The Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) provides a structure to simplify and improve veterans' benefits appeals in an ever-changing environment. To better navigate the benefits system, knowing the AMA is essential, whether you are a veteran or a family member.
This blog serves as a map for those who find themselves lost in the maze that is the Appeals and Review Board (ARB) procedure.
What is AMA?
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)'s approach to appeals was completely overhauled by the Appeals Modernization Act of 2019, which was passed into law in 2019. Its main purpose? To make the appeals process more accessible, open, and focused on serving veterans.
Choice is Key
The AMA's adoption of several review lanes is a fundamental tenet of the organization. There are currently three paths available to veterans: the Enhanced Review Path, the Board Appeal Path, and the Supplemental Claim Path. Its improved adaptability enables individualized strategies that respond specifically to this dynamic.
- Three Review Options: The three levels of review available to you under AMA are Supplemental Claim, Higher-Level Review, and Board Appeal. Each has its specialized functionality, enabling you to adjust your strategy to the particulars of your situation.
- Faster Decision Times: Faster turnaround times for decisions are one of the AMA's primary benefits. Since there are several channels for evaluation, service members may choose the one that best suits their needs.
- Increased Transparency: AMA is committed to being open and honest with you as you keep you updated on the progress of your appeal. You'll have complete transparency and an easier-to-understand procedure thanks to this.
The AMA values open lines of communication and is constantly keeping its clients up to date on proceedings. The new system is designed to be more efficient and responsive to the needs of individuals who have served our country so that we may better honor their sacrifices.
Navigating the Appeals Process
- Supplemental Claim Lane: New and relevant material may be submitted within the Supplemental Claim Lane to bolster a claimant's case. This alternative promotes a thorough evaluation, giving you the chance to bolster your case with new evidence.
- Higher-Level Review Lane: If you choose a Higher-Level Review Track, an experienced arbitrator will review your case again without taking any new information into account. With this shortened procedure, we aim to conclude this more quickly while still performing a comprehensive reevaluation of the available data.
- Board Appeal Lane: The Board Appeal Path is accessible to individuals who wish to follow the rules. A fresh review is when a judge looks at your case from scratch without having seen any of the previous paperwork or evidence related to it.
Key Benefits of AMA
- Enhanced Transparency: By emphasizing openness, the AMA guarantees that claimants are kept up-to-date on the standing of their appeals.
- Timely Resolutions: The AMA streamlines the appeals process by offering numerous review lanes so veterans can have their issues resolved more quickly.
- Personalized Approach: The AMA promotes a more individualized and effective procedure by providing options for appellants to craft an appeals strategy that best meets their interests.