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  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Prioritizing all Pending Veterans Benefits Appeals Claims for Victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Prioritizing all Pending Veterans Benefits Appeals Claims for Victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael



    Washington, DC - - (October 30, 2018) - - Veterans impacted by recent hurricanes Florence and Michael will now have their pending appeals claims for benefits prioritized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), department officials announced.

    VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals has determined that the significant effects of hurricanes Florence and Michael were sufficient cause for the Board to advance the appeals for counties in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia determined to be disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    “Accelerating the decision process on pending appeals claims for those Veterans and their families affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael is the right thing to do,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.

    By regulation, the Board may advance appeals on its docket by a motion of the chairman if sufficient cause is shown. All Veterans and other appellants with an appeal currently pending before the Board whose addresses of record are in one of the affected counties will have their appeal automatically advanced on the Board’s docket. No action from Veterans or appellants are needed if their addresses are current. Visit the list of counties affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael at this link: https://www.bva.va.gov/.

    The advancement on docket (AOD) for these two storms is expected to last for six months from the date of the events. Therefore, Florence counties will be AODed from Oct. 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019; and counties affected by Hurricane Michael will be AODed from Nov. 1, 2018, to April 30, 2019. The Board will reassess AOD for these two storms once the six-month periods end.

    The Board’s mission is to conduct hearings and decide appeals in a timely manner. For more information about VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals, visit www.bva.va.gov/.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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  • Appeals Modernization - - VA’s Progress One Year Since Enactment of the Historic Law

    Appeals Modernization: U.S. Veterans Affairs’s Progress One Year Since Enactment of the Historic Law




    Washington, DC - - (August 23, 2018) - - Today marks one year since President Donald J. Trump signed into law one of the most significant statutory changes in decades to affect the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Veterans it serves.

    The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (Appeals Modernization Act) was signed Aug. 23, 2017, aimed at transforming a complex, frustrating appeals process into one that is simple, timely and transparent.

    “Before reform, Veterans experienced a complicated appeals system that was buried in several layers of law,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “The Appeals Modernization Act has since allowed VA, with the help of our partners, to design a new process that offers greater choice to Veterans and faster decisions from VA.”

    Today, VA is working toward full implementation of the law, scheduled to take effect in February 2019. The new system features three differentiated lanes from which a claimant may choose in seeking review of a VA denial (or partial denial):
    • Higher-level review;
    • Supplemental claim;
    • Appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) --.

    Veterans are already benefitting from the new process. In November 2017, VA began the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP). RAMP allows Veterans with an eligible, active appeal to choose between two of the three new lanes now. Implementation of BVA’s appeals lane for Veterans who have appealed their RAMP decision by VBA is expected to begin in October 2018.

    To date, more than 40,000 Veterans have chosen RAMP, and more than $45 million in retroactive benefits has been paid to Veterans. Additionally, BVA has issued more than 73,000 decisions thus far in fiscal year 2018, a historic high, and is on track to deliver over 81,000 decisions to Veterans by the end of the fiscal year.

    For more information about VA’s appeals modernization process, go to https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp .



    Courtesy: U.S. Veterans Affairs...
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  • Court of Appeals Issues Opinion in CREW

    Court of Appeals Issues Opinion in CREW

    Court of Appeals Issues Opinion in CREW, et al., v. FEC





    Washington, DC - - (June 15, 2018) - - The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today issued a Memorandum Opinion and Per Curiam Judgment affirming the District Court’s decision in CREW, et al., v. FEC (17-5049),, granting the Commission’s motion for summary judgment and denying the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. The D.C. Circuit found that the Commission’s dismissal of CREW's administrative complaint against the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity in Matter Under Review 6471 was not contrary to law.





    Courtesy: Federal Election Commission
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  • Veteran Affairs’ Board of Veterans’ Appeals Resolves Record Number of Claims to Date for FY 2018

    Veteran Affairs’ Board of Veterans’ Appeals Resolves Record Number of Claims to Date for FY 2018



    Washington, DC - - (June 4, 2018) - - Underscoring the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) 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 to date 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, 2018.

    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.




    Courtesy: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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