Executive Director of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) Appeals Management Office (AMO) and Army Veteran David McLenachen talks about the appeals modernization process.

McLenachen briefly discussed his service in the Army with counterintelligence. He later left the Army to pursue a career in law. He worked as law clerk for a federal judge before he eventually came to work at the VA.

Before becoming executive director of the VBA’s AMO, McLenachen acted as deputy under secretary for disability assistance. While in this position, he began helping the VBA improve their appeals system in order to better assist Veterans.

The Appeals Modernization Act took effect Feb. 19, 2019. Congress created the act in 2017 to help solve problems VBA had with appeals and claims. The act created three new ways to help Veterans submit appeals and get their results at a quicker pace:

  • Higher-level review
  • Supplemental claim
  • Board of Veterans’ Appeals

McLenachen and the VBA continue to strive to find ways to improve the appeals process. You can reach them through Ask a Question on the Veterans Affairs website.

Additional Helpful Links:

#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:

Michelle Cannon is a podcast intern with the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. She is currently a graduate at Liberty University studying professional writing.

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Published on Oct. 30, 2019

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

Views to date: 214


  1. Ronald Dean November 2, 2019 at 11:52 am

    I to have been given false info and wrong surgeries to the extent that I am service connected 80%. I was healthy until I went for care by VA. I be told my convelence care is still pending from one of the surgeries, for 6 years. It be a ten year battle. Been waiting 3 years for a decision for 100%, after going before an appeals judge in DC, he remanded my case to regional office. Found out my record has traveled around the country… Have no idea where it is Bureacracy Kills

  2. Camile White October 31, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Podcast 169 was great. It contained alot of great information and it was good to hear the appeals process has been revamped to produce a much speeder process.

  3. Gene curtis willes October 31, 2019 at 5:46 am

    Ive fought the va for 14 years. For hearing loss.. Last year i won. Except the time awarded wasonly 5 yrs. Appealing the difference of 9 years has taken an additional 16 months. Still waiting.. ask judge march

  4. Dave Thompson October 31, 2019 at 2:20 am

    Old way new way, keep fighting. They won’t look in your records to see the service conection . you have show them and still they say we can’t find the evidence you give them. I will never give in*****

  5. Melody S. Ray October 31, 2019 at 12:57 am

    How can my Medicare Benefits and my VA Benefits, work together?

  6. Ricky.sayaz October 30, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Last year I went to the VA clinic to let them know I have medical issues and I was exposed to cantaminated water on camp lajune 1978 and they said there’s no exam. So who do I talk to to listen.

    • Angelo Antonio Collins October 31, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      Its call presumptive service connected that assumed u already have it that why no exam file it that way my brother vet hope that helps

  7. Carl Sandin October 30, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    My nane is carl sandin why is my appeal claim and request for backpay beung denied agaian and again when a clear and unmiskable error was done by your deoartment for my left knee the form was submitted about a month ago with evidence of the error on your part please help this vet and single dad out it was and is aggravated by service im currently in the Illinois army national guard as well with 18 years of combined service and have not had or been able to keep fulltime employment with these service connected disabilities as a cannin crew member also why cant my lod for dental be used to get implants on top that has effected emotionally and physiologically as i have no teeth on top and the pha physical health act with the illinois army national guard has been approved 16 months ago and still no word thru the 2/122 fa and the 33rd brigade i am wondering what hold up is if claims are at a low and why the left knee keeps being denied even after right kneee was granted service connection my social – and bday – and phone number is – and email is – i woukd like to talk over phone and meet in person at the va regional office or at jesse brown to discuss the issues we as vets have questions and need answers please also do a townhall meeting at jesse brown thank you mr carl sandin

    [editors note: THIS is why we moderate comments. Do NOT publish your PII on the internet. This is NOT a secure website.]

  8. LITEONE October 30, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Most of the above comment remains valid. The remaining comment is questionable. FYI I am not from the legal sector. A individuals’ capability to be successful is determined by its performance utilizing abilities, expertise, education – training, personal drive, and professionalism. This applies to all sectors, no matter if medical, manufacturing, financial, transport, agricultural, research, and etc.
    Case in fact:
    A Non veteran businessman holds the position of CIC. His lack of capabilities, inabilities, personality shortcomings, especially lack of respect for (a)decorated respected veterans, (b) its laws, (c) citizens, & (d) environment, clearly illustrated that one’s background; does not guarantee effective management leadership performance including commerce.

  9. Alfred breedlove October 30, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    The number of Veterans Registered and using the VA is at an all time low while the numbers of employees at the VA is at record Highs. If the VA would spend more time working to assist a Veteran with his benefits instead of increasing the paperwork required to for benefits but i do not see that happening when a Lawyer is the director.

    • Does it matter? October 30, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      Modernization? Huh, this is a joke. What about the thousands of vets you have that are screwed by your so-called modernization? You give our info to 3rd party organizations and then when you get a letter in the mail that your benefits are being cut because you missed an appointment that you are not informed about. This is Modernization? You can keep it lol. Just another VA JOKE!!!

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