Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee, announced his legislation to reform the appeals process at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which received final congressional approval today and will soon head to the president’s desk for his signature. Bost introduced the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2288) in May and the final version of the bill was passed unanimously by the Senate last week.
“This is a big step forward for America’s heroes and their families,” said Bost. “Too many veterans faced unacceptable delays during the VA’s benefits claims appeal process. By modernizing the system, we can now ensure they get the help they need in a more efficient and effective manner. I am pleased that Republicans and Democrats came together to support my legislation and I look forward to the president signing it into law in the near future.”
The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 would create three “lanes” for veterans’ appeals, including the “Local Higher Level Review Lane” in which an adjudicator reviews the same evidence considered by the original claims processor; the “New Evidence Lane,” in which the veteran could submit new evidence for review and have a hearing; and the “Board Lane,” in which jurisdiction for the appeal would transfer immediately to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.