Legion's appeals unit making a difference

When a veteran or other claimant represented by The American Legion before the Department of Veterans Affairs at the local (state) level decides to appeal the denial of a claim for VA benefits, The American Legion will continue to represent the claimant through the entire appeals process, even if the claim is appealed all the way to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) in Washington, D.C.

The American Legion's Appeals and Special Claims Unit, located at the BVA, was successful in more than half of the 4,000 appeals the 14-member professional appellate staff represented before the BVA in the first six months of fiscal 2010. More than 68 percent of the appeals submitted to the BVA by The American Legion were either completely allowed or were sent back (remanded) to the local VA regional office or appeals management center to correct a deficiency or to properly develop the appeal.

The American Legion's representation at the BVA consists of either reviewing the claimant's claims file and submitting a written argument on the claimant's behalf or representing the claimant at a personal hearing before a veterans law judge in Washington.