Washington, D.C. - Today, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Chairman Mike Bost (R-IL) applauded the unanimous Senate passage of legislation he authored to modernize the appeals process at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Bost introduced the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2288) in May and helped guide it to quick passage in the House later that month. After minor technical changes were made in the Senate, the legislation is expected to head back to the House for a vote on final passage in September.
“I applaud Republicans and Democrats in the Senate for passing this critical legislation,” said Bost. “For too long our veterans and their families have faced unacceptable delays during the VA’s benefits claims appeal process. There are currently hundreds of thousands of veterans still waiting on a decision from VA. This simply is unacceptable. We need to get this legislation to the President’s desk for signature as quickly as possible.”
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.