But unlike previous attempts, this bill would allow some veterans waiting for years on a decision to begin using the expedited path in the new veterans appeals process.

“Unfortunately, we must limit the number of veterans who can opt in, because VA is concerned that if too many veterans opt in, the new system will be overwhelmed and unable to operate successfully,” Bost said.

VA would have to develop a detailed implementation strategy before beginning work on the new appeals system, which must include plans for updating the department’s IT systems and training. The Government Accountability Office would review the plan and report its feedback to Congress.

The bill also requires the VA Secretary to keep in contact with the veterans service organizations throughout the implementation process and ensure them and Congress that the department has the funding and resources in place before fully administering the new system nationwide.