VA launches program aimed at providing Veterans more options in claims disagreements


shadow

VA announced that it will launch the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program, or “RAMP,” with the goal of providing Veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disagreement with VA’s decision on their benefit claims.

RAMP will provide expanded opportunities for Veterans to enter the new, more efficient claims review process outlined in the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on August 23.

“At its core, VA’s mission is to provide Veterans with the highest quality of service,” said VA secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The new process under the RAMP initiative reflects major steps in not only VA’s effort of continuous improvement, but also in providing greater choice for Veterans and their families.”

VA began its 18-month implementation of the new process immediately after the bill became law.

By February 2019, all requests for review of VA decisions will be processed under the new, multi-lane process. VA’s legacy appeals process was slow and complex. The new law streamlines the process and includes safeguards ensuring claimants receive the earliest effective date possible for their claims.

Participation in RAMP is voluntary; however, Veterans can expect to receive a review of VA’s initial decision on their claim faster in RAMP than in the legacy appeals process. The initiative allows participants to have their decisions reviewed in the Higher-Level or Supplemental Claim review lanes outlined in the law.

The reviewer can overturn previous decisions based on a difference of opinion, or return it for correction. Participants who select the Supplemental Claim Lane may submit new evidence and may receive VA’s assistance in developing evidence in support of their claim.

Veterans who disagree with the decisions they receive in RAMP can appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in the new process and have their appeal decided by the Board when the new law becomes effective in February 2019. Veterans who participate in RAMP will not be able to return to the legacy appeals process.

VA encourages eligible Veterans with pending appeals to participate in RAMP and the benefits of the new review process. VA will begin sending eligible Veterans an invitation to participate in early November and continue the program until February 2019.

VA will continue working with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations and other Veteran advocates to implement the new appeals process over the next several months as VA continues to make bold, positive change on behalf of Veterans, their families and survivors.

Author

Media Relations

The Office of Media Relations serves as the interface with news media representatives from newspapers and electronic media for the Department. OMR arranges interviews, provides press releases and answers media queries.

Comments

  1. Stanley A. Polete    

    I’ll believe it when I see it! I’ve been waiting well over three years, this time, for my appeal to go through. Haven’t been able to work since October 2003 due to intense headaches every Damn day. I truly believe the VA would rather let me die than do the right thing. As it presently stands, most of the VA is a joke and a drain of resources at the highest levels on down.

    1. Brad Turner    

      Amen brother. The VA has been the slowest organization I have ever dealt with. Look at my situation. I was awarded a disability in 2002. I have not received a dime. Two years ago, I retired and they take out that amount from my pay as an offset. Yet I have never received anything. I appealed why I hadn’t received anything and I was told they would make a decision in 2 years! Then they told me they agreed with me, but they still wouldn’t pay me. Then they said the date to finalize the claim was in May. Guess what? May has come and gone and nothing has happened. I wrote my congressman, but no help. It is simply ridiculous. VA, I am still waiting! I guess they have forgotten about my 37 years of military service.

    2. james DROZDIEL    

      The VA is a joke or a crime the way they treat us vets. Well, at least us older vets. I work with lots of vets and the younger ones get benefits for crap i would never ask for yet us older guys, i got out in 92, are played with like a toy over real issues. I They have “lost” my medical records so try and establish a service related injury with that ! Its a damn joke!

  2. Michael A. Stephens    

    It has taken me 33 years to see an Orthopedic Specialist (spine). After every Doctor, Physicians Assistants all they did was provide a band-aid (Drugs) for the the injury that occurred in 1984, the Doctor who released me from the hospital that I see an Orthopedic Specialist and finally someone listened. Filed a claim 5 years ago now it sits in front of the appeals board in which they said 6 months this was over a year ago. Sounds more like more paperwork. for the Veteran I am not very pleased with the VA Claims department especially after I had provided all the needed paperwork and health records. I never wanted to be a burden to the VA or rely on someone else but when the pain is so great where I can’t walk and work then I must seek out another remedy. Sorry about my rant here but maybe someone will pay attention!

    1. Longfellow Ragoczy    

      Agreed!
      VA’s philosophy is to have you remain on their hamster wheel indefinitely.
      The Veteran Applies, the VA Denies
      The Veteran Re-Applies, The VA gives in a little but, still Denies!
      Years later only after going to CAVC does the Veteran lawfully get what he truly deserves. The M211MR contraband is thrown out the window.

        1. Michae Lane Sr    

          United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC)

        2. James DeSappio    

          The V.A. is truly trying to be great but its so far from it.
          I did extreme heavy lifting as a helicopter crewchief and mechanic in 1977 and back then my company had no maintance equipment. I needed to tear down my copter for a 300 hour insp. Removing the hub and blades we had a roof chain but once it was down we had to carry it to the shop. Same with the tranny. I hurt my back doing it over 6 years and when I left The army i didnt complain. Years later as it got worse I was treated monthly at a V.A. Hospital. In 20012 appx. A doctor doing an eperdial on my back hit my spinal cord , she was fired or transfered. She was gone . I finally tried to get comp. As I dont believe in sueing. J asked for my bad hearing lost and back. I was told my hearing lost was from noise in n.y.c. and not being within 1 foot of exhaust and jet engine on start up daily and then the back appt. With Dr. To examine me, she said she could not as nothing was noted but back pain. Nothing about my nerve damage or hitting my spinal cord. I walked into the V.A that day for my eperdoral and left a gimp.
          My claim was denied..
          Also I went to surgery in jan. And told next visit in e month surgeon would do micro surgery and the next 3 visits the surgeon never showed up. Then 2nd year in jan. He was in and said my back was much worse and he had to do normal surgery and to bring things to stay in hospital on next visit in 3 months.
          Same thing that year and next 2 years. Total of 4 full years .
          Yes, have anxity and panic attacks and never went to the advocate..
          I did go to advocate years later for different reason, bout psych Dr. (new ) cutting my anxity meds and sleeping meds to be told he cant and then she did nothing when I told her he did and more.
          We need miltary Dr.s at miltary V.A. med. Hospital…

      1. Michael Lee    

        I have a back injury from 1981 and have been going thru the same thing. We veterans with back injury need to contact our congressman or women to have the code of federal regulation change, because the was congress has it written now, it is meant to stop veterans with back injury to get an increase.

    2. Anne Borren    

      Hang in there. Please believe in the new administration. Things HAVE to change.

    3. connie ann lloyd    

      I totally agree with you
      The VA don’t care about the men and women who protected this country. I have a husband who is in a nursing home dying with bone cancer. Everything that is wrong with him came from being in Vietnam for 2years
      He knew he had cancer but it was a local er that told him it was all over his body. You have to go to the nearest VA office and fight. Do you have your discharge papers. Make copies and any medical reports you may have my husband fought them for a very long time. He had to get cancer before they gave him 100%= FIGHT AND FIGHT HARD. GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL THE OTHERS FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES

  3. Gary Timbs    

    It take 18 month to start and your calling it rapid.Pay the claims first then review the claim. 27 years with hearing farming and I’m blessed that’s my biggest issue. The worst part is that you are patting yourselves on the back over it all.Some people don’t have 18 months.

  4. William Roy Crowell    

    My claim was filed in 2008. It was denied and appealed to BVA. That was going on three years ago. the claim I am commenting on is for service connection. An Identical claim but for only disability non connected has me rated at 100%. C&P VA Doctor stated it is as likely as not the stressor for my conditions began while in the service and was identified. The VA denied they had medical records until after 7 years I was able to locate partial records to prove what I had claimed. I also located newspaper stories about the event for proof as Army claimed no knowledge of the fatal Tank accident I was involved in. All the proof submitted and still denied. Both civilian and VA docs have supported the claim. Yet BVA isnt even working on my claim as it is one of the 450,000 claims the VA pushed to the side to catch up on newer claims. WHY????

  5. Dennis J Prindle    

    Where are we on the bill that passed Congress last year on The Navy Blue Water? It was passed by congress and never got a dollar value fixed to it. So, did they just kill it or what. I’ve been waiting official since 2005, but got Diabetes back in 1973 … So, why has this bill not been put forward with a dollar value?

  6. Dennis J Prindle    

    Last count, over 167,000 Navy Vets have some type of disease from Agent Orange contact…!!!

  7. Manuel N Gomez    

    I went for my hearing July 2015. Still haven’t heard from them. I call one time last year. They told me judge still has not got to it. How long does it take?

    1. Dominique Joseph    

      Hi Manuel,

      Under VA’s legacy (old) appeal process, appeals to the Board could take an average of 6 years to be resolved. That frustrating and lengthy process is why passage of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (signed into law in August 2017) is so important. VA is now able to establish a new appeal process that is streamlined and provides more options for review, which will potentially result in faster decisions from VA moving forward.

  8. Richard degneau    

    I just turned the whole mess over to a lawyer, let them fight it out

  9. Amy Seko    

    I hurt my knee and hip in 2001 during training and have been trying to claim it and they still come back saying it’s not service connected…don’t understand…im about to give up

  10. Rick McCort    

    How is this process different than the old system? How does it expedite the appeal process?

    1. Dominique Joseph    

      Hi Rick,

      Under the lecacy (old) appeal process, jurisdiction of appeals was split between the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board). Also adding to the complexity of the process was that the law that instructed how VA reviews decisions had not been reformed since the 1930s. On August 23, 2017, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (Appeals Modernization Act) was signed into law, allowing VA to establish a new review process.

      Under the new law, VA will streamline the appeal process by providing more options for review and resolution through three lanes – Supplemental Claim, Higher-Level Review, and Appeal. The RAMP initiative that launches this month allows participants the opportunity have their VA decision reviewed in either the Supplemental Claim or Higher-Level Review lanes. Those who have been waiting the longest for a resolution will receive a letter giving them the opportunity to participate in RAMP first. VA will expand RAMP over the next several months and will send almost 350,000 invitations to participate now through full implementation of the new law in February 2019.

    2. Aqeel El-Amin    

      Never give up! That is what the VA is vouching on. I have a claim and have written a scaving letter to Sevtetary David J. Shulkin, Congressional members and the press and tv media in San Diego. I have posted my OPEN LETTER on Facebook detailing the horrendous way veterans are being treated. It is time that Vetetans organize a national demonstration to let the public knpw how we veterans are really being mistreated. It is outrageous how long and convoluted the claims process takes. It is deliberate and with the vile intent to deny veterans their rightfully entitled disability compensation, until the veteran gives up, or simply dies. It’s time for veterans to now fight for tneir rights now that we have fought, and many have died, to protect the rights of everyone else.

  11. Gary Holmes    

    I filed in 1975 , went to cp exam in 76 and never heard another word. Started in 2000 to find out what ever become of my benefits.located c file in at Louis, requested multiple times , wrote my Congressman , hired a lawyer and still getting the run around. I will write the President next for his help.

  12. Michael Horst    

    Since 1978 I heard nothing but denied, I honestly believed the VA will deny until we die. We weren’t given any respect for our service when we came home so why do we believe things will be different now

  13. Phyllis Baum    

    My husband served for 20 years. What I find interesting is the military exposes men to MEK, Freon, Zinc Chromate, Asbestos….and the list goes on. 20 years ago no respirators, ventilation or safety equipment of any type was required or provided. So today, if you have a problem, if it’s not on their list…somehow its up to you to prove they screwed you up. I think you guys are right…if they stall long enough, you might die and problem solved.

    1. JoAnn Canterbury    

      I agree with you VA doesn’t care about the Vets that have outstanding claims. Still waiting.
      Good luck

  14. charles alan burnett    

    wtf ??? my comments was erased

  15. Raymond card    

    How do I go about getting a deers number

  16. William Vale    

    The VA accidentally rated me 100%. The VA says I cant work. My Federal employer kicked me to the streets after 18 1/2 years saying I can’t do any work in any position they have. Nothing like discrimination. I lose my retirement because they had to kick me to The curb before 20 years. I did 9 years 8 months plus of active duty. All for nothing. Got kicked out of the Navy for being a PRT failure. I got in the Navy at 225 pounds, got kicked out at 225. I guess my neck shrunk. Then you get separation pay at 50% because I was kicked out as a PRT failure. Then in order to get your $100 VA compensation you have to pay back all your separation pay. It took over 9 years before I saw my first $100. Something is wrong!!!!!

  17. Susan Smith    

    They dropped me from 100 percent to 60 because they said I wasn’t in the hospital enough. I have been fighting them and they told me that because my records indicate that I told my doctor I felt good for a few days they denied it. So I am still fighting. I opted not to go before the board ( hindsight is 20/20) but they still won’t give me a date.

    This system is very sad.

  18. SPENCER R WAINRIGHT    

    I nave appealled a PTSD claim for TEN years. It was validated by Dr Larry Garsha psycho/neurosurgon.
    HELLO!
    spence wainright

  19. John White    

    Please stop assuming every veteran is a liar.
    Let’s assume we’re all telling the truth and then you prove that somebody is lying how about that for a method? It is utterly ridiculous as the people above me him stated that I’ve been waiting 19 years

  20. stanley overton    

    I`ve been fighting the VA since 1980. I`ve been taken out of work, and now cant work, and yet the drag their feet every step of the way. My back and neck is screwed up, and now my right shoulder because my back gave out on me and I fell. I was on 10 percent for 34 years before they finally gave me 40 percent. I don’t know, it`s hard waiting on an organization that don`t give a damn about the very people the gives them the right to play with our lives.

  21. Rocky Skelton    

    When can I apply for the VA new I’D card, Since I’ve been denied any medical benefits or anything from VA ?????????

    1. Dominique Joseph    

      Hi Rocky,

      Information on the New Veterans ID card was announced yesterday and can be found here: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=3979

  22. Rocky Skelton    

    I was denied any benefits from VA, I was honorably discharged A1. I had a permanent profile while in the service. Filled a claim for disability and was denied, My job was Material handling & Storage
    Specialists. A lot lof lifting on a daily bases but I was denied any benefits for my back which hurts on a daily bases. I filled an appeal with a Veteran s Advocate and it’s still been over a year for a hearing.
    It really makes think whether I should have even enlisted in the US Army. To be treated as such. !!!

  23. John Glover    

    I am a Vietnam Veteran; I was sent to Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. While at NKP, no one even mention to me that the base used Agent Orange to keep the base clear of foliage. I am now 73 years old, and have all the symptoms associated with Agent Orange, but yet the VA is denying my benefit request. That is not fair.

  24. John braese    

    I also started a claim, denied, now being told it will be years before I have my appeal heard. Sad part is, I am a desert storm vet, never claimed anything, now putting in for hearing loss and tinnitus. My ex wife, who did serve but was denied reenlistment, now has 100 percent disability. How in the hell does that work? I’m truly disgusted

  25. Gary Waldrep    

    Ive been very patient ,cant even die till they settle up.

  26. Robert Blair    

    I totally agree with all that the VA is in the wrong about all of us. We fought for this country to get NOTHING for our service. It hurts me more than my family. I’m only getting 40% and NOTHING for my PTSD. I did a peace keeping mission in Bosnia back in 02 and saw everything that normal people don’t see. I filed a NOD back in ’15 for my time that I had surgery done on my knee and kept me out of work for 2 months. I just can’t live on the benefits that I’m on now.

  27. Donald Crauswell    

    If those conducting the C&P continue to deny the claim, (currently a 70% error rate) when review by a VA Judge, why would anyone opt for anything else. recently I had a C&P and when I read the report from the examiner, I thought he reacted as if I wasn’t even in the room nor did he evaluate my records with any accuracy. Just another waste of time, but the fact is, the VA will not win, I will never give up nor should you. Fat Assed Bureaucrats are still running the system and until Sulkin holds those accountable for their errors nothing will change. I have one question that needs a Honest reply, How are those that conduct the C&P exam reviewed for job performance?? Is it based on number of denials? Number of cases pushed off their desk? Or percent that are accurate and stand as they ruled when they finally reach a VA Judge? In the real world one must do a satisfactory job based on performance, not Union BS.

  28. ALONZO POTTS III    

    I just received 30% from a bad knee in 1979 then upgraded to 40%. No retro or anything close. Just recently I received a letter I have been demoted to 0%. So of course I appealed and have to go thru the whole process again.I have no income and just out of hospital from an heart attack and can not even pay for my perscriptions. The VA Dr. said her self my knee injury can not and will not ever heal, so how did the determine I am 0%?”

  29. Aqeel El-Amin    

    The only way veterans will be listened to is when we all got public with a massive national demonstration and an absolute denounciation of all those phony veterans appreciation events and complete reputation of those meanliness “thank you for your service” cliches that are patronizing and insulting to our intelligence. In fact, there needs to me an anti-recruitment for military campaing to let the military establishment and Congress know that our military men and women will not be used as disposable “tin soliders”, to be thrown into the garbage heap once we they have been used up. I am livid!

  30. Victor Sellers    

    When I was medivac’d out of Vietnam on June 7 1971, I had acquired permanent defects affecting every aspect of my “physical capacity and stamina”, was issued DA 3349 with a P-3 Permanent Profile for those defects, and spent three weeks hospitalized in Vietnam before being medivac’d to Japan for more tests. A month in the hospital the first time, and several times at CONUS. I was supposed to have “over 120 days” to stabilize, but I never did. I deteriorated all the time on duty, and got worse after discharge. Seven months of medical records, X-rays, clinic records are still withheld today, since June 1971, and was falsely told in 1972 that they were lost. I was still on duty and that deception prevented my from receiving full disability retirement at combat rate, full medical for life, and all the other benefits afforded 100% Service Connected Veterans. I am still waiting.

  31. Jerry Clark    

    Trying to find Vietnam Vets that were in the helicopter division and possibly have same or similar health problems as me. No immune system, CVID lung problems and macular degeneration. I believe it is from being a crew chief and washing the UH 34 helicopters down with gasoline every 3 days of flying, with no protection as they warn you today to wear around gasoline.
    I have been fighting the VA for several years, with a few doctors backing me up, saying my health problems they believe are caused from the exposure to the gasoline. If I had more guys with similar health problems as me we could all file and win our claims. Contact me at (redacted) if you can help.

  32. Aileen M Dodge    

    No Matter how you look at it there is the possibility of getting screwed all over again!!! I seriously do not foresee any claims that go back over 10 years getting an invitation for this RAMP program. The reason the 10 year plus claims never get fast-tracked is the VA is hoping and praying the Veteran will die long before the claim or appeal ever makes it to Washington. The VA Does NOT want to pay out any claim they made a mistake on 10 years ago by continually denying the veteran service connected compensation!!! Especially if the Veteran is a Vietnam Veteran, a Peacetime Veteran or a FEMALE Veteran of either of those!!!! There is NO benefit of the doubt offered, the whole being fit for service before you were allowed to enlist I guess those exams every one had were a joke too!!! Because if you got injured in the first year of active duty and remained on active duty serving your entire enlistment. And during that enlistment you never had a Doctor write in your Medical record before you got out that your injury was SERVICE related through no fault of your own. Well, then you must have had that injury or illness before you enlisted!!! That’s the way the VA sees it! And it doesn’t matter if you can prove that you were exposed to asbestos via the Navy and never previous to the Navy or that you never were exposed to massive amounts of insecticides previous to entering the service that would cause you to develop pulmonary illnesses, skin diseases, digestive disorders etc. None of that matters because the VA believes if you develop an illness within one year of entering the military then you had it before you entered and you JUST LIED to get into the Military!!! It was just a miracle you were able to make it through Bootcamp without showing just how sick you really were!!! In other words, you committed a fraud against the U.S. Military when you enlisted and stayed in for all those years! You should be happy the VA doesn’t turn your ass in and have the Government throw you in the Brigg even if you have been out for over 20 years!!!

    1. James DeSappio    

      I too was a crewchief and mechanic. I have major back and nerve problems and hearing loss. I was denied. I wrote above. Good luck and feel better. You can contact me.

  33. Mark Murray    

    Started in 2009. Denied, appealed, denied, appealed, etc, etc, etc. Received a partial 10% rating but denied on the appeal for backdating it to the Gulf War? The reason? I had to apply within a year of when it happened. BUT, the VA wasn’t taking applications a year after. That’s how bad the VA is. I’ve been denied for impossible and insane reasons. Yet, no one has been held accountable.

  34. Carlton Glenn Kraft    

    I was given a medical discharge, from a medical board,from the US Navy as my left arm has only 90% out movement and progressive arithitis .The VA took all my disability away in 2012 for my arm which is worse than it was in 1974.How do they get away with it?????they changed my diagonis for PTSD to anexiety disorder so they only gave me 30%????I got seriously messed up in 1973.on top of that I was intentionly exposed to AO in 1973 aboard the USS SANTA BARBARA AE-28.
    I really need help because Im dealing with more stress from the VA that I should have to. and their discrimination towards me in their compensation ethics???

Comments are closed.