American Legion Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee Chairman Ralph Bozella of Colorado. Photo by Clay Lomneth/The American Legion

Legion VA appeals unit records 72 percent success rate

Between Oct. 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, The American Legion’s Board of Veterans Appeals unit in Washington, D.C., handled nearly 6,000 disputes over VA denials of benefits applications. Of those, over 72 percent of VA’s original denials “were overturned with outcomes favorable to the veteran,” American Legion Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission Chairman Ralph Bozella of Colorado reported to the organization’s National Executive Committee, which applauded the unit’s work Wednesday.

In 2,079 of those cases handled by American Legion representatives over that span, the BVA “granted benefits outright after considering American Legion arguments,” Bozella said. “In 2,297 cases, The American Legion was able to point out errors in the development of the veteran’s claims, which mandated corrective action.”

The American Legion representatives supported veterans through submissions of informal hearing presentations and by participating in the hearings themselves. The Legion unit also served walk-in veterans seeking help with their appeals, provided consultations for hundreds of veterans with questions about VA decisions and handled more than 1,600 telephone inquiries during those six months.

Veterans and families interested in knowing more about the Legion’s appeals unit can call (202) 861-2700 or email var@legion.org for more information.