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New Law Streamlines Claims and Appeals

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

Last month, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 finally went into effect after having been signed into law on Aug. 23, 2017. It is said to represent one of the most significant statutory changes expected to benefit veterans in decades.

Reform has been a long-time goal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its stakeholders; so much so that the VA sponsored an Appeals Summit three years ago, in Mar. 2016. The VA, Congress, veteran service organizations and advocates worked together during the event to design a new appeals system. The law is intended to deliver reform to veterans on the legacy appeals system.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of many, veterans now have a choice in how unfavorable decisions will be reviewed. Veterans should also realize more timely resolutions of appealed decisions through the new streamlined process.