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14.13. The Board of Veterans' Appeals

Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017

The Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 became law on August 23, 2017. It is also known as the Appeals Modernization Act and took effect on February 19, 2019.

The Appeals Modernization Act creates a new decision review process that allows VA to improve the delivery of benefits and services to Veterans and their families. The new process gives Veterans choice and control, and all communications are written in plain language. The new Appeals Modernization process allows Veterans to seek faster resolution of their disagreement with a VA decision. If you receive an initial claim decision after February 2019 and you disagree, you can choose one of three new lanes to have your disagreement reviewed: as a supplemental claim, through a higher-level review, or by appealing directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The Appeals Modernization Act establishes a new decision review process for disagreements with VA decisions that is timely, transparent and fair.

The new law:

What are the new options for review?

You have three options for review:

Option 1: Higher-level Review

Your claim is reviewed by a more senior claims adjudicator and involves:

The reviewer, who identifies or learns of a duty to assist error, can return the claim to the regional office for correction. You or your representative can request an informal phone call to identify specific issues.

VA-20-0996 Higher Level Review pdf

Option 2: A Supplemental Claim Lane

You can submit or identify new and relevant evidence to support your claim. VA will provide assistance in developing the evidence.

VA-20-0995 Supplemental Claim pdf

Option 3: Appeal Lane for Appeals to the Board

This option allows you to appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. You can choose between three options:

VA-10182 Appeal to BVA pdf


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