New rules for VA benefit appeals to hit in February

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Photo credit Photo by Tori Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat-Tallahassee

Changes are coming to make the VA appeals process more streamlined and giving veterans more choices. 

The VA, looking to slash a backlog and ridiculous wait times, will implement new appeals rules beginning Feb. 19. 

“VA has been preparing for full implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act over the past 18 months,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement announcing the change in rules. “Our staff has worked diligently, particularly in the last few weeks, to ensure the new, streamlined process is available to Veterans in February.” 

The appeals process can be drawn-out over months or even a year, which is why Congress gave the agency new rules in a law signed in 2017. According to the VA, the new rules will: 

•    Modernize the current claims and appeals proves•    Include 3 new review options for disagreements with decisions•    Improve notification of VA decisions•    Resolve claims earlier•    Ensure veterans receive the earliest effective date possible

When it comes to the 3 new choices, veterans will be able to opt for a supplemental claim, a higher-level review, or a direct appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. 

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