Appeals Modernization: Veterans now have greater choice in VA claims decisions review process

The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (Appeals Modernization Act) is one of the most significant statutory changes to affect VA and Veterans in decades. Veterans now have a greater choice in how VA reviews their disagreement with a VA claims decision and enjoy timely resolutions of disagreements through a streamlined process. Veterans who appealed a VA decision on or after Feb. 19, 2019, have three decision review lanes to choose from: higher-level review, supplemental claim, and appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

VA’s goal is to complete supplemental claims and higher-level reviews in an average of 125 days, and decisions appealed to the Board for direct review in an average of 365 days. This is a vast improvement to the average three to seven years that Veterans wait for a decision in the legacy process.

For more information on Appeals Modernization, click here.


VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at


  1. Stephen Christopher White7u7f    

    Hi My names Stephen c. White I sent an appeal of my benefits in March. I was told i had to May to recieve benefits if i did not respond. So far I have not heard anything about my case. We depend on these benefits to servive. please let me know whats happening.I have many medical problems i don’t need this worry on top of my health problems. Thank You Stephen
    (SSN redacted).

    1. Kevin T Anderson    

      I submitted an appeal in October 2018 and I gave them records from another doctor because the doctor at the VA in orthopedic did not put any notes or suggestions on my pain in hips and left knee. I went to an outside doctor. I still haven’t heard anything as of yet. I really need help with this. I am no longer able to work and need help with this.

  2. Bruce Palmer    

    I submitted New Evidence to re-open my claim at my personal hearing that’s never been before the DVA on 1-20-2015 to the DRO right in front of my power of attorney DAV the DVA denied my claim and the DRO in the statement of the case worded it just Evidence I had to appeal to the BVA who denied my claim on 12-31-18 witj my New Evidence tjats never been before them, I just sent a reconsideration request

  3. Myron Stanford Elkins    

    i had a BOA approve of all my disability claims and the Regional Office sent letter stating the % of awards. By law the VA is supposed to reimburse me from the initial date of the claims. I have never received another VA letter with the amount of reimbursement, nor a credit to my checking account. I had another claim approved a couple of years ago and was reimbursed in less than a month. It has been over a year ago, and nothing has happened to the money that is owed to me. My VA representative from the Regional Office has not even responded to my e-mails. All i asked was when can i expect payment. Again, the BOA approved my claims in April 2018. M.S. Elkins, USN(ret) (redacted). No web site

    1. Myron Stanford Elkins    

      Did you receive my post above. At one time said “review pending” or similar? If not please advise

  4. Katherine Hedlund    

    I served my country at a time when there was significant backlash (69~73) and certainly no marching bands when we came home. Great performance reviews. But after discharge it has been a struggle at times getting benefits. Why? We were there when you needed up. I there are others who were significantly hurt more than I and those who have waitied longer than I. Again, why?

    I am amazed at how fast a review of my claim is now taking. But the therapist i just saw (was assigned to someone outside the VA) never sees patients. And the short time did not allow for her to have a full understanding if the impacts to my life that I have had. Will this be fair??

    1. jack Taylor    

      The same thing has happened to me in the Hampton Roads area. I was evaluated by 2 different Dr.s for 2 separate and different claims. The evaluation was fast, superficial, and very impersonal. Both Drs seemed young inexperienced, and new to their practice. It was if the VA had stacked the deck. Upon my departure from both visits, I was positive that they would not find in my favor, and I was right, and so is Kel King about it being a joke.

  5. Patricia    

    I’m still waiting on Appeal for my DIC it been 11 yrs lost my house every thing and my husband was a veteran that’s VA trying to play me about his claim since his dead guess they will wait till I’m dead now they have coast me so much pain depressed

    1. Eddie Smith    

      Patricia, what was the circumstances of your husband’s death? DId he die from a service-connected health condition? Or, was he rated at 100% disabled for at least 10years proceeding death, was he 100% disabled when he separated from the military? These are the type of circumstances that would make you eligible for DIC. V/R.

  6. Kel King    

    Nod was filed in 2014, weve had our hearing, BVA remanded appeal. Jumped through the hoops. Went back to the BVA again, Remanded once again! Why? Because the judge is not satisfied with the results of exams and such. So, because these comp and pen examiners are a joke and have not done their job correctly, nor do they have the veterans best interest in mind, we are in limbo once again for how many more years? Waiting for the Veteran to die perhaps? Sad, but true.

  7. Gerald Wray    

    Every time I get a hearing exam they tell me it’s the same and hasn’t changed. However, everyone I live with and all my friends say different. I even saw one of my tests on the monitor and I could see the difference. Why can’t the technicians be honest.

  8. Kimberly Bishop    

    The current process for reviewing NODs is terribly long. I have to explain to my clients frequently how long the process is. Hopefully this will shorten wait times. Any improvement is welcome!

  9. Earl Beard    

    It is aproblem with the appeals.
    Uncontrolled seizures incurred in service and 3 brain surgery so later, not a continuing problem…
    Filed 3 times, 3 different answers. Not incurred, not continuing, not a problem…
    Good luck to all, keep trying if you have a problem.

  10. Arnold H Fuller    

    The new time frame is nice, only if you place all of those that have been waiting a long time in it to be taken care of first. Everyone needs to have help, but please start on those who have been waiting the longest top priority. There are a lot who have passed on, and never received the help they needed, or deserved.

  11. Jay L Cole    

    I am awaiting a decision on my NOD filed by my attorney March 2017. How many legacy appeals like mine are there & approximately how long will it take to dispose of them?

  12. James L Blannon    

    My dad is a Koran War Veteran also known as the cold war. He is a purple heart recipient and has yet to receive any benefits. He served the country with honor and courage. This is a disgrace to the men and woman who served in the arm forces so that you and your families would not have to live in fear. Robert Blannon served in the Army Special Forces Unit Combat Infantry A-1 from 1950-53-55. The millions that the VA is stolen belongs to the men and woman who served in this country. I tell my sons not to serve to take care and defend yourself let the government fight they own war that they created and let the money they stole from the men and woman who served this country pay for them and their families burial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *