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Home > Bulletin > VA Disability Claims, Part II
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VA Disability Claims, Part II, cont.

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Requesting an Increase

VA Form 21-4138, “Statement in Support of Claim,” should be used when requesting an increase in the percentage of an existing VA claim. A blank sheet of paper may also be used to provide the pertinent information, in which case the first paragraph should read: "I am requesting re-evaluation on my service connected disability.”

The veteran need not submit conclusive evidence that a compensable condition has increased in severity in order to request an increase. To persuade VA to authorize an examination to assess the severity of the condition, the veteran need only to submit evidence that leads VA to conclude there is a "reasonable probability of a valid claim.”

VA may accept a private medical statement, a lay statement, or even the veteran's own statement that the service-connected disability has increased in severity. Even a sketchy medical statement that the veteran is being treated for the service-connected condition will almost always result in a VA examination. If possible, the veteran should submit a statement from the treating physician showing the current severity of the condition. The physician should be requested to include the "disability" outlook rather than the "treatment" outlook.

Requesting a Supplemental VA Comp and Pension Exam

Claimants should use the language in the following paragraph when requesting a remand. For more information, contact your local VA Service Office or call 800-827-1000.

"Claimant's claims for service connection for psychiatric and physical disabilities are well grounded pursuant to 38 USCA section 5107 (West 1991). A well-grounded claim is a claim that is plausible, that is, meritorious on its own or capable of substantiation (Murphy v. Derwinski, 1 Veterans Appeals 78, 1990). VA has a statutory duty to assist the claimant in the development of evidence pertinent to the claim in the form of a VA Medical Compensation and Pension Exam. Therefore, in accordance with the statutory duty to assist the claimant in the development of evidence pertinent to his/her claim, the claimant requests that this case be remanded back to the VA Regional Office for the following action: A Supplemental VA Compensation and Pension Exam. The case should then be reviewed by the Regional Office. If the benefits sought are not granted, the claimant and his/her representative should be furnished a supplemental statement of the case and an opportunity to respond. The case should then be returned to the Board of Veterans Appeals for further appellate consideration.”



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