VA Claims and Appeals Modernization
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its claims adjudication, appeals, and Rules of Practice of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) regulations. In addition, this rule revises VA's regulations with respect to accreditation of attorneys, agents, and Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representatives; the standards of conduct for persons practicing before VA; and the rules governing fees for representation. This rulemaking implements the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which amended the procedures applicable to administrative review and appeal of VA decisions on claims for benefits, creating a new, modernized review system. Unless otherwise specified in this final rule, VA amends its regulations applicable to all claims processed under the new review system, which generally applies where an initial VA decision on a claim is provided on or after the effective date or where a claimant has elected to opt into the new review system under established procedures. For the reasons set forth in the proposed rule and in this final rule, VA is adopting the proposed rule as final, with minor changes, as explained below.