Starting in 2019, the VA began processing appeals through a new system called the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA). The AMA replaced the traditional Legacy process that required Veterans to file a Notice of Disagreement and a VA Form 9 in response to a VA Rating Decision and Statement of the Case prior to being heard by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The AMA gives Veterans a choice of three different appeal “lanes” to pursue if they are disagree with the decision the VA makes on their initial claim for benefits.
All claims filed after February 18, 2019 have been processed through the new AMA system. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your initial claim you will have one of three options to appeal the decision within one year of your original decision:
- Higher Level Review- This option allows your claim to be reviewed by a senior claims adjudicator without any regard to the prior denial from VA. In this lane there can be no submission of new evidence, and the previous decision can be overturned based on difference of opinion or clear and unmistakable error. The Veteran also has the option for an informal phone conference in this lane as well, but such a request could delay processing of the appeal.
- A Supplemental Claim- You can submit or identify new and relevant evidence to support your claim and the VA will re-adjudicate your claim taking the new evidence and arguments into consideration. This will also allow the Veteran to preserve the effective date of the original application. VA will provide assistance in developing the evidence under its Duty to Assist.
- Board of Veterans’ Appeals Review- This option allows you appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ where you can elect from one of three options:
- Direct review: You have no new evidence and do not want a hearing.
- Evidence submission: You have new evidence, but do not want a hearing.
- Hearing: You have new evidence and want to testify before a Veterans Law Judge.
So far these new appeal lanes have provided quicker response times from VA, especially the Higher-Level Review and Supplemental Claim Lanes.
At Gardberg and Kemmerly, we are keeping a close eye on these issues in order to help our Veterans. If you have a claim for pending before the VA, the qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys at Gardberg and Kemmerly want to help in any way possible. Please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call the office at 251-343-1111 or 800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama. We would love an opportunity to discuss your claim.