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Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) Infographic

On February 19, 2019, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA) was officially implemented, thus ending the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program.  Veterans who received a decision on an initial claim after February 19, 2019 will automatically be placed into the new appeals system. Veterans with appeals already pending have the option to opt in to the new system.  Upon receiving an unfavorable decision in the modernized system, claimants must choose from three different review options, also known as lanes, when filing an appeal. These appeal lanes include: Higher-Level Review, Supplemental Claim, or Notice of Disagreement.  If a claimant selects the Notice of Disagreement lane, they must also choose in which docket they would like their appeal processed at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  The docket options are: Direct, Evidence, or Hearing.   

  Higher-Level Review: By choosing this lane, a more experienced Regional Office (RO) employee will review your claim. Here, you cannot submit additional evidence in support of your claim. The RO will issue a new decision based on the same evidence that was available at the time of the prior decision. If you receive another denial, you can either file a Supplemental Claim or file a Notice of Disagreement to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  

 Supplemental Claim: This lane allows for the submission of new and relevant evidence to support your claim. New and relevant means that the evidence must be new, as in not considered in the prior decision, and relevant, as in pertinent to the reason your claim was denied.  VA will determine whether the evidence submitted is new and relevant. If they deem it is, they will adjudicate your claim. If you receive another denial, you can either file another supplemental claim with new and relevant evidence, file an appeal in the Higher-Level Review Lane, or file a Notice of Disagreement to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. 

 Notice of Disagreement: By choosing this lane, your appeal will go directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  If you choose this option, you must also select a docket: the direct docket, hearing docket, or evidence docket. 

  • Direct Docket: If you do not wish to submit additional evidence to the Board, nor do you want a hearing before a Veterans Law Judge, you can select this docket.
  • Evidence Docket: If you would like to submit additional evidence, but do not want a hearing this is the option for you.
  • Hearing Docket: In this docket, you will get an in-person or teleconference hearing with a Veterans Law Judge and can submit new evidence.

If you file your appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and receive a denial, you can either: file a Supplemental Claim within 1 year or file an appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims