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Public Statements

Legislation on Claims Processing and Appeals Rights for Veterans Advances


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Last month the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs voted to approve my legislation that would improve the benefits claims processing system and the system for filing appeals for our nation's veterans and survivors and to establish an expert judicial review commission to examine the appellate processes pertaining to claims filed by veterans with VA.

A Judicial Review Commission would be a win for the tens of thousands of veterans whose appeals languish in what has been called a "hamster wheel' because of the multiple remands between the VA, the Appeals Management Center, the Board of Veterans' Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims that occur before finality. This process can take upwards of five years. The current appeals system is more of an injustice to our veterans than giving them the due process they deserve and that Congress envisioned.

The bill must be approved by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs before being considered by the House of Representatives.

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