VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals resolves record number of claims to date for FY 2018


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Underscoring VA’s pledge to reduce the wait time for those appealing disability benefits claims, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, as of May 27, has signed more than 53,650 decisions in fiscal year (FY) 2018, which is approximately 86 percent more than the 28,839 decisions signed through the same period last year.

The board is currently on track to meet and exceed its FY 2018 total goal of reviewing a historic 81,000 appeals by Sept. 30.

This pace paves the way for implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act, which has a target implementation date of Feb. 14, 2019, and will offer Veterans more choice and control over their claims and appeals process.

“I’m proud of the board for its dedication and commitment toward resolving appeals decisions for Veterans, and striving to reach a historic fiscal year goal of 81,000 appeals decisions delivered to Veterans,” said VA’s Acting Secretary Peter O’Rourke. “The board’s significant increase in results for Veterans and their families serves as another strong example of the department’s commitment to getting it right for Veterans.”

In FY 2017, Congress allocated the board approximately $42 million, which was used to hire additional staff, primarily more than 200 decision-writing attorneys and 24 Veterans law judges. The increase in staff, along with streamlining several processes, contributed to the result.

VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ mission is to conduct hearings and decide appeals in a timely manner. VA’s disability appeals process is a complex, multi-step adjudication process that uses “open records,” which allows Veterans to submit medical and lay evidence at any point from the beginning to the end of the process, including while the claim is pending on appeal; this may, in turn, require VA to develop further evidence on the Veteran’s behalf.

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Comments

  1. Irwin Bryan    

    There’s a problem with these numbers “Board of Veterans Appeals has signed more than 53,650 decisions in fiscal year (FY) 2018, which is approximately 86 percent more than the 28,839 decisions signed through the same period last year.”

    You don’t have to be a mathematician to see 53,000 is less than 28,000 X 2. That means it’s less than a 50% increase!

    1. Richard Moghab    

      Nice catch Irwin, all the V.A. and all involved with the V.A. are concerned with is NUMBERS. And here you caught a perfect example of that. I’ve had an appeal in since 2/10/14. Was given ab estimate of 2 year’s for a decision by my advocate.
      My supposedly Full File was sent to the BVA on May 12th 2018 on May 31st I had a decision. It was remanded back to the Regional Office and wanting more tests to be done. My appeal was originally submitted 9/15/2010.
      They might be signing off on cases, but they’re NOT ALL RESOLVED ! More numbers playing with us Veteran’s. Second Class Citizens, make’s my blood boil !

    2. Leon Gill    

      Substract 28,839 from 53,650 and divide the results (24,811) by 28, 839 and you will get to the 86% (.8603280280) alluded to in the article.

      1. Karen Hughes    

        I’m in the same position! Except I started filing as soon as I got out in 2008. Got a 70% rating finally in 2016, but still fighting for my 30%. On top of that the VA refuses to fix the bulges in my neck from all the bags drags as a Loadmaster for 6 years of oef & oif. Just got told I’ll be paralyzed in 5 years

  2. Ronald S    

    My BVA appeal was granted on April 18, 2018, 100% for total unemployable back to 2011 and 10% on another issue to 1974. No one can tell me how much is retro pay or even when to expect retro pay. Is there anything in place to answer those questions? It has been a long road. Thank you.

  3. Patricia Kelly-Banks    

    I’m thrilled being included with our case after my husband’s death over 18 years ago! He will serve to help on improving Healthcare with effective Alternatives already available! God Bless America always!

  4. Gary R.    

    Just because a larger number of cases are being resolved, due to additional staff, doesn’t mean that they are being approved. Approval rate and denial rate are the same. That is, the same percentage of approvals and denials with the increase in staff is the same percentage as with a smaller staff, even though more cases are looked at. As the old saying goes: it’s easier to say no than yes.

  5. David Byron Wilber    

    2 problems: I sent you my left hearing aid for repairs. You returned with no repairs.

    I want to change banks but I don’t know how to change banks.
    I am deaf and I asked VA for help but you transferred me to a machine.
    i can not communicate with machines.

    How can I get checks sent to my home or to my new bank?

    Editor’s note: Per VA’s social media policy, personal information has been removed from the comment above.

  6. Jesus Rodriguez    

    Our claim [redacted], can u advise if included on the worked files or status of same. Tks in advance for your proper reply. rjbrod.

    Editor’s note: Per VA’s social media policy, personal case information has been removed from the comment above.

  7. Donald Crauswell    

    This news means nothing if we don’t know how many were appeals were granted a rating and how many were denied. We know the VA gets it wrong most of the time, and they don’t bother to read the evidence. Veterans filed claims knowing what and how things happened to them as related to their service, the VA just blindly denies, has that changed?>

  8. Jerry Turner    

    I just want my Bronze Star and Purple Heart after waiting for 51 years.

  9. Joseph Nowisczski    

    Can anyone give advice about using a lawyer to appeal a claim that has been denied

  10. Pamela Washington    

    Filed claim 8/2009, for Mulitiple Sclerosis & neck condition (MVA-motor vehicle accident) while in service. Both were remanded (9/2017), granted & closed on May 30, 2018, what happens next. Is there a waiting period, BVA states file is back with RO in Houston for coding & Rating. My question is: when service connected will decision include while in service or when claim was filed.

  11. Lee Williams    

    I’m concerned about “political” operatives in Greenville NC VA service area… I personally came under target by RW political activist and have faced orchestrated acts of administrative harassment as I’ve navigated my VA benefits.. For instance “someone” exercised authority on a POA I signed to a VSO in 1975 now deceased… Any correspondence I’ve had with VA has effectively been “hijacked” by “someone” illegally forging access… Yet I have not been made aware of anyone working on any benefit for me… Meaning this “someone” locally employed by VA to “assist” under the Criteria to Assist policy has merely been illegally intercepting any correspondence the VA sends me the past 5 to 7 years…. I nerely died a year and half from stage a stage 4 infection because local admin sabotage denied me the dental treatment I had been eligible for from the start…….

  12. Robert    

    I was in a meeting a few months ago and there was bragging on the fact that of the folks that shifted to the RAMP process had 45% approved on the back cases sitting in appeals due to unmistakable error in processing earlier in the case. I stated that if there is that many approvals due to this reason, why are they sitting in appeals pile? Query that one. I didn’t get an answer.

  13. George    

    Attempting to gain access to ebenefits site. System not wanting to recognize. Any suggestions appreciated.

  14. Tom bishop    

    What about all the problems I’ve got with agent orange. And all my back trouble the va says not in my record and it is.

  15. Danny Crigger    

    Does any one know where the board is now on appeals as far as appeal dates go? I filled my appeal last year 2017 with an appeal date of 4/2015.

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