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    • To autumn: Remember, there is a difference between a claim denied and an appeal. A claim denied remains viable for appeal for a year. An appeal is anything you file a NOD on. Once you file the NOD, you have completed the first step of what we call the "substantive appeal" to the BVA. After issuance of a SOC, you have 60 days to take the second step by completing the substantive appeal by the filing of the VA 9. Yes, a rebuttal filing to the SOC will delay the suspense date of 60 days by giving you 30 days from the receipt of a SSOC in which to file the VA 9. The important thing for all to remember is that you can have a claim denied this morning and then put it into the rocket docket to the BVA after the 19th. If it's a CUE, you would gain nothing by having a Supplemental review as you are prohibited from introducing new evidence. Likewise, a HLR, which is no more than a DRO review camouflaged  in a new dress, is a dead end as well. I've won two DRO reviews- the Phoenix folks caved in and CUE'd themselves 9 times on a Vietnam Parkinson's disease denial and the second was the CAVC ordering the VA to pay me SMC back to 1994 in 2016. That's mighty slim pickings. I hear from all my fellow VA litigators that the RAMP at the local level is a chimera. Approximately one in five is getting a favorable outcome.  CUE claims are excellent candidates for this process. First, you cannot add any new evidence. Second, VA invariably denies all CUEs anyway. Lastly, who wants to take a CUE through the 6-year system to the BVA? When you file a CUE, you are calling VA idiots out for screwing it up. You cannot add evidence so it's a brilliant way to unclog the system. VARO raters use the M 21 and it will almost always yield a denial. The BVA, on the other hand, is a Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) with real legal training. They can ascertain the truth in an unbiased decision. It used to be that VLJs pretty much toed the line and acquiesced to the VASEC and the OGC precedents. This is no longer true. With new precedence coming down from the CAVC or the CAFC almost daily, our legal chances of success in a true courtroom before a real law judge have increased 100-fold since the era of the 60s when the BVA came into existence. In my 30 years doing this, I have found one truth. Many of us look at our claims from our own point of view. This tainted view prevents us from considering whether it's actionable. I always take the devil's advocate stance and try to defeat my client's claim with logic and reasoned argument. If I can, then I won't take it. If it's plausible, I will always be tempted to fight it. Unlike some VA litigators, I keep my caseload down to a dull roar. I will never become a VSO with 250 Vets. 60-80 is more my idea of a manageable number. Besides, I like talking to my clients and sharing their highs and lows. With that number, when a real CUE barnburner shows up, I usually take it. RAMPing up to the BVA is the cat's pajamas in this situation. Why wait in VARO purgatory for years? 
    • https://www.military.com/paycheck-chronicles/2019/01/11/2019-va-disability-payment-schedule.html        The only difference I have experienced were holidays.
    • The crappy VA mh CLINIC?  Tallahassee, I had an amazing psychiatrist here for almost a decade and then horrible care.  Now, I have a psychologist who is in Pittsburgh, she is amazing.  I have no psychiatrist right now, I have been renewing my meds by having my outside provider write my prescriptions until I figure out what to do.  I just won't go into the Tallahassee mh clinic period.  I had provider after provider dismiss me, treat me like crap and even tell me that MST doesn't happen.  Once I even told my psychiatrist I needed my meds adjusted that I wasn't doing okay, and her response was, well are you suicidal?  okay, no?  then knock on wood, literally she knocked on her desk and said see you in 3 months and changed nothing........I was in horrible shape.  The clinical pharmacist was the ONLY person I trusted in that clinic at she no longer works there.  So, I have a choice now, be drive 6 hours round trip to another VA or nothing.  Right now, I have nothing.  Even though I had fee basis care and was recommeded for telehealth when that provider closed and they couldn't find another provider who would accept VA payment.    I was even given non va primary care..........when I live 25 miles from the VA which was processed and there is an authorization in the system but I never received a letter for, since October.  MY VA system SUCKS.   I know why veterans kill themselves in VA parking lots.  Not that I would, give them the satisfaction.  They want us to kill ourselves so they don't have to pay us anymore.
    • Google tells me the first of each month, but for the past several months or more, I've received payments as early as the 23rd... It's driving me nuts not knowing. 
    • VA Press Release yesterday VA’s Rapid Appeals Modernization Program to end ahead of implementation of new Veteran appeals law WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will discontinue the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP), which provided eligible Veterans with early resolutions to their appealed claims, ahead of full implementation of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 that takes effect Feb. 19, 2019.  VA will not accept RAMP elections from Veterans with a legacy appeal after Feb. 15, 2019; however, RAMP claims pending on or after Feb. 15 will continue to be processed until the inventory is complete.  Beginning Feb. 19, Veterans who appeal a VA decision will have three decision review choices: Higher-Level Review, Supplemental Claim, and appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. VA will now offer Veterans greater choice in how VA reviews their claim is committed to ensuring the claims process is accurate, timely and fair.  “VA has been preparing for full implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act over the past 18 months to ensure the new, streamlined process is available to Veterans who have long sought reform of the broken legacy system,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “We encourage Veterans whose appeal is currently in the legacy system to opt in to RAMP before February 15 to take full advantage of the benefits of the new process.”  VA initiated RAMP in November 2017 to provide some of the benefits of the new law’s streamlined process before full implementation. Participation in RAMP is voluntary. However, processing times under the program have been faster than legacy appeal processing times. Under the legacy process, decisions currently average three to seven years. Veterans who have a legacy appeal after Feb. 15 will be able to opt in to the process when they receive a Statement of the Case or a Supplemental Statement of the Case after the new law is effective Feb. 19.  Veterans who participate in RAMP can choose to have their VA decision reviewed in either the Supplemental Claim or Higher-Level Review lanes. In the Higher-Level Review lanes, a more experienced adjudicator will conduct a new look at the previous decision based on the evidence considered in the previous decision. Participants who select the Supplemental Claim option may submit new and relevant evidence, and VA will assist in developing new evidence under its duty to assist. VA’s goal is to complete Supplemental Claims and Higher-Level Reviews in an average of 125 days.  For more information on Appeals Modernization, visit https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp and https://www.bva.va.gov/. "   https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5203 I am glad AskNod mentioned CUEs he has pending. I have 4 or 5 pending. I agree that CUE cannot get an "artificial hair cut." They would have to re -write CUE regs. The  evidence for 3 of the CUEs comes from an Office of General Counsel Pres op-the other evidence is basic VA case law.          
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  1. General VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Forums

    1. VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum

      VA Disability Compensation benefits discussions. Post veterans compensation claims questions or answer for others. Read and research other veterans compensation claims experiences.

      Tip:

      • Start a new topic with your question.
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      Who is eligible?

      Veterans eligible for this program must:

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      Everything Veterans Affairs does with your service connected disability compensation claim, is goverened by law. You may want to bookmark this page as a reference as you proceed with your claim.

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  4. Veterans Helping Veterans Podcast

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    2. Introduce Yourself

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      An Act
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      Read Only Forum

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