On Sept. 14, two weeks ahead of schedule, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) exceeded its goal to deliver 81,000 appeals decisions of disability benefits and services to Veterans in fiscal year 2018 — 28,000 more decisions than the previous year.

In doing so, VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals provided thousands of Veterans with critical, life-changing decisions.

“The Board’s historic achievement delivering results to Veterans and their families reflects VA’s hard work and commitment to getting it right for our Veterans under the leadership of President Trump,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Together, we have achieved significant results for our nation’s Veterans, as each of the more than 81,000 decisions produced by the Board can make a real difference in their lives and for their families.”

The achievements come amid focused Board efforts to prepare for the full implementation of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which is transforming a historically complex appeals process into a simple, timely and transparent process providing Veterans with increased choice and control. Veterans who disagree with the initial claim decision have three options under the Act:

  1. Higher Level Review at the office of original jurisdiction
  2. Supplemental Claim with the office of original jurisdiction
  3. Appeal to the Board

Once a Veteran appeals to the Board, he or she remains in control of the process by choosing one of three dockets best suited to the appeal:

  1. Direct Review Docket
  2. Evidence Docket
  3. Hearing Docket

To support the various organizations preparing to help Veterans navigate the new appeals process, the chairman of the Board and her staff led numerous training sessions and panels held by national, state and local Veteran Service Organizations and private legal organizations.

To maintain its momentum, the Board hired 186 new attorneys this fiscal year, and plans to add 30 more to the team by Sept. 30. Additionally, the Board is joining the Military Spouse Employment Partnership in October, and looks forward to participating in a program that helps bring the valuable insights and tremendous talent of military spouses to the Board.

For more information about the Board and its progress on appeals modernization, visit https://www.bva.va.gov.

Share this story

Published on Sep. 18, 2018

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 172


  1. Kenneth Leary autrey October 9, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I would not let the DAV help me if ,I were the only person on earth.

  2. Randell Brown October 5, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    The real test is how many of the 81,000 cases were done right.

  3. John C Wolf September 30, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    By the way, you can see my YouTube video and maybe many of you already have. Just type in “Wolfie the Grunt” in a search field or inside YouTube.


  4. John C Wolf September 30, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    My appeal of my NOD was filed in March of 2016, making it more than 900 days?

    I was directed by the VA to see a private doctor that ran me through all the PTSD questions. She said I have serious PTSD issues and her report was filed in June 2018.

    I have been treated by the VA Mental Health department and they say I have PTSD and they prescribe 4 meds for my PTSD. I guess.

    I believe St. Petersburg Compensation and Pension wants me to commit suicide. C&P told my Congressman John Rutherford that I never had any trauma in Vietnam. In April of 1971 we came out of the bush for a stand down (hot food, a cot and some entertainment). Me and two infantry buddies walked down to the PX and there was a color 8mm film movie camera for sale. I bought it. I then decided to hump it into the bush along with the 100 pounds of other stuff I had. I was a M203 gunner. I took movies during the Combat Air Mobile Assault. Fortunately, we took no incoming during the landing.

    The next day was Easter Sunday April 11, 1971 and Chaplain Merle Brown came out to give us Easter services and he brought hot food. He asked if he could eat lunch with us which we all said yes. I was blessed and then traumatized. I sat next to him for over an hour and he became my new Best Friend.

    He left our location and flew not to far from us, we could see his bird land and when it came back to pick him up all hell broke loose. His bird was ambushed as it landed, I was traumatized as I watched Chaplain Brown become the last Chaplain to be killed in combat in Vietnam and 10 others were killed too. I took my movies and pictures and made a tribute video and posted it on YouTube. The raw footage has been seen 85,000,000+ times and the Tribute videos I made have been seen over 2 million times.

    I hope Secretary Wilkie sees this, in addition I have called the White House VA Complaint line. I thought I was calling the White House and I just found out the White House never saw my complaints because the line is managed and controlled by the VA. I have reached out to the President recently asking him for help. My step-daughter Shanae was his first Miss USA after he bought the Pageant.

    One last thing the VA Health and Mental Health departments are fantastic. The can’t believe I am treated so poorly by C&P. So when I see claims of speeding up the claims and appeals I think it’s a BIG LIE!

  5. Scott Robertson September 27, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    The DAV represents me as well and they don’t do (redacted)except make me wait longer and almost lose my entire appeal claim. I meet the criteria for TDIU and they required a form filled out. I can’t understand legal documents real hood but the DAV is CC’d on everything that is sent to me but ya think they’d call me to come in and fill it out? Hell no. I’m firing them and hiring an atty. Good luck.

  6. Kenny Merles September 27, 2018 at 1:23 am

    It’s really sad that the denial rate is so high. Most veterans just want what is due to them. We are not liars we are in pain. I have an appeal from 2014 that is in RAMP that I worked on myself and two more from last year that I have legal assistance on. Every time you call to check on the status its the same crap. Basically nothing. After those 81,000 the VA has slowed all the way down. I have no movement in my claims since the day I was opted in. June 26, 2018.

  7. Renee Chevalier September 26, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Yes they did return 81000 but most were just blanket denyals. And VSO as well as many beterans say they are not even looking at the medical info AND to top that a client came back with a denial for dci but that isnt ehat it was submitted for. It was submitted for help from a 92 year old woma with demensia.
    Who is kidding who. So now instead of having help she gets none. Way to go boys. We will clean it up. Oh and how about the vet who was sprayed with agent orange and now has cancer and was denied. Yes you cant even follow the rules.

  8. Emilio Vazquez Llanos September 26, 2018 at 11:39 am

    This is good information for Veterans

  9. Emilio Vazquez Llanos September 26, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Good site

  10. Emilio Vazquez Llanos September 26, 2018 at 11:36 am

    This is a good site to see the Veterans Rights.
    Emilio Vazquezllanos

  11. Antman September 26, 2018 at 10:14 am

    “Give Five Star Veterans Disability a shot”.

  12. joe lamay September 26, 2018 at 8:28 am

    time for mass firing of the top 1000 parasites in this worthless dept. (C&P) all they do is create useless positions so they can falsely claim their working and shuffle paper around until its totally screwed up indecipherable mess

  13. Dennis O'Hagan September 25, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Congratulations on the VA’s record breaking 81,000 Appeal decisions. I was denied twice this year so I guess I’m 2 of those record breaking decisions. After 2 1/2 years of waiting the VA final denied all 13 claims not once but twice. When I appealed the first denial the appeal was for Agent Orange but the denial came back denying my claims under the Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water issue. I just submitted another NOD yesterday and I was very specific that it is for Agent Orange. It will be interesting to see how soon the get back to with another Letter of Denial even though the info is coming from my PCP (Family Doctor) and a retired Marine that is now a Veteran Service Liaison. When I get the denial letters in the past it only says denied by the VA. There is NEVER a name or anyone I can talk to. It is only the “VA”… There isn’t another company or organization that could ever get away that kind of service especially to people that have served our Country and served it Proudly.

  14. joe lamay September 25, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    ask your self why??? are 81000 appeals needed?????who is being railroaded ” THE VET ” not no stinkin Bureau RAT you can be certain

  15. joe lamay September 25, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    they did so many appeals( by not doing honest research and pulling their usual” delay em till they die denials “)its how they have been cheating vets for years they shuffly lots of paper to phoney the numbers so they can give themselves a bonus for the number of claims they claim to have .look at the appeals records youll see how these crooked bureau RATS juggle the facts in their favor

  16. Bill Sells September 25, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    VA needs to address the Veterans who served Honorably in Okinawa! Many have suffered exposure to Agent Orange and the side effects. I am one. At time of Vietnam War ending thousands of barrels of Agent Orange arrived on the island of Okinawa for temporary storage near Kadena AFB. Veterans have suffered numerous tumors and cancers due to exposure! These veterans should be treated the exact same as in country Vietnam Vets. I rest my case without my voicebox. It was removed in March 2017 due to cancer!

  17. Billy G Cook Jr September 25, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    That’s great. But as I sit here deciding which bill to pay or skip em to buy groceries for my family, I can’t help how much longer my appeal will take. It’s been over 2 1/2 years since my lawyer filed my appeal. Keep up the good work. At least some veterans will go to bed tonight not worrying about what their children will eat tomorrow or if they will leave the power and water on for a few more days.

  18. Donald Crauswell September 25, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    81,000 copy and pasted denials? I have yet to see any improvement by the VA Board especially St. Pete. My 10 year old claim was remanded for the second time just a week or so ago. The law Judge didn’t even call me in for the hearing, because the Board failed to follow current law and rulings forget any new approach. Maybe its time to clean house of those on the Boards that let this wrong continue.

  19. Maria Lindemann September 25, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I was on the old appeal program for three years. I changed over to the Ramp Program 11-April-2018.
    I was hoping to be one of the 81.000.
    Maria Lindemann

  20. Fred Daniels September 25, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Yes, it’s easy to do with a rubber stamp that says “DENIED”

    • John C Wolf September 30, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      You got that right!

  21. Gary L Allen September 25, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Has the VA hired an outside firm to settle claims. I was contacted to day from a firm saying that they were contracted by the VA to settle claims.

  22. Leonardo N Santiago September 25, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    I have been on the appeals process for several years and still no decision, my life has been in upheaval waiting for the VA to give me my long awaited benefits. I have DAV representing me but no word for close to a year. Please help

  23. Richard l hale September 25, 2018 at 6:05 pm


  24. Warren September 25, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Well maybe there’s still hope this year for my 2014 appeal….doubtful

    • Donna Whiteley September 27, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      I hear ya! I’m still waiting also!! :(

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • The PACT Act will help VA provide health care and benefits to millions of toxic-exposed Veterans and their survivors. Veterans have already begun to apply for the benefits.

  • VA has extended the presumptive period for qualifying chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses in Persian Gulf War Veterans.

  • VA announced today two major decisions related to presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange and particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia.