This article give you a look at the time period that is involved in changing the appeal times of veterans claims.
Full Article at: Panel votes to speed benefits appeals of vets
By Rick Maze – Staff writer
“A House subcommittee moved Wednesday to reduce the amount of time it takes for a veteran to appeal a benefits decision, which can add two to five years to the wait for benefits.
Approved by the disability assistance and memorial affairs subcommittee of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the unnumbered draft bill, called the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2009, attempts to streamline both the administration appeals process within the Veterans Affairs Department and the judicial review process through the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Included in the bill are procedural changes, such as allowing new information from a veteran whose claim is under appeal to be sent directly to the Board of Veterans Affairs, rather than to a regional office where it would have to work its way through the bureaucracy; and giving the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims the power to review an entire claim, not just one part at a time. The change in the appeals court process is aimed at what veterans have come to call the “hamster wheel” of having a claim with multiple issues decided one at a time in a process that never seems to end as the claim is sent back and forth between the regional official and administrative board.
Additionally, the bill tries to set the stage for more fundamental changes by creating an independent panel, the Veterans Judicial Review Commission, that would evaluate the disability and survivor benefits claims process and recommend changes. An interim report from the commission would be required by July 2010 with a final report by Dec. 30, 2010.
The report deadlines make it possible that some changes could be approved by Congress as early as next year, but major changes would not be considered until 2011.”