Washington Update for today, January 23rd, 2019
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
TREA Washington Update
VA to implement appeals modernization in February
Act will simplify process for how Veterans make appeals
The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) announced that the Federal Register will publish on January 18, 2019, regulations accompanying the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which will help Veterans experience a more transparent claims decision-review process.
After publication of the regulations, VA Secretary Wilkie will certify the department’s readiness to implement appeals modernization, which will transform a complex appeals process into one that is simple, timely and provides greater choice to Veterans who disagree with a VA decision.
Implementation will occur 30 days after the Secretary certifies, as required by law. Accordingly, the AMA will become effective February 19, 2019.
The AMA was signed into law August 23, 2017. Under the act, Veterans will now have three options for claims and appeals: (1) supplemental claim; (2) higher-level review; or (3) direct appeals to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. All decision reviews submitted after February 2019 will fall under the new system.
Once the Appeals Modernization Act is fully implemented, VA’s goal is to complete supplemental claims and higher-level reviews averaging 125 days. Decisions appealed to the Board under its direct docket will average 365 days. Under the legacy process, appeal resolutions averaged three to seven years.
For more information about VA appeals modernization, visit https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp and https://www.bva.va.gov/.