Here at VA Claims Insider, we are asked a lot of questions about the VA Appeals process. Many of our clients enter into our memberships to get help with the long drawn out process. Today I would like to touch on a few things, what we have witnessed, how we have struggled, and how this new Modernization Act of 2017 should help with all of this.
With the current appeals process through the VA; appeals take forever. You receive no communication as to the status of your claim, and it sets on a desk with no answers. We get clients who would like to get an approval, and there is little we can do to help. It frustrates us as well, it is hard to try to help and clearly see there are going to be no answers to give.
At this time, we focus on supplemental evidence with our medical team. We do this through additional DBQ’s, Nexus, Statements in Support of Claims and our Veteran Coaches knowledge to instruct and guide the Veteran through the Ebenefits website to review and monitor the claim. But, we still have to push once it falls on a desk at the VA. No one is held accountable for timely processing, providing a decision, nor providing communication to the Veteran.
In August 2017, the appeals process was re-evaluated, and Congress and the President of the United States revamped the process. For credit and additional info go to the VA’s website. They have spent the last 18 months implementing the changes, and this will have a start up this month, February 19, 2019. They have set it up based on the time-frame, the review process, and the need for a decision. This is great news because there will be accountability now (hopefully). These are the three new options Veterans have to start the process:
According to the VA’s website, you have three options for filing a claim through this process.
A senior claims adjudicator completes a higher-level review.
A supplemental claim is your option for adding new and relevant evidence.
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals does an appeal for review option.
You, as the Veteran, can choose which of these three options on how you would like to proceed with your appeal.
Let’s break down these options:
A senior claims adjudicator does this. This option allows you to have your claim reviewed or re-looked at for an objective review. At this level, you can also request a phone call to have your voice heard. If there are specific points you would like to have noticed, this is it. Your claim can also be sent back to the lower level for adjustments if the adjudicator sees unjust decisions. This option does not allow any additional evidence submission.
This option is for new and relevant evidence. If you are submitting new evidence, the VA should assist you with getting it if needed.
This option for review is done by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Directly from the VA website: “This option allows you to appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. You can choose between direct review, evidence submission, and a hearing.
Direct review: You have no new evidence and do not want a hearing.
Evidence submission: You have new evidence, but do not want a hearing.
Hearing: You have new evidence and want to testify before a Veterans Law Judge.
I want to add, the Veteran Appeals and Modernization Act of 2017 has also opened up the opportunity for the RAMP program to use the review process as well. This has increased a timely, transparent review, within 125 days.
We would like to invite any of our clients and new clients to let us take a look at a new appeal or an existing appeal with this new process. We always are furthering our education with any new processes the VA puts into effect. If you are interested in anything we have talked about for us filing the claim for you, here is the link to our Elite Membership. Watch the video first and complete the three steps! Reach out to us on Facebook or our website for questions or further questions!