Luttrell Introduces Legislation to Improve the Veterans Affairs Board of Appeals

Congressman Morgan Luttrell (R-TX), Chairman of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) Subcommittee on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced the Veterans Claims Quality Improvement Act of 2024. The legislation was cosponsored by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and was discussed during the DAMA legislative hearing on Wednesday. 
“Over the course of several hearings, I’ve heard time and again about the Veterans Affairs Board of Appeals failing to ensure quality decision making on veterans’ claims,” said Congressman Luttrell. “The legislation I introduced this week would ensure that the Veterans Affairs Board of Appeals provides veterans and their families with legally accurate and fair decisions on their claims for VA benefits. I will continue to hold the VA’s feet to the fire and do everything in my power to course correct this ship.”
“Veterans and their families have earned legally accurate and fair decisions on their claims for VA benefits. But right now, that’s not always the case. As a result, veterans are stuck in limbo waiting years on end for their earned disability compensation benefits,” said Chairman Bost. “My friend and colleague, Rep. Luttrell, has introduced the Veterans Claims Quality Improvement Act, which would make vitally important improvements to the VA appeals process by implementing a robust quality assurance program so that veterans have a system at the VA Board of Veterans’ Appeals that they can trust. Rep. Luttrell and I know firsthand that we can’t take our foot off the gas when it comes to modernizing and pushing VA’s disability compensation benefits processes forward.”
“Bringing the concerns of our veterans and service members to the highest levels of government will always be one of my top priorities. I am proud to co-lead Chairman Luttrell’s legislation to ensure our veterans’ claims are processed and results are delivered with the urgency they deserve,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

“I’m grateful for Chairman Luttrell’s leadership on this important bill that will help address the glaring performance problems routinely made when the VA Board of Veterans Appeals reviews Veterans’ benefit claims,” said Congressman Bilirakis.  “These errors unnecessarily delay our nation’s heroes from accessing the benefits they deserve and is a concern that has been raised by many of my constituents. Our bill is an important part of the solution, as it will strengthen quality assurance metrics and provide much needed accountability.”
This bill will: 

  • Require Veterans Board of Appeals to identify errors made, including errors identified by the Court, and require the Board to report this information to Congress. 
  • Require Veteran Benefits Administration (VBA) and Veterans Board of Appeals to learn from these mistakes through their training programs. 
  • Ensure that VA Office of General Counsel (OGC) trains VBA program offices on when to seek OGC’s review of policy guidance revisions so that these mistakes are prevented.
  • Authorize annual performance evaluations for Board judges.
  • Require the VA to develop a plan to decrease unnecessary remands.

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