KTVQ: Senate unanimously passes Tester’s bill to tackle massive veterans’ appeals backlog

BILLINGS – Veterans who appeal their claims for disability benefits with the VA will see a faster response after the Senate unanimously passed a bill tackling the massive backlog of veterans’ appeals.

Sen. Jon Tester’s (D – Montana) bipartisan VA reform bill will allow the VA to better address the more than 470,000 veterans who are still waiting for decisions regarding their appeals.

The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act will also allow veterans choose the disability appeal option that works best without being forced to start the process over.

The act will give veterans three options: they can appeal their existing claim to a higher-level office, appeal at the same office with new information, or appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.