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autumn

To RAMP or legacy appeal?

Question

recently one of my claims was denied and attorney is appealing it. the VA C&P agreed with the claim and attorney mentioned the denial was bogus/bs.  pretty sure that was at the DRO level. 

attorney asked me if i want to RAMP this appeal or legacy appeal.  we already waited almost 3yrs when this denial came in and likely another ~3 years when it is legacy appealed, not  on the RAMP system. my understanding is we don't lose appeal power going with RAMP, is that correct?  attorney isn't getting worse results with RAMP than say the legacy appeal way i'm told.  before i green light RAMP i want to ask, are veterans choosing the RAMP path now & finding it worth it say vs the legacy appeals?

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5 hours ago, asknod said:

On February 19th, the pathway to the BVA RAMP opens. I have 6 clients I'm putting into the process. Many are CUE claims. Obviously, if you claim a CUE in 1970 or 1993 as I am for my clients, they cannot artificially give a haircut to the CUE and arrive at an effective date of 2018. That's a mighty tall violation of due process. Not sure who is spreading the rumor about earlier effective dates. I did see some discussion to that effect in the SCR and HLR lanes but nothing in the Fed. Register or the published PL 115-15.

I remain confident the time involved in litigating in the Legacy system of appeals will gradually diminish. After all, isn't that the point of RAMP-to reduce the backlog and clear out the "docket closet"?

i'm correct to assume this Feb 19 BVA RAMP opening is good for claims since you are putting some of your clients into that path? this particular claim is CUE and goes back a couple decades when first ever claims where filed.

glad you mentioned the PL 115-15, i can pass that along to attorney to clarify so my decision isn't based on rumors.

not sure i'm so confident in the litigating time reduction. what's to stop the RAMP system from getting more bogged down. previous VA attempts at trying to help veterans and claims issues haven't exactly been in favor of veterans in my experience. we/i can hope though. thanks for your reply and help.

 

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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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Hi,

I am staying with my appeal in the Legacy as I only have one contention.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

H

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10 hours ago, Berta said:

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. 

Am I reading this right?  I can use the legacy system and have access to the BVA but if I go with higher level review or supplemental claim I do not have access to the BVA.  That would be a crime against veterans as the RO's are messing veterans over and it is only at the BVA that claims are correctly adjudicated.

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The links in the Press Release above offer a lot more info but I agree that it appears one cannot get to the BVA if they choose Higher level review or supplemental claim- in the Press Release-

hopefully vet lawyers out there will provide a better explanation of that- it will sure affect them negatively- as well as claimants ,if that is true.

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