What is a Deferred VA Claim?

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The “Other Rating Decisions” Issued by the VA

A rating decision is issued by the VA after they have considered the veteran’s claim. Typically, a rating decision tells the veteran if their claim has been granted or denied. The rating decision will also tell the veteran how the VA came to the decision that they reached. However, sometimes a veteran might receive a rating decision that says “deferred.” A deferred rating decision is issued when the claim is underdeveloped (not enough evidence) or if the claim is incomplete. 

Other times, a veteran might receive a decision that says “confirmed and continued.” Confirmed and continued rating decisions are issued when the veteran submits additional evidence and the VA believes this evidence is repetitive, not new and material, or unpersuasive.

What Does “Deferred” Mean on a VA Claim?

A deferred rating decision is issued when the veteran has submitted multiple claims to the VA, but the VA only has sufficient evidence to decide some of these claims. For example, a veteran files a claim for PTSD, hearing loss, and migraines. Then the VA grants the PTSD, denies the hearing loss, and defers the migraines. 

This means that the VA had enough evidence to make a decision on the PTSD and hearing loss claims, but they need more evidence on the migraine claim in order to reach a decision. A deferred rating decision basically means that claim needs more development. 

When Does The VA Need More Evidence?

Reasons why the VA might need more evidence include: 

  • A doctor didn’t provide certain language in his opinion
  • Medical records or military records that were previously unavailable became available
  • Something new happens to the veteran that would have an effect on his claim (such as, having an operation or getting social security compensation). 

Simply put, this deferred rating decision is not really a decision at all. It can also be thought of as a decision to not decide something. Either way you put it, a deferred rating decision means the veteran will have to wait a little bit longer before their claim is actually decided.

What Does “Confirmed and Continued” Mean on a VA Claim?

Unlike a deferred rating decision, a rating decision that is confirmed and continued means that the issues making up a veteran’s claim are ready for a decision. 

Confirmed and continued decisions are issued after a veteran has received an initial rating decision and has submitted additional evidence to the VA on the claim decided by that initial rating decision. 

The VA will confirm and continue its initial rating when it feels that the additional evidence submitted by the veteran does not change what the outcome should be.

Overall, think of a deferred rating decision as meaning a claim needs more evidence while a confirmed and continued rating decision means a claim needs different evidence.

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