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New bill promises VA appeals process overhaul

The delays and long waits associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs are well known. When a rejected disability claim is appealed, that makes a slow process even slower. Stars and Stripes, published by the Department of Defense, reports that 12 percent of total benefits claims are appealed.

Currently, the VA has 340,000 pending benefits claims and additional 83,000 backlogged claims. With this workload, it means that giving cases a second review is another job in an already overflowing inbox. Last month, President Trump signed a bill to accelerate the appeals process and make it easier to get status updates.

An overview of the new process

While VA officials estimate an 18-month period to get the new system going, it will emphasize clearer communication and status updates, aiming at transparency and resolution for claims.

The new plan offers three different paths for appeal:

  • To request a review of the same claim but a higher-level adjudicator
  • To appeal to the same regional office with additional evidence
  • To appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

A department burden should not be your burden

In addition to the varied appeals processes above, another notable change is the ability to update or modify existing claims. Managing a disability is challenge enough, proving its effect on your life in a hearing is an emotionally painful process that can take months and even years to resolve.

Even with the new appeals process, the sizable backlog and slow moving nature of government suggest that any claim for Veterans’ Disability will take time. Appeals and corrections, even when expedited, will add time and stress at a challenging time. An experienced veterans’ issues attorney can help you file a claim and oversee your application, making sure it is complete on first submittal. You have dedicated yourself to your country. Now let someone help you to receive the benefits you deserve for your service.

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