The American Legion’s Director of the Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Division Lou Celli testified yesterday June 24, 2016, on Capitol Hill concerning pending legislation for the VA Appeals Modernization Act and the Working to Integrate Networks Guaranteeing Network Access Now Act (WINGMAN).

During his testimony, Celli highlighted collaborative efforts of The American Legion, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other service organizations that led to the creation of veteran-centric legislation, including the Appeals Modernization Act, aimed at preserving and improving claimant’s rights during the appeals process.

Celli concluded his statement conveying The American Legion’s willingness to work alongside lawmakers to ensure the “most beneficial, veteran-centric legislation is passed.”

If enacted, the Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 would improve and streamline the appeals process for disability claims by addressing flaws in the system. As a result, this will allow the existing appeals to receive a decision from VA in an efficient manner.

WINGMAN, if passed into law, will grant employees of members of Congress access to the VA’s Veterans Benefits Management System to assist constituents with questions regarding the status of their claims for benefits. The American Legion opposes this legislation because claims and appeals management is a highly technical process that requires intense ongoing training and VA Regional Office support, which this bill does not provide.

To view the Legion’s full written testimony in its entirety, go to