(CN) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a bill into law intended to reduce the amount of time the Department of Veterans Affairs takes to decide veterans’ appeals of their disability payments.
The legislation will overhaul the process by allowing veterans to file “express” appeals if they waive their right to a hearing, or allow them to submit new evidence. Veterans currently could wait five years or more to resolve their disability appeals.
The department provides $63.7 billion in compensation annually to about 4.1 million veterans living with disabling conditions suffered during military service.
The changes would apply almost entirely to newly filed appeals, not the existing backlog.