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U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today applauded the unanimous U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of legislation he introduced to modernize the woefully outdated benefits claims appeals process at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The VA’s current appeals process is in desperate need of updating, and nearly half a million veterans are in limbo because of the VA’s existing backlog. Between fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2017, the number of pending appeals increased from approximately 380,000 to 470,000 – a more than 20 percent increase. Isakson’s legislation, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, would create an improved appeals process for veterans who are dissatisfied with the initial decisions on their claims.
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During a pro forma session earlier today, the House approved the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. The measure was passed unanimously by the Senate on August 1 and now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.
“I applaud the House for taking up and passing this critical legislation so quickly,” said Isakson. “For too long our veterans and their families have faced unacceptable delays during the VA’s benefits claims appeal process. I am eager for the president to sign this important measure into law to help ensure we get veterans a response to their appeals in a more timely manner.”
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Introduced by Isakson on May 3, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 is cosponsored by 31 senators: U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Robert Casey, D-Pa., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Mike Enzi,...
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