Trump Signs Tester’s Bill to Tackle Massive Veterans’ Appeals Backlog into Law

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – President Donald Trump today signed into law U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan bill to streamline the lengthy process that veterans undergo when appealing their claims for disability benefits with the VA. 

Tester’s Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act will allow the VA to address the massive appeals backlog while helping to prevent future delays by letting veterans choose the disability appeal option that works best for them.

“Montana veterans and their families have been waiting for answers on their disability benefits for too long,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Our bipartisan bill reforms this outdated and cumbersome process so a veteran can get answers faster. This bill is a testament to what we can accomplish when Congress works together and I look forward to the VA implementing these changes quickly and efficiently.”

The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act will give veterans three options: they can appeal their existing claim to a higher-level office, appeal at the same office with new information, or appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

Today, more than 470,000 veterans are still waiting for decisions regarding their appeals. Nearly 22,000 veterans in Montana receive disability compensation benefits from the VA, with an average degree of disability of 44.75 percent.

President Trump recently signed into law the following Tester authored bills, which will improve health care and benefits for Montana veterans: