38 CFR § 3.2501 - Supplemental claims.
Except as otherwise provided, a claimant or his or her authorized representative, if any, who disagrees with a prior VA decision may file a supplemental claim (see § 3.1(p)(2)) by submitting in writing or electronically a complete application (see § 3.160(a)) on a form prescribed by the Secretary any time after the agency of original jurisdiction issues notice of a decision, regardless of whether the claim is pending (see § 3.160(c)) or has become finally adjudicated (see § 3.160(d)). If new and relevant evidence is presented or secured with respect to the supplemental claim, the agency of original jurisdiction will readjudicate the claim taking into consideration all of the evidence of record. If new and relevant evidence is not presented or secured, the agency of original jurisdiction will issue a decision finding that there was insufficient evidence to readjudicate the claim. In determining whether new and relevant evidence is presented or secured, VA will consider any VA treatment records reasonably identified by the claimant and any evidence received by VA after VA issued notice of a decision on the claim and while the evidentiary record was closed (see 3.103(c)).
(a) New and relevant evidence. The new and relevant standard will not impose a higher evidentiary threshold than the previous new and material evidence standard under § 3.156(a).
(1) Definition. 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.
(2) Receipt prior to notice of a decision. New and relevant evidence received before VA issues its decision on a supplemental claim will be considered as having been filed in connection with the claim.
(b) Evidentiary record. The evidentiary record for a supplemental claim includes all evidence received by VA before VA issues notice of a decision on the supplemental claim. For VA to readjudicate the claim, the evidentiary record must include new and relevant evidence that was not of record as of the date of notice of the prior decision.
(c) Duty to assist. Upon receipt of a substantially complete supplemental claim, VA's duty to assist in the gathering of evidence under § 3.159 of this part is triggered and includes any such assistance that may help secure new and relevant evidence as defined in paragraph (a) of this section to complete the supplemental claim application.
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