14.12. Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017
Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017
The Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 became law on August 23, 2017 (Pub L. 115-55). It is also known as the Appeals Modernization Act. You can read the law in full on Congress.gov.
The new law:
- Modernizes the current claims and appeals process
- Includes three review options for disagreements with decisions
- Requires improved notification of VA decisions
- Provides earlier claim resolution
- Ensures you receive the earliest effective date possible
What are the new options for review?
You have three options for review:
Option 1: Higher-level Review
Your claim is reviewed by a more senior claims adjudicator and involves:
- A higher-level de novo review (new look) of the decision
- No submission of new evidence allowed
- The possibility of overturning the decision based on:
- A difference of opinion
- A clear and unmistakable error
The reviewer, who identifies or learns of a duty to assist error, can return the claim to the regional office for correction. You or your representative can request an informal phone call to identify specific issues.
Option 2: A Supplemental Claim Lane
You can submit or identify new and relevant evidence to support your claim. VA will provide assistance in developing the evidence.
Option 3: Appeal Lane for Appeals to the Board
This option allows you to appeal directly to the Board of
Veterans’ Appeals. You can choose between three options:
- 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.