May 20, 2020

Manchin Bill To Ensure Veterans Have Help In Disability Claims Process By Reinstating 48-Hour Review Period

Senators’ Veterans Claim Transparency Act would allow Veteran representatives, attorneys, and agents 48 hours to conduct a pre-decisional review of Veterans’ claims

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC), led 5 Senators in introducing legislation to ensure Veterans and their representatives have 48 hours to review and dispute disability claims before they are finalized.

“I’ve heard from Veterans across West Virginia who are upset that this rule change will erode Veterans rights,” said Senator Manchin. “Many Veterans rely on professionals to help them with the complicated claims and appeals process to receive benefits from the VA. The result of this rule change is more costly appeals and delays for our Veterans who need and deserve their benefits. Our Veterans deserve a voice, and this legislation ensures that everyone who wants representation can have it. I am proud to co-sponsor the Veterans Claim Transparency Act and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this commonsense legislation for our Veterans who have already given so much to protect us.”

Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposed a rule to limit representative access to Veterans’ electronic files in the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), limiting a Veteran’s ability to navigate the complicated claims process on their own. The Veterans Claim Transparency Act would reinstate the critical 48-hour review period to ensure accredited Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), attorneys, and claims agents have the ability to review and course correct benefits determinations, prior to VA’s final decision.

A copy of the bill can be found here