CAR Pilot Program Allows Quick Identification of Flawed Claims

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In 2021, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) released a pilot program called the Claim Accuracy Request (CAR), which allows accredited representatives an opportunity to request an expeditious review and determination of a claim for disability benefits per the Appeals Modernization Act. 

This act, passed into law in 2017, allowed veterans, their families, and survivors to increase their choice in handling disagreements with VA decisions.

About the Pilot

The pilot is only available to VA-accredited representatives, agents, and attorneys. During the trial period, these representatives can submit a CAR on behalf of a Veteran if the representative alleges an obvious error in fact or law. The VA must receive the CAR within 30-calendar days of the VA’s notification to the claimant. This is opposed to the higher-level review process, which averages 125 calendar days.

The CAR pilot program replaces a previous 48-hour review process and allows expedited higher-level review for obvious errors in fact or law. This allows representatives to quickly address any obvious errors that may impact payment and provides the VA with the opportunity to take corrective actions.

VSOs add value to the claims process, allowing the VA to correct errors quickly. Representatives will receive notifications and alerts throughout the claim process and when a decision is made for the veteran or claimants they represent. 

Submitting the CAR

The CAR must be submitted on VA Form 20-0996 – Decision Review Request: Higher-Level Review. This form is used to submit for a higher-level review of the decision received from the Department of Veterans Affairs based on the evidence of record when the VA issued the prior decision. 

The phrase “Claim Accuracy Request” or “CAR” must be prominently noted in the top margin of the first page of the application and the error(s) identified in the form. 

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