AP NEWS

Esty’s bill to help veterans appeal signed by President Trump

August 23, 2017 GMT

A bill pushed by U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty to help veterans get swifter resolutions to appeals about their benefits has been signed into law by President Trump.

“Because of the enormous appeals backlog, veterans in Connecticut and across the country are routinely made to wait more than five years to receive the benefits they earned,” Esty said in a prepared statement. “That’s just not acceptable. Our bill to cut down on these delays is the result of thoughtful collaboration among Republicans, Democrats, veteran service organizations, and the VA itself.”

The bill was co-sponsored by Esty, a Democrat who represents greater Danbury and Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District, and Illinois Rep. Mike Bost, a Republican.

The law modernizes the appeals process at the Department of Veterans Affairs to cut down on the backlog of claims and reduce delays, according to a release.

The new law marks the first significant update to the VA appeals process in 30 years, according to the release.

Some 470,000 veterans are awaiting resolution of their appeals, including 1,425 in greater Hartford alone, the release said.

Esty is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs. Bost is the subcommittee’s chairman.

“Today marks a huge step toward our goal of providing all veterans with the timely compensation they deserve for the injuries they sustained in service to our country,” Esty said.