Trump signs Bost bill streamlining veterans' appeals process
WASHINGTON • President Donald Trump has signed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, designed to streamline appeals to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the White House said Wednesday.
House Bill 2288 is entitled "The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017," and is part of a Republican-Trump administration multi-pronged attempt to make veterans' experiences with the VA more responsive and streamlined.
Bost's bill passed the House without a dissenting vote in May and was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate earlier this month.
Bost's office describes the legislation this way:
The new law will 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."
The new law also requires current VA Secretary David Shulkin to make periodic reports to Congress about how the new system is working. Under the Obama administration, the VA was plagued with allegations of long appointment waits, bad record-keeping, and poor service in some centers around the country.