News Release, US Department of Veteran Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it has finalized its plan for resolving legacy appeals across the department and expects to complete the remaining legacy appeals by the end of the calendar year (CY) 2022. Legacy appeals are claims for which the VA provided notice of decision prior to the implementation of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA) and the claimant has not elected to participate in the AMA process.

In response to the growing number of legacy appeals, VA implemented AMA as of Feb. 19, giving Veterans more choice and control over the process of their appeals.

“AMA has been in place for almost a year and we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the resolution of legacy appeals,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “I am proud of the work being done here at VA to make sure those Veterans waiting the longest for a decision get their results.”

This past year, VA decreased the number of pending legacy appeals despite receiving thousands of new appeals. VA is successfully reducing legacy appeals while also working AMA appeals to ensure Veterans receive their decisions in a timely manner.

VA’s three administrations –Veterans Benefits Administration, Veterans Health Administration, and National Cemetery Administration – plan to resolve their non-remand legacy appeals by the end of CY 2020. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals will continue to work appeals from the administrations and plans to resolve its legacy appeals inventory by the end of December 2022.

Resolving legacy appeals aligns with VA’s strategic plan to modernize IT systems and processes and supports VA’s mission to provide exceptional customer service to Veterans and their families. Veterans who are waiting for their decisions are encouraged to check the status of their appeal via theappeals status tracker.

For more information about the appeals process, visit VA decision reviews and appeals.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...