This May 31st, 2011, The House of Representatives did something for veterans that should help those who file an appeal for a denied claim. Often, when a claim is denied, the veteran recomposes the information they’re submitting, and presenting any new evidenced for the validity of their claim and the reasons why they deserve VA health care or compensation. This new evidence was previously sent to a regional office for review. Now, any new evidence presented will be sent directly to the Board of Veterans Appeals, and this Board is required to directly view the evidence and take it into consideration. This means that they won’t be having some other disinterested person read your appeal evidence, and give a poor recommendation.
The bill still has to be voted on by Congress, but with a House passing vote of 419 yes, 1 no (Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash), and 11 non voting, the future of this bill looks encouraging.
This is the actual text, amazingly short for Congressional legislation!
SEC. 2. WAIVER OF REGIONAL OFFICE JURISDICTION OVER INCORPORATION OF SUPPLEMENTAL EVIDENCE INTO PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED CLAIMS.
(a) Waiver- Section 7104 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
‘(f) If a claimant or the claimant’s representative submits new evidence in support of a case for which a substantive appeal has been filed, such evidence shall be submitted to the Board directly and not to the agency of jurisdiction, unless the claimant or the claimant’s representative requests that the evidence be reviewed by the agency of jurisdiction before being submitted to the Board.’.
(b) Effective Date- Subsection (f) of section 7104 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a) of this section, shall apply with respect to evidence submitted on or after the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Passed the House of Representatives May 31, 2011.
Photo thanks to DonkeyHotey under creative common license on Flickr.