VA launches program to resolve compensation appeals sooner

Veterans to see options in claims disagreements, faster processing times


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Veterans and their family members will have more options for how their compensation appeals will be processed. On Nov. 1, VA launched the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program, or RAMP, with the goal of providing eligible Veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disagreement with VA.

The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, or Appeals Modernization Act not only provides VA with the framework to modernize the current appeals process, it also authorized VA to create RAMP.

VA’s complex legacy process was adopted after World War I. The act allows VA to clear one of the largest hurdles in our continuous efforts to improve the delivery of benefits and services to Veterans and their families.

RAMP is voluntary and will first be offered to claimants with some of the oldest pending appeals in VA’s inventory. RAMP participants will have the chance to enter the new, more efficient appeals process, outlined in the historic appeals legislation recently signed into law by the president. Over the next several months, VA will send out notices to Veterans eligible to participate in RAMP.

If you receive notice and would like to participate in RAMP, here are a few things to consider:

  • If you DO NOT want to participate in RAMP, you can do nothing and VA will continue to process your appeal in the current (legacy) process.
  • If you decide to participate in RAMP, simply complete and return the election form found in the notice. Please note, you WILL NOT have the option to go back to the legacy appeals process.
  • You can expect faster resolution than if you remain in the legacy appeals process.
  • You must choose ONE of the two, new processing “lanes” – Higher-Level Review or Supplemental Claim Lane – if you decide to participate in RAMP.

What you need to know about the types of reviews offered in RAMP:

  • Higher-Level Review
    • A reviewer will conduct a de novo, or “new,” review of the previous decision based on the evidence of record.
    • Reviewers can overturn previous decisions.
    • You may not submit new evidence.
    • An informal conference is available. However, requesting an informal conference may cause some delay in the processing of a higher-level review.
  • Supplemental Claim Lane
    • You may submit new evidence to support your claim.
    • VA will help you develop evidence in support of your claim.

RAMP will run through the implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act.

To learn more about the new appeals process, visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp


This article was submitted to VAntage Point by VA’s Appeals Management Office, which is is responsible for the Veterans Benefits Administration’s appeals-related program policy, planning, budgeting, staffing and operational control.

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VAntage Point

Comments

  1. Victor Sellers    

    Why participate in the RAMP Process, when it is no faster and very likely slower than the Legacy process? Right away the requesting of an informal hearing will take as long or longer than the Legacy. We know what “some delay” means in “VA Years”, and one year to us is more like a month in the V.A. scheme of Time. Time has no meaning in VA applications because it moves on from one administration to the next, while we end by attrician.
    The only problem with the Legacy process is that it intentionally creates the backlog. It does not use the “benefit of doubt rule”, and no team has the authority to make a decision. Too few authorities are given the right to exercise common sense over the use of a word or phrase used by the veteran or VSO Rep on his behalf. The overkill of regulations is mind boggling, and attorneys need other attorneys to help them navigate the swamp for the veteran, while the swamp owner can simply say it did not occur in service or was not made worse by military service, which shuts down the momentum, and starts the backlog because the VA has no proper defense, but all the time it needs.

    1. Janice Hosler    

      Does this include agent orange for a veteran that has passed. Claim was started while he was alive

      1. William Roy Crowell    

        As far as I know, the VA Claim dies when the Veteran dies. Period. VA has such a screwed up system and thank you for waiting for nothing.

        1. Mike gayron    

          The spouse of a veteran can become the claimant of an active claim or appeal as long as claim was submitted prior to death!

  2. John Mann    

    I’ve been waiting 30 years for my rating and now I’ve been waiting for 12 years for my back pay! VA f(redacted)d me and I’m 100% disabled.. SSD is the only thing keeping me afloat!

  3. Roger Kastel    

    I am giving up on the VA. I have been fighting for over 20 years. As an ex paratrooper, my back is shot, my knees are shot and my hips the same. The VA doesn’t even have my correct service records listed, I have sent in DD214’s, they seem to conviently loose them. Also I cannot afford to go to the VA Doctors any more, the cost is above my means.

    1. Mike Sellers    

      Get a private attorney to assist you! They will get your claim resolved in 3 months. Yes, it cost you around 30% but considering you won’t be waiting another 3 years is beneficial.

      1. Renee    

        who is this LAWYER?that can get

        1. Mike gayron    

          Lawyers by law are only able to charge 20% of retro, so much bad info/ advice here!

        2. Scott Rose    

          It really doesn’t help to have an attorney, I’ve had an attorney for 20 years working on my VA claim and I have appealed it to the BVA, that was 7 years ago and still not a word from BVA as to when I see the BVA judge again. I went through the whole process and the BVA judge granted SC but when it was sent back to the regional office for the rating they read it wrong and gave me a very low percentage for compensation so I had to appeal again. All together I think I have had the same claim in the system since 2000. Don’t hold your breath for any kind of a quick decision.

    1. NICKY    

      My name is nick,even with a Attorney it will take about the same time.I file in 1998, and refile 2011, now waiting for OK, of a appeal to Resubmit It , ALL Over

  4. Andrew L Palmer    

    Ditto as above. I’ve been fighting for 40 years now, and still no resolve. I have med records from discharge and from today that show exact same diagnosis from Dr’s, yet they claim no proof. My DD214 did not show med discharge, so I can’t get benefits or VA loans. They tell me it’s 2-3 years to fix !!!! but wait It’s been 40 already…. I swear I’m going to get a lawyer and sue for back benefits for the 40 years. Criminals and homeless get treated better than veterans..

  5. Shawn gehlhausen    

    Why is it my VA pension was terminated, while social security increased it’s payment as cost of living increased. Now I’m financial strained and having debt issues

  6. Soldier    

    Don’t use the ramp system it’s just another quicker way to deny you and becomes final . If you read the Appeal hearings, more people get approved that way than letting the regionals decide . Sure it takes longer but long run you have better chance of winning. When u do its forever ,, A denial , u get nothing and that what the regionals want . So they don’t have to pay out ..

  7. PAUL    

    Just another way to screw over our veterans who served. the Veterans Administration should be ashamed of themselves. A pure bureaucracy at its worst. Civilians who work there and never served their country. And deciding the fate of a veteran. They are the most shameful Department second to the IRS and all agencies in our government. They might as well go side with Isis and Al Qaeda. They are the enemy to our veterans of America.

  8. Joe Turner    

    you are incorrect, i hired private attorney 3 years ago and they have done nothing. Why have they done nothing you might ask? Because VA set it up for them (attorney) to be paid based upon the “back pay” you receive. As a result, it benefits the attorneys to delay so your back pay is higher. they do not want a fast turnover.

  9. Henry Jackson Jr    

    The VA Website, currently, states “in order to get compensation and benefits under Agent Orange illness the veteran only needs his/her DD Form 214 stating your were there in the Republic of Vietnam “. My dad has the proof, he has never received any compensation. Now the Red-Tape starts, you call on office, you have to go to another, and that is if the person you need to talk (the only person) is there. Yes, they will give you someone else to talk to.
    Oh Yeah, let’s not forget about the appointments you have to make, just to prove what your DD Form 214 already states.

    VA, just do what you say you would do, my father and other veterans that serve and sacrifice are depending one what they are owed.

  10. Carmela Staton    

    Hi Mike Seller,
    Can you please provide phone number to your attorney?

    Thank you,!

  11. Arthur Salisbury    

    And when will the Servicemen and women as well as those who worked on Ft. McClellan, AL be recognized, treated, and Compensated accordingly by the VA for Agent Orange, Mustard Gas, and all the other toxins they were exposed to during there Service and Training for our Country. When I raised my hand and took the oath, I didn’t agree to be poisoned and disabled from being at the Army’s OSUT MP Base.

  12. Thomas E Carlucci    

    It is a disgrace when those who served their country have to fight their own government for compensation for injuries, while that same government freely gives illegal immigrants food stamps, medical care, Social Security, and Welfare. The U.S. govt (VA) is telling its citizens who served in its military to go screw themselves while at the same time giving unearned and undeserved taxpayer money to criminals. It makes me deeply ashamed to have served such a despicable government. I am proud to have served my country, but its government sucks when it turns its back to us and kisses the butts of immigrants.

  13. William Roy Crowell    

    That is bs. I have had two different attorneys. The first one I fired after 18 months. The second one has been op the job for 8 1/2 years. I know of plenty of Vets that have had an attorney for years. It does not speed up the process.

  14. William Roy Crowell    

    I would also bet that by going into the new system, you will be starting over. Your date of filing will change and I believe that will eliminate the back pay people have coming. When it comes to claims the VA is heartless. They have had my claim denied after eight years, and now it is in appeals the last 2 1/2 years. The lying and denial by the DRO in my case demonstrates how they have a person without any medical experience or training deciding claims, often going against the medical reports. Check out the website on facebook “VA is Lying”. There Vets will get the truth from other Vets. I need my disability as much as anyone. Back Pay that has been accrued as they wasted so much time. I am 100% unemployable both mentally and physically on an identical claim the only difference is that one is for Non Service connection. The Service connection claim sits gathering dust. Will the new system stop the VA from lying? Will the VA stop purposely destroying evidence the Vet needed to prove his claim? The manager of the VA Cleveland records department claimed there were no records to prove I had been treated for a gunshot and subsequent phsy department for a total of 4 months. When I was able to have someone working there go on a hunt for the records the manager after some were found even tried to deny them then too. I had to threaten him with being named as a defendant in a lawsuit I was going to file. Within 3 minutes he sent me back a message and was putting them onto a cd disk to mail to me. Do not trust the old process. What makes us believe the new one will be better? It will probably just be faster denials.

  15. Lula Bailey    

    I have been fighting va for 8yrs. I was stationed at camp Lejeune in the 60’s when pesticides was found in th water and now I have leukaemia. Need my disability, I’m lost don’t know where to go from here

  16. Paul Hairston    

    Went to physical therapy and he lied on my record to indicate that my condition got better – he had me immerse my hand in a bowl of rice! What kind of training did this buffoon have. C & P exam wasn’t any better – the physicians assistant, not a doctor, flat-out-lied that he checked my private area for defect, yet never had me pull my pants down. The VA has hired a whole slew of inept, incompetent, immoral, and simply unethical staff, in order to deny veterans they’re compensation. The VA would rather pay millions to this horrible staff, than to pay veterans a couple of thousand in just benefits. I wish my senators and congressmen would drain the VA swamp, and fire the landlord & proprietors.

  17. Donald Crauswell    

    What is fails to do, is get the Claims right, 70% reversal when a Law Judge does the review, why would anyone let the VA process Union Bureaucrats touch their claim. I know they hardly read your submissions so don’t bother to deal with these yo yo’s.

Comments are closed.