The modern era of veterans benefits began in 1988 with the passage of two landmark pieces of legislation. First, the Department of Veterans Affairs Act renamed the Veterans Administration and, more importantly, elevated the agency to cabinet-level department. Second, the Veterans Judicial Review Act opened up VA claims decisions to appeal and judicial review, removing the 50-year ban on veterans appeals. The 2000 Veterans Claims Assistance Act set VA’s Duty to Assist veterans who apply for disability and other benefits, and the 2017 Appeals and Modernization Act reshaped the claims appeals system to combat inefficiency.
Troops “will not be persuaded to sacrifice all views of present interest, and encounter the numerous vicissitudes of War, in the defence of their Country, unless she will be generous enough on her part, to make a decent provision for their future support.
-George Washington to John Banister, 21 April 1778.