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New VA Law Set to Streamline Claims, Appeals Process for Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs implemented legislation to streamline the agency’s claims and appeals process for former U.S. service members. VA said Tuesday that the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 will reduce its inventory of legacy appeals. 

“Beginning today, veterans will have greater choice in how VA reviews their disagreement with a VA claims decision and enjoy timely resolutions of disagreements through a streamlined process,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. 

The legislation gives veterans three options to review a claims decision, which will provide them an adjudicator, assistance to submit new evidence and a way to decide whether to request a direct review, evidence or hearing. VA said the new options would accelerate the decision review from 125 days to one year. In the current process, decisions commonly take three to seven years.

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The agency also established two new Decision Review Operations Centers in Florida and Washington to help streamline its claims and appeals process.

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