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Veteran News Roundup

VA Looks to Veterans Advocates for Overhaul of Appeals Process

In an effort to gain buy-in from veterans’ advocacy groups before sending Congress any formal plan to streamline the appeals process for veterans’ compensation claims, top officials from the VA met with leaders from several leading veterans’ service organizations (VSOs).

While the organization’s Veterans Benefits Administration has made progress in cutting the backlog of initial compensation claims by hiring more claims staff that work mandatory overtime, there is more to be done moving forward. Adjusting the appeals process is part of the VA’s 2017 budget, with the objective of cutting appeals’ wait time to less than a year. Ideas for making this happen are said to include veterans’ ability to introduce new medical evidence during the appeals process, and giving the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) the final say in many cases.