38 U.S. Code § 5108 - Supplemental claims

(a)In General.—
If new and relevant evidence is presented or secured with respect to a supplemental claim, the Secretary shall readjudicate the claim taking into consideration all of the evidence of record.
(b)Duty to Assist.—
(1)
If a claimant, in connection with a supplemental claim, reasonably identifies existing records, whether or not in the custody of a Federal department or agency, the Secretary shall assist the claimant in obtaining the records in accordance with section 5103A of this title.
(2)
Assistance under paragraph (1) shall not be predicated upon a finding that new and relevant evidence has been presented or secured.
(Added Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title I, § 103(a)(1), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4107, § 3008; renumbered § 5108, Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, § 402(b)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404, 405; Pub. L. 115–55, § 2(i)(1), Aug. 23, 2017, 131 Stat. 1109.)
Applicability of Amendment

Amendment of section by section 2(i)(1) of Pub. L. 115–55 applicable to all claims for which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs provides notice of a decision under section 5104 of this title on or after the later of 540 days after Aug. 23, 2017, or 30 days after the date on which the Secretary submits to Congress a certification of certain capabilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out the new appeals system established by Pub. L. 115–55 and to address appeals of decisions on legacy claims, with provision for early applicability of the new appeals system to certain claims. See 2017 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2017—Pub. L. 115–55 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “If new and material evidence is presented or secured with respect to a claim which has been disallowed, the Secretary shall reopen the claim and review the former disposition of the claim.”

1991—Pub. L. 102–40 renumbered section 3008 of this title as this section.

Pub. L. 102–83 substituted “Secretary” for “Administrator”.

Effective Date of 2017 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 115–55 applicable to all claims for which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs provides notice of a decision under section 5104 of this title on or after the later of 540 days after Aug. 23, 2017, or 30 days after the date on which the Secretary submits to Congress a certification of certain capabilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out the new appeals system established by Pub. L. 115–55 and to address appeals of decisions on legacy claims, with provision for early applicability of the new appeals system to certain claims, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective Sept. 1, 1989, see section 401(a) of Pub. L. 100–687, set out as a note under section 7251 of this title.

Construction of 2017 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–55, § 2(i)(2), Aug. 23, 2017, 131 Stat. 1109, provided that:

“Section 5108 of such title [38 U.S.C. 5108], as amended by paragraph (1), shall not be construed to impose a higher evidentiary threshold than the new and material evidence standard that was in effect pursuant to such section on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 23, 2017].”