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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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broncovet

To "RAMP" or not to "RAMP"

Question

As many may know, Congress has passed new legislation which essentially requires VA to cut down on appeal backlog.  This plan is known as "RAMP".  

Currently, only Veterans who ARE INVITED by VA can elect to go with RAMP.  Im not sure it will do much good to write to VA and tell them you want RAMP, tho its POSSIBLE that VA may grant this request.  

A well known law firm has published some credible, and valuable information on RAMP.  If offered a chance to "RAMP" through a VA letter, its probably a good idea to:

1.  Just do it and go for RAMP.

2.  At least read the following before declining ramp, and discuss this with your representative.  

https://cck-law.com/news/news-cck-live-revisiting-ramp/

MY summary:

    UNLESS you have a compelling reason, opt "in" for RAMP.  

    CCK says you should not do RAMP if any of these would harm your claim:

However, veterans should fully consider that participating in RAMP means:

  • not being able to appeal to the Board until at least February 2019.
  • not being able to take their claim directly to the Board of Veterans Appeals.
  • never going back to the legacy appeals process.
 
 

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I agree 2 weeks tops.....best of luck.   Estimated Completion: 08/27/2018 - 09/17/2018........yesterday it was showing  8-27 to 11-11.

 

 

 

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Well, I just found out that my "lucky"(Bronco will recognize the name) attorney had already opted me into RAMP back on May 23, 2018 AND NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO NOTIFY ME!  The only way I found out was logging into eBenefits two days ago, 8/8/2018.  According to my "lucky" attorney:

September marks 6-years on my claim(s).  We have been at the BVA level for over 2-years, Form-9 date May 2016.  Currently BVA cases are being distributed to the Judges up through March 2016 appeals dates. 

So what does this actually mean for me?  IMO, it looks like my current legacy appeals are probably going to be heard/decided BEFORE any RAMP decision.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around this, however...

Estimated RAMP Decision date, 9/3/2018---11/20/2018.

 

 

Quote

Hi Michael,

I checked on your case and everything is fine. You technically have 4 pending appeals (earlier effective date for IU, earlier effective date for TBI residuals, service connection for depression, and service connection for sleep apnea). Since your appeal for the effective date of your IU is a newer appeal (Form 9 filed in Oct 2017 vs. May 2016 like the other 3 appeals), we opted that issue into the RAMP program (the other 3 appeals don’t qualify since they are already activated at the Board). Since RAMP is a pilot program there is a disconnect between what is done on paper and how the information shows up in eBenefits because eBenefits does not have the capability to account for RAMP items. Therefore, when you see “appeal complete” it actually means “the appeal has been moved into the RAMP program”. Simply put, the VA never took the time to update eBenefits when it rolled out RAMP. Hence the confusion.

When we argue the effective date for TBI residuals at the Board it will actually include an argument for IU as well so the RAMP process on that claim is purely an effort to get your claim granted faster. If it is granted under RAMP, great, we saved some time and got you a faster decision. If it is denied under RAMP, no big deal because it is still part of the other appeal items that are already at the Board, so we didn’t lose any time.

I hope this makes sense. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day.

[unquote]😠🤢

 

Edited by HorizontalMike

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My NOD--> RAMP took about 65 days +/- from 15 May 2018.  It was originally 6 Sep 2018-15 Dec 2018 but closed 19 Jul 2018.

Dont go by the EBenefits estimation, its never right.

It sounds like the RAMP your Atty put part of you claim for the earlier effective date in should be done pretty fast.

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On 8/11/2018 at 1:27 AM, pwrslm said:

My NOD--> RAMP took about 65 days +/- from 15 May 2018.  It was originally 6 Sep 2018-15 Dec 2018 but closed 19 Jul 2018.

Dont go by the EBenefits estimation, its never right.

It sounds like the RAMP your Atty put part of you claim for the earlier effective date in should be done pretty fast.

Looks like my "lucky" attorney put the RAMP in on May 23, 2018 just one week after your RAMP date.  So I am on day #81 of my partial conversion to RAMP.  We'll have to see just what goes forward.

In my attorney's quoted email above, he is/has ignored a very important aspect of my appeal, and that is service connection for and rating of my Sleep Apnea and Major Depression along with the needed IMOs.  I have a disturbing feeling that my attorneys are going to take the 100% TDIU as an end-all AND RUN ignoring their promised IMOs for OSA and MDD.  That would exclude any SMC retro or future, or about $350/month going forward and $+25,000 of retro SMC.  One would think that these lawyers would like that additional 20%/$5,000 in their pocket as well, but who knows... 😟  They are already due ~$9,000 or so if/when the 100% TDIU retro portion goes through.

Edited by HorizontalMike
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Mike,

    I have no idea if your attorneys ignored this, or maybe they just did not tell you, and DID have your back.  You should find out in a few months or so.  

    This attorney no longer represents me, as I "won" a remand at cavc, got most of my attorney fees paid by EAJA.  Then, the remand decision happened and I "won" but was not satisfied with the effective date of that board decision.  Julie Glover elected not to repesent me (again), so I hired Chris Attig, instead, since I was again, at the cavc level.  

      I have now been represented by 3 attorneys, tho not by choice.  One, the NVLSP, 2 Julie Glover, and 3, Chris ATTIG.  

      My experience has been that attorneys do very little or no "hand holding".  They are not our counselors, they dont write us long emails detailing a rebuttal to our newest entitlement theory we sent them.  While we may not think so, they dont make all that much money.  

       I think Julie billed EAJA for about 30 hours of attorney time.  That was not near enough.  My cfile was at least 1500 pages long.  JUst to read that, if you can read a page in 2 minutes, is 50 hours. (Its a very fast reader to read a page in 2 minutes)    This is not to prepare a brief, not to do anything..just read my file.  So, she had to have done a lot of work and not get paid for it.  Lots of it.  

      I dont know about you, but I dont like working and not getting paid...for all my hours.  (Whatever the hourly rate is)  You probably also wanted to get paid for all your hours worked when you worked by the hour.  

      So, I did/do not get a lot of handholding and they dont send me a letter then discuss ramp on the phone for an hour.  No.  They simply just do what they think is best.  I dont blame them.  I dont call every Veteran and explain every thing to them either.  I tell them to go to hadit, read all they can, if their question is not answered I will try to get to their question, but others might instead.  Im glad others answer questions.  

     VA law is not all that lucrative.  At least one attorney I met "no longer does Vets benefits".  Why?  Well would you like to work for a man and then "maybe" get paid 5 years later?  Its no wonder so few want to do Vets law.  

      Anyway, Chris Attig is also extremely busy and does not return every call and answer every time I ask him if he thinks this or that will fly.  I read his brief he filed for me, and it was very very good, and he described my claim way better than I could.  So did Julie.  

      I suggest you "hang in there"..with RAMP, you will likely know something maybe by the end of this year.  I am glad at least one attorney recommends RAMP, as most dont like it.  You will like it also, if you get some retro, even if you still have to appeal effective dates or whatever.  Anything is better than waiting 5 more years on an appeal in my opinion.  

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