the VA’s “eBenefits” system, mail, or fax.
To submit the form online using the VA’s “eBenefits” system, log in to your account on the VA’s website and follow the instructions for submitting documents. You can also submit the form by mail or fax using the following addresses:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
Toll-Free Fax: 844-531-7818
What are some common mistakes to avoid when completing VA Form 20-0995?
While completing the form may seem straightforward, there are some common mistakes that applicants should be aware of to ensure that their request is processed as efficiently and accurately as possible.
Failing to provide all necessary information
One of the most common mistakes made when completing VA Form 20-0995 is failing to provide all the required information. The form requires detailed information about the applicant’s disability, including the medical condition, the date of diagnosis, and the severity of the condition. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that all required fields are completed and that any additional information or evidence to support the claim is attached.
Failing to explain the reason for the request
It’s important to clearly and concisely explain why the applicant is requesting a review of their disability claim. This may include providing new evidence or medical documentation that was not previously considered or challenging the accuracy of the original decision made by the VA.
Failing to submit all required supporting documentation
Along with the completed VA Form 20-0995, applicants must submit all relevant medical records, treatment records, and other supporting documentation. Failing to provide this information can delay the processing of the request or result in a denial of the appeal.
Submitting incomplete or outdated forms
The VA periodically updates its forms, so it’s important to ensure that the correct version of VA Form 20-0995 is being used. Incomplete or outdated forms can result in delays or even a denial of the appeal.
Failing to meet the deadline
VA Form 20-0995 must be submitted within one year of the date of the original decision by the VA. Failing to meet this deadline can result in the appeal being denied.
Failing to seek assistance when needed
If an applicant is unsure about how to complete VA Form 20-0995 or has questions about the appeals process, it’s important to seek assistance from a qualified professional, such as a Veterans Service Officer or an attorney specializing in VA disability claims.
How long does it take to process VA Form 20-0995?
The processing time for VA Form 20-0995, also known as the “Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim” form, can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the case’s complexity, evidence availability, and the workload of the VA regional office responsible for processing the claim.
Typically, it can take several months to process a VA Form 20-0995. However, the VA has made efforts to expedite the appeals process for certain types of claims. For example, under the VA’s Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP), veterans can choose to have their appeals reviewed either by the traditional appeals process or through a new, streamlined process. RAMP aims to complete appeals within an average of 125 days.
It’s important to note that applicants can help expedite the processing of their appeal by providing all necessary information and supporting documentation in a timely and organized manner. Applicants can also check the status of their appeal online through the VA’s “eBenefits” system, which provides real-time updates on the claim’s progress.
If an applicant has not received a decision on their appeal within a reasonable amount of time, they can contact the VA to check on the status of their claim. Additionally, applicants can seek assistance from a Veterans Service Officer or an attorney specializing in VA disability claims to help navigate the appeals process and ensure that their claim is processed as quickly and accurately as possible.
How do I track the status of my VA Form 20-0995?
To track the status of your VA Form 20-0995, you can use the VA’s online portal called “eBenefits.” Here are the steps to follow:
Go to the VA’s eBenefits website at www.ebenefits.va.gov.
Log in to your account. If you do not have an account, you can create one by following the instructions on the website.
Once logged in, click “Manage” in the top menu bar.
From the drop-down menu, select “Track Claims.”
On the “Track Claims” page, you will see a list of your open claims. Look for the claim that corresponds to your VA Form 20-0995 and click on it.
You will then see the current status of your claim and any recent updates or actions taken by the VA.
Can I submit multiple VA Form 20-0995 applications?
You can submit multiple VA Form 20-0995 applications if you have multiple issues that you wish to appeal. The VA allows veterans to submit a separate Form 20-0995 for each issue they wish to appeal. For example, if you are appealing a decision related to a service-connected disability and a decision related to a non-service-connected pension, you would need to submit a separate Form 20-0995 for each issue.
It’s important to note that submitting multiple Form 20-0995 applications does not necessarily mean that your appeals will be processed more quickly. Each application will be reviewed and processed separately, and the processing time for each application may vary depending on factors such as the issue’s complexity and the evidence’s availability.
Before submitting multiple Form 20-0995 applications, it’s a good idea to speak with a Veterans Service Officer or an attorney who specializes in VA disability claims to ensure that you are submitting the correct form and that you include all necessary information and supporting documentation. This can help ensure that your appeals are processed quickly and accurately.
How does VA Form 20-0995 relate to other VA benefits and services?
VA Form 20-0995, also known as the “Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim” form, is specifically related to the appeals process for VA disability benefits. It allows veterans to request a review of a decision made by the VA regarding their disability benefits and to provide additional evidence or information that may support their claim.
While VA Form 20-0995 is specific to the appeals process for disability benefits, many other VA benefits and services may be available to eligible veterans. These include:
Health care: The VA provides comprehensive medical care, including preventative care, primary care, specialty care, and mental health care.
Education and training: The VA offers a range of educational benefits and training programs to help veterans achieve their career goals.
Home loans: The VA offers home loan programs to help veter
ns purchase, build, or improve homes.
Life insurance: The VA provides life insurance benefits to eligible veterans and their families.
Vocational rehabilitation and employment: The VA offers services and resources to help veterans with disabilities find and maintain meaningful employment.
Pension: The VA provides a non-service-connected pension to eligible veterans with limited income and assets.
Dependents and survivors benefits: The VA provides benefits and services to eligible dependents and survivors of veterans.
How can I get help with completing VA Form 20-0995?
Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs)
VSOs are non-profit organizations that provide free assistance to veterans with VA disability claims and appeals. These organizations have trained service officers who can help veterans with completing the necessary forms and gathering the necessary evidence and documentation to support their appeals.
Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
The VBA is the federal agency responsible for administering VA benefits and services. They have dedicated staff who can assist veterans with completing VA Form 20-0995 and other forms related to the appeals process. You can contact the VBA by phone, email, or in-person to request assistance.
Legal Aid Clinics
Many law schools and legal aid clinics offer free or low-cost legal assistance to veterans with VA appeals. In addition, these organizations can provide legal advice and representation to veterans who are appealing a decision regarding their disability benefits.
Disability attorneys specializing in VA appeals can also assist with completing VA Form 20-0995 and navigating the appeals process. In addition, these attorneys can provide legal advice, representation, and advocacy to veterans who are appealing a decision related to their disability benefits.
Many online resources are available to veterans who are appealing a decision related to their disability benefits. For example, the VA website provides information and guidance on the appeals process and resources for finding a VSO or disability attorney. Additionally, there are many online forums and support groups where veterans can connect with others going through the same process and get advice and support.
What types of disabilities can I apply for with VA Form 20-0995?
VA Form 20-0995 can be used to apply for any service-connected disability you believe the VA has underrated or denied. This includes physical disabilities, such as amputations or chronic pain, and mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
It’s worth noting that certain disabilities may be more challenging to receive a service-connected rating for, such as those related to Gulf War Syndrome or Agent Orange exposure. However, if you believe that your disability is related to your military service and you have relevant evidence to support your claim, it’s still worth submitting a VA disability claim with VA Form 20-0995.
If you’re not sure whether you qualify for disability benefits or how to apply, you may want to seek assistance from a veterans service organization (VSO), the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), or a disability attorney. These resources can help you understand your eligibility and navigate the VA appeals process if necessary.