Isakson will push bill to cut wait time for lengthy VA appeals
On Tuesday, Senator Johnny Isakson announced that he and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D- Conn.) would work together to pass a bipartisan bill to overhaul the V.A. appeals process.
The two are behind the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which will create new "paths" for veterans waiting on a resolution to an appeal. Currently, there are 470,000 veterans waiting on decisions regarding their VA benefits thanks to a backlog. It's a 20 percent increase over two years, and the average wait time for a resolution hovers around five years. Under the proposed law, that time could be cut to under a year.
“For too long our veterans and their families have faced unacceptable delays during the VA’s disability claims appeal process,” Sen. Isakson said. “This legislation, created with input from the VA and veterans groups, overhauls the current appeals process and puts in place a new system that is more transparent and allows veterans to choose the option that is right for them. I look forward to working with stakeholders and my colleagues to advance appeals reform legislation to ensure that veterans do not continue to experience long delays when seeking benefits from the VA.”
Senator Isakson serves as the chair of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. Though he has been home in Georgia resting after back surgery, he's indicated that he could introduce the bill as early as Wednesday.