You should appeal if you are challenging the VCF’s determination on your claim.
You should amend if you are seeking a new determination based on new information.
If you file a compensation appeal, your claim will not be paid until after a decision is made on your appeal. If you file an eligibility appeal, compensation review will not commence until after a decision is made on your appeal. The only circumstance in which a claim will be paid while under appeal is if the claimant has been approved for expedited status after meeting the applicable criteria. In all cases, filing an amendment will not affect payment on the original determination.
When considering whether to appeal or to amend, consider whether you are waiving or compromising a particular claim or argument by accepting payment on the original determination and choosing to pursue an amendment rather than an appeal. The VCF has discretion to determine whether an issue submitted on appeal is more appropriately addressed via amendment. Note that in deceased claims (i.e., a claim filed on behalf of a victim who died as a result of his or her 9/11-related condition), you will not be able to amend your claim except in limited circumstances.
You should not appeal the decision on your claim as a way to seek a faster review of an amendment that is unrelated to the decision already made. Appeals filed solely for purposes of seeking consideration of an amendment on an unrelated issue are invalid, and you will be notified that your appeal is cancelled, that your right to appeal that determination is deemed waived, and, if an award determination has already been made, that your claim is moving to payment.
Detailed information about how this applies to eligibility and compensation determinations, including specific examples, can be found here, and is also located on the VCF website under "Forms and Resources."