7 things to know about the new VA modernization act
Photo by John West/The American Legion

7 things to know about the new VA modernization act

The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA) becomes effective Feb. 19. The law, signed by President Trump at The American Legion's 99th national convention in Reno, Nev., is one of the most significant changes made to VA and transforms how VA reviews disputes with VA claims decisions.

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

Here are some facts you need to know about AMA:

  1. The AMA was signed into law by the president on stage at The American Legion’s 2017 national convention.

  2. Appeals modernization will transform the claims appeals process into a simple and timely process.

  3. The AMA gives veterans who disagree with a VA decision more options when it comes to appealing that decision.

  4. Under the new law, veterans will have three options for claims and appeals — supplemental claim, higher-level review or direct appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).

  5. VA aims to complete supplemental claims and higher-level reviews in an average of 125 days.

  6. Decisions appealed to BVA will average 365 days.

  7. Claims average three to seven years under the current process.

“VA remains deeply committed to helping veterans receive the benefits they have earned in a timely manner. The new appeals process honors this commitment by providing veterans more choice and control over how their claims and appeals are handled,” said Cheryl Mason, chairman of BVA.

Additional information about VA appeals modernization is available here.