A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate proposes VA appeals process reform that should speed up the appeal process. Senator Tim Kaine says the new bill would simplify and improve the current process. The bill is virtually identical to the one introduced in the last session of congress that failed to pass. The proposed legislation would streamline claims into three tracks.
- Local Higher level Review – A higher level decision maker at the VA Regional Office would decide these claims providing a faster outcome.
- New Evidence – This track would allow veterans to provide new evidence in support of their claims.
- Board Review – This would separate hearing and non-hearing options to simplify processing and would remove some of the steps required by the current process.
Senator Mark Warner says the average veteran waits 5 years for resolution of a claim. Without a change wait times will only get worse. A report from the Government Accountability Office says that by 2026 veterans may be waiting an average of 8.5 years.
Senator Kaine says changes to the appeals process, which was last updated in 1933, are long overdue.