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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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Just an update on my legacy appeal. This week it says my appeal is before a judge. I submitted my form 9 July 2017, so the legacy appeals aren't as slow as I had initially thought.

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Well, it appears that a few of us are in the same boat.

Congrats on getting a relatively "quick" date BuddyLoveAK.

Autumn, I have gone the "supplemental route myself (seems like the most obvious path to take so you can add more information).  Isn't ironic, how they can designate deadlines for when you can submit things but they can take their sweet time doing what ever they want.

Also, keep pestering your lawyer, that's what your paying them for.  Get every red cent out of them that you can.  This process is supposed to be easy enough so you don't need lawyers but since I started my current roller coaster back in 2015 I have had to learn more medical and legal jargon than I would like. 

Probably my biggest problem is my self; I cannot find it in me to pay a lawyer to play phone tag/operator with the VA for a situation that should have been a slam dunk. 

I have a CUE pending that dates all the way back to 1996.  The VA rater hadn't even let the ink on the CUE dry before they denied it.  DAV Rep and I filed a CUE on the initial mistake.  And I wrote a letter to Mr Speckler and faxed him 14 pages of documents proving my point about the CUE (classic text book definition of what a CUE is).  Mr Speckler's office turned around and basically remanded it back to the RO for another review and that where I am now with it getting combined with my current appeal for my knees.

Yes, the soap opera staring the Keystone Cops continues...

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On 3/4/2019 at 10:44 AM, OldJoe said:

Well, it appears that a few of us are in the same boat.

Congrats on getting a relatively "quick" date BuddyLoveAK.

Autumn, I have gone the "supplemental route myself (seems like the most obvious path to take so you can add more information).  Isn't ironic, how they can designate deadlines for when you can submit things but they can take their sweet time doing what ever they want.

Also, keep pestering your lawyer, that's what your paying them for.  Get every red cent out of them that you can.  This process is supposed to be easy enough so you don't need lawyers but since I started my current roller coaster back in 2015 I have had to learn more medical and legal jargon than I would like. 

Probably my biggest problem is my self; I cannot find it in me to pay a lawyer to play phone tag/operator with the VA for a situation that should have been a slam dunk. 

I have a CUE pending that dates all the way back to 1996.  The VA rater hadn't even let the ink on the CUE dry before they denied it.  DAV Rep and I filed a CUE on the initial mistake.  And I wrote a letter to Mr Speckler and faxed him 14 pages of documents proving my point about the CUE (classic text book definition of what a CUE is).  Mr Speckler's office turned around and basically remanded it back to the RO for another review and that where I am now with it getting combined with my current appeal for my knees.

Yes, the soap opera staring the Keystone Cops continues...

apology for so long in reply.

that is some serious bad irony, bad for veterans i should say. lawyer and i thought the same about the supplemental route for now.  i call the attorney from time to time and do get updates. sometimes there is no news but i think the same, they do get paid..

i can't fill out the forms any more. i make too many mistakes and get too frustrated with it all. i get over nervous just getting mail from VA. not over exagerating, really. my neuro disease has contributed a lot to that but so has decades of fake diagnosis and such. you all know the drill there, that's why there is hadit.com. so i don't mind an attorney helping me when they are good. i fired two for being somewhere between jupiter and uranus. the one have now has won a few and continues to help.

granted, your situatiion and mine should have been slam dunk according to title 38 rules along with validated medical evidence current and historical. but the VA has made it this way along with congress. plus the VSO all sided with VA and left it at that. so i don't call attorney that much but phoen tag can be frustrating. attorney has other clients and veterans clients too so i can't really expect an answer every time i call unannounced.  but i'm human, so the frustration exists sometimes plus the years of VA strangeness pops into my head. the VA never sent attorney the copy of last denial that was asked for. crazy. we finally got it but the delay the va does is real as you know.

my previous VSO/pva wouldn't even file a CUE. so i can empathize with you on yours and the VA rater denial. many denials don't even make sense...again fake info and fake diagnosis. good luck with DAV, hope they work well for you.

i think my attorney will do the same as you, i.e., send it back for review. as i mentioned the denial didn't make sense as the va doctor wrote his review was in my favor and rater didn't go by that.

keystone cops is right. i wonder why when D.C. trys to fix the VA, whether now or decades prior, they never look into the BVA treadmill. allways low hanging fruit or mo'money to VA. 

 

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Thanks autumn and good luck to you also.

A quick note about VSOs, and maybe I am mistaken (someone correct me if I am.

First the caveat there are good ones and bad ones.

Unfortunately VSOs are in a position of where they are very limited in what they are allowed to do for you.  In a sense all they are allowed to do is make sure you dot your i's and cross your t's.

Also, they are under paid and overwhelmed with there caseload, many of them are disabled themselves and stuck in the same position we are of appeal hell.

I have seen too many stories where the "good" VSOs got burnt out and had to move on to something else (can only imagine the stress they go through wanting to do more and seeing fellow vets get the shaft).  Or, they get caught going above and beyond one too many times (they are too successful) and wind up getting transferred or get thumbed down on (and soon just have to quit).  If you notice, most VSOs are very "standoffish" in how they hand working with you, sort of like they might be biting their tongue.

Currently the DAV Reps in Columbia, MO have been pretty helpful considering what they are allowed to do.  Not saying they go out of their way for you, but they are helpful.  I also chose the DAV because they do offer legal during the appeal stage (I am sure there are stipulations, like if it is a hopeless case, simply forget it, now the criteria for what determines hopeless, I cannot quantify)

As, for using the lawyer, you sound like you are definitely in the position where you need one. And it sounds like you got a good one, but be sure to keep an eye on him just the same.  Never know when they may just up and leave you high and dry because your case isn't paying the bills.

Many VA disability lawyers really amount to nothing more than a bunch of ambulance chasers (no disrespect to many that offer advice here in the forums, it is much appreciated).  But we as vets need to consider the fact that many of these lawyers/legal firms are simply vultures because of how the VA doesn't work for us like it is supposed to.  We vets get stuck in a quasi legal state where we are supposed to follow rules which the VA flagrantly disregards.  Since this is a system that is supposed to not need a lawyer to get the proper care we need.  If I am right you cannot use legal when applying for compensation only during the appeal stage (correct me if I am wrong).  Because we are not legal experts, the VA many times uses this against us using bogus rules over misusing rules to deny what would should be rightfully granted. 

This makes us a smorgasbord board for these lawyers because in many instances the VA raters' rulings are so full of bull and improper application of rules and law we are easy money.  Do a little homework file the NoD for the Vet and wait for your day before the board, collect your fee, move on to the next vet, rinse, lather, repeat, ...  Granted this is an over simplification but you think of how many veterans are in the exact same predicament we are, that is a bunch of legal fees they are collecting for simply playing phone tag with the VA while waiting for the date for the board appearance. 

Granted there are many that are very pro vet and are probably a bit miffed at what I said.  To you my humblest apologies.  With out your help many of us would be sucking dirty pond water, you guys go above and beyond.  My beef is the "ambulance chasers" that if they don't feel your going to pan out or like autumn stated seem to be totally out in left field totally botch a claim and in doing so ruin any chance of winning a CUE if there was even the slightest chance to win it.

CUEs are very tricky, because in many instances it boils down to an argument of diagnosis and how your were rated originally (even what you were requesting to be rated on).  If any of those things can be questioned no lawyer is going to touch a CUE claim with a 10 foot pole.  Which is why you need to be sure of the CUE before you even start.

Mine, 100% pedigree (just look at past threads and the evidence I posted).

Others where it has been a back and forth it gets real murky real quick on whether it is a CUE or not.

Fact is, many VSOs don't really understand CUEs because they are such a finicky topic and hard to prove.  When approaching a VSO, (from personal experience) about these you better have EVERYTHING together to prove your case before broaching the topic.  Because the very first thing they are going to say (like they did to me) you need to reopen the case with new information because you failed to appeal it within the proper time period (granted this is a tactic for getting your toe in the door at least), but most VSOs are really thinking that the CUE is a nonstarter from the get go because everyone wants to use CUE.

Not to mention CUEs get twisted around real quick, like in my case.  I explicitly laid everything out what the CUE was and what the result should have been.  The rater denied me based on the results of the most recent C&P.  The most recent C&P had nothing to do with the CUE, other than it proved my point that they made a mistake.  From what I have read about CUEs this is a very common issue, either the Vet uses a current C&P to argue the CUE, this is BIG MISTAKE.  A CUE is based on a mistake made in the original rating, not the diagnosis or the current rating.  Maybe a better way to say it by using my case as an example/analogy is that when all is said and done my current rating of 50% for mental and back is really nothing more than a rate increase because my back degenerated since the initial injury (OK legal beagles you may need to straighten that bit out to be more clear).

I don't know if this is intentional or unintentional on the part of the VA, but it seems like the VA likes to twist a CUE in this fashion.  When they do and they catch us vets off guard we wind up twisted around arguing something that isn't what supposed to be argued.  You could say it is a case of "look a squirrel..."

And off we go chasing the wrong thing and our CUE gets denied because we argued something that wasn't even supposed to be to point.

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Autumn, others may not care for long replies but if you notice, I can never say anything in 30 words or less... 😀

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