VA reports progress one year since start of the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program


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Launched on Nov. 1, 2017, the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) provides Veterans the opportunity to experience the new appeals process outlined in the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which was signed into law in August 2017. Since the launch of RAMP, more than 58,000 Veterans have participated in RAMP’s first two processing lanes. As of November 6, 2018, VA has issues more than 26,000 RAMP decisions and paid over $112 million in retroactive awards within an average of 115 days–far quicker than the current appeals process allows.

Veterans who opt-in to RAMP have two review options for their claim: Higher-Level Review and Supplemental Claim. The Higher-Level Review lane allows a more senior VA employee to conduct a new review of the existing evidence in a Veterans record. The Supplemental Claim lane allows Veterans to submit new and relevant evidence for consideration with the help of VA to obtain additional evidence under “Duty to Assist” requirements. On October 1, 2018, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) began adjudicating appeals with RAMP Notice of Disagreements (NODs). Veterans who appeal to the Board will be able to choose between three docket options: Direct Review, Evidence, or Hearing.

With the implementation of the AMA in February 2019, Veterans can expect a more transparent process with faster decisions. VA remains committed to providing the best customer service to Veterans by improving the transparency, fairness and speed of the claims process.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Jamie Griffiths    

    I’m still waiting on my ramp and I have been in the ramp program since November of 2017!! I’m hoping to hear something soon.

  2. William Roy Crowell    

    Again the VA embaresses me. I filed a claim in 1976 that was denied. In 2007 I filed another claim. I carried myself as far as I was able too. Ups and downs just like any other Vet. Life is tough enough without the VA pulling so much crap. The concept of Vets not allowed to sure for poor medical treatment evidently was put into the regulations/laws for a reason.

    With as much as has been written over the years about disability claims It is impossible for me to believe the VA continues to have problems that take years to resolve. This ramp program from my perspective has done absolutely nothing towards finding a working solution. RAMP is not even a bandage from what other Vets say.

    I have recently won two issues and had seven others remanded to a regional office in DC. That was in August this year. How is it I have yet to receive the back pay let alone the monthly check I am now entitled to? Ten years 2 of 9 issues granted with 7 more needing additional work? They cannot get a man paid any sooner what he has been awarded?

    I guess what I” trying to get at here, is it really doesn’t matter where you look at the claims process. It is all inefficient, and causes harm to the Vets and their families. The claims process is pretty much how the VA wants it to be. I’m not into conspiracies, yet I have to wonder here. I had 98% blockage in the arteries going to my brain. For 18 months I complained about passing out 2 & 3 times a day. VA did their checks and sent me home. So I go into a private hospital and I am given a bed and had open heart surgery two days later. The Doctors marveled at How I was still alive. They did not believe I had not had surgery way back when I began passing out daily. So all of that caring about the Vets may be true about most of the VA employees. But the higher ups, could care less. If the higher ups gave a damn, these problems that have been ongoing for 30 years i can attest to would have been solved long ago.

  3. vern Steven saxton    

    Don’t use RAMP. There is no transparency. The want to get thru the claims as fast as possible. Thye told me I wasn’t in two different USN hospitals initially for four months. Then they said it was two long ago and really didn’t matter. I guess the Vietnam War didn’t matter. Unless you were there.

  4. Frederick    

    I am confused because they talk about transparency but yet we don,t know what going on with our claim in the RAMP program we are not able to track it so see what going on mine have been in the RAMP program since Aug 14, 2018 so hopefully I will be hearing something soon. What I see is that everything takes forever unless they are attempting to take away money.I am on the phone now checking on my RAMP, again why didn,t VA tell us that we would not have acess to it. Well I received that usual canned answer WE ARE WORKING ON IT IF WE NEED MORE INFORMATION WE WILL CONTACT YOU. HA HA HA

  5. Theresa Fern Steagall    

    My husband has had a claim since 2015 denied and then he filed an appeal…. In Jan 2018 it was remanded and placed on the docket on Jan 10 2018 with a memo for claimant to be afforded expeditious treatment. My husband passed away on March 28 2018. I filed for substitution, I call in for an updated status and woman tells me to call back next week, I call and a man says the claim won’t be solved until Oct 2019.
    I am curious to know what is the VA definition of ” claimant to be afforded expeditious treatment”. The VA waited for my husband to die and now I am assuming they wait for me to die.
    President Trump, Congress people and Senate people really don’t care, it’s just all talk and no real action especially for the older generation….

  6. Barbara Wice    

    Approved RAMP in June 120 my butt contacted the DAV about my case was told it went from Washington DC to Pittsburgh where it was worked on August 15, 21, an 27 then in September 21, my case was moved to St Paul Minnesota. And according to the DAV representative “we should be hearing something in the next 35 day or so” still no heard anything. The next phone call I made after that was to Congressman Thompson’s office. Still waiting. But now that elections are over maybe our government can get their asses back to work!

  7. Dewayne Cason    

    Well my comments earlier about the RAMP is because VA system has had a bad reputation And yes it seems to repeat itself Once again And yes I know this is a new system the ramp But how does one opt in to a program which seems to help the appeal system and you get a response like this !!. sir I can’t explain why you’re not into the system today So yes I’m a little disappointed.. Because that golden window of a 125 days hasn’t started And really don’t know when it will start now ?

  8. Gordon N Smith    

    Over 200 days, or 7 months, or way to long for this vet. Did get the phone call, and then got put on the shelf for a month, to complex, the rater said. VA health care has been great for me these past few years, the folks are the best. Then you run into a wall, this wall has been ready to tear down for over 40 years, that is how old the claim is. It is just painful, your hands are tied, there is no where to turn. I am so glad that some vets are getting help, one day my turn will come.

  9. Eric A Fitzgerald    

    I have childhood PTSD ….Non high school grad…..Lived in six different foster homes.. Enlisted when I was 16 ……. Delayed entry program….Went in when I was 17….. .. I I was stationed on a flight line for four years….Had hard time when discharged…..No where to go been treated at the VA for 25 years.been in the psych ward five different times…On 15 different meds…The military has really messed up my life….. I have filled my claim two years ago…Was denied….Filed an appeal….Jan 2017……Don’t know what to do …. I was just diagnosed with prostate cancer…. Looking for advice and help…. Thanks

  10. Joseph Williams    

    Well someone needs to light a fire under my claim examiner, the VA Federal Judge ruled in my favor, My Congressman has inquired, the DAV has stayed on top of it and STILL NOTHING. Even the Judge said the VA has used and abused me and played continuous games with me since 1/10/1980. RAMP WHAT?

  11. Walter Robinson    

    Entered the ramp program in March 2018 and havent gotten a phone call or any type of response.

  12. Tyler L Elkins    

    It’s only retroactive for 6 years back

  13. Ollie L.stancil    

    I file a claim in 1977 and I was awarded my claim and 2013 without any wrote your rethrow active pay so but when I refill file the claim I got awarded I was awarded 50% for my migraine headaches and after that I filed another claim because that was it my clean was awarded to me and I do not receive any future active pay from 77 to 2013 so I don’t understand the system but thank God that I got it I will service having mild stroke.

    1. Dewayne Cason    

      I opt in to the RAMP on March 7 , 2018 .. I call in this morning Nov 5 , 2018 to get an update on my status and was advise that she could not explain why but my ramp has not been entered …

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