The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (Appeals Modernization Act or AMA) improves the appeals process for Veterans and their families. AMA gives Veterans choice over how VA reviews their disagreement with a claim decision and ensures Veterans receive faster, clearer decisions.
Here are four important things Veterans need to know about AMA:
- AMA provides Veterans choice and control when they disagree with a VA claim decision.
Under AMA, Veterans can choose from one of three lanes to have their decision reviewed: (1) supplemental claim; (2) higher-level review; or (3) appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. If a Veteran chooses to appeal to the Board, he/she can choose from one of three dockets: (1) direct review; (2) evidence submission; or (3) hearing request.
- Veterans keep their effective date under the new appeals process.
Under AMA, Veterans keep their effective dates if they decide to appeal their original decision. The effective date is the date from which benefits begin accruing, which is often determined by the date of the initial filing of the claim.
For example, if a Veteran submits a claim for compensation on May 1, 2019, and receives a decision April 2020, the effective date for entitlement to benefits is May 1, 2019. If the Veteran is dissatisfied with his/her decision, he or she can file a supplemental claim, higher-level review, or Notice of Disagreement (NOD) within 1 year of the initial decision, and still keep the May 1 effective date.
- Veterans can check the status of their appeal with a VA appeals status tracker.
VA is committed to providing transparent information to Veterans on the status of their appeal. Veterans can use the appeals status tracker to:
- View appeals status and next steps
- Receive alerts for deadlines when action is required
- Preview the next events in their appeals timeline
- Resources are available to inform Veterans about AMA
VA is committed to helping Veterans understand and navigate the appeals process. The following resources provide more information about AMA:
Elizabeth Murphy is a special advisor to the Chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.