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Wayne TX

This Q is for anyone in RAMP who NOD appealed seeking a Hearing.

Question

I have four issues on RAMP Appeal  - all filed as HLR - all were denied. I filed NOD's on all four and requested a Board Hearing this time.  That NOD and request was received by my VARO and filed November 2, 2018.  My question is to anyone who has been either HLR or Supplemental Review of  RAMP that were denied and NOD now seeking a Board Hearing. Has anyone actually received a Board Hearing as yet under RAMP?  If so, how long did it actually take to get the Hearing?  If no Hearing as yet how long have you been waiting in months to date and has anyone been contacted yet with an actual upcoming Hearing scheduled date?

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Wayne. I am no pro to this but ramp is newer. So close will probably be a bit but maybe I am wrong. 

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Posted (edited)

Yours is the 64,000 dollar question, that, so far has not been answered.  Ramp is supposed to speed stuff up, but it remains to be seen if it actually will or not.  

However, I will make this observation.  

ACCORDING to the 2018 BVA chairmans report, it takes the VARO 521 days to issue an SOC and another 485 days to "certify" the claim to the BVA.  The SOC has been eliminated with the Ramp, and Im not sure, but I dont think the "certification" will happen either.  This means Ramp claimants cut 2.75 YEARS  (521 days plus 485 days equals 1006 days =2.75 years)  off the painfully slow appeal process.  

IF they made zero other progress, I still like them cutting off 2.75 years off the appeal time.  

https://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp

Ramp was just "fully implemented" Feb. 19, so its too early to tell if it actually works (speeding up claims) or not.  

I "opted in" to Ramp about Aug. 8.  I got a denial dated Feb. 8.  I count 6 months.  While this is not the promised 125 days, its an improvement over the 521 days for a DRO review (SOC).  Remember, the SOC was REQUIRED.  Now, we can opt "out" of this and go to the BVA.  While we could also do this with legacy appeals, the SOC was still mandantory.  

I will be filing my appeal to the BOard as soon as I gather everything together, and make a decision as to which type of appeal.   I wont be doing a "hearing", which always takes longer, because "I dont hear well", (SC for hearing loss), and am extremely uncomfortable with "hearings".  

Since I have decided to forgo the "hearing" (I could have gotten a representive to go to the hearing for me, but I elected not to do that), my choices are BVA with new evidence or BVA without new evidence.  

This is an absolutely critical decision.  I think the VARO made a mistake and did not read my file.  However, unfortunately, I dont have access to VBMS, so I cant figure out which of my evidence VA has shredded or deleted or not.  (I have a copy of the RBA, but, that was at least one BVA decision earlier, so VA could have shredded or deleted my evidence in the interim, 2012)  

Worse:  Its possible I need an IMO to support my claim "even tho" I think my evidence is solid.  Im seeking SMC S housebound, and my doc said I was housebound.  BUT, the VA loves to "weasel" out by doing things like requiring a "medical justifcation" of his opinion.  Its stupid, but its just like VA.  I really want to get this done fast "without new evidence", but probably should play it safe and appeal "with new evidence" EVEN IF I have no new evidence to submit.  

Why?  Well if you read the regulations on effective dates, they have a distintion between the types of claims:  HLR, SCL, etc.  And, the one for HLR are not as good as SCL.  Read it for yourself:  old: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/3.156

new version:  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/5110

There are more changes than "just"  "relevant" evidence substituted for "material" evidence.  The HLR and SCL claims are different.  Im pretty sure this will apply to the BVA effective dates also.

 

 

 

Edited by broncovet

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Good info there Bronco.......I am willing to wait longer for a BVA Hearing  as getting two denials now since filing in 2015.  I  do not want to fool around anymore with DROs handling HLR or SCL as they just overlook or fail to recognize key evidences in Veteran's favor.  I want to get in front of a Judge to plead my case with evidence.  I am assuming whatever time an Appeal was filed that is the pecking order for when a  VideoConference Judge Hearing will be scheduled.  My appeal for Hearing was filed in early November 2018. I believe the time has come that IMOs are no longer an option but a necessity to get granted anything that deals with seeking s/c through secondary disabilities. One of my appeals is Sleep Apnea (moderate OSA).  I have heard  that even though Sleep Apnea was diagnosed at a VA Sleep Study with a CPAP prescribed that VA still wants a Physician or Specialist to specify in an IMO that a CPAP is a "medical necessity" to Veteran.   I heard that if that's not stated as such VA can deny, deny, and deny as easy as a Physician not applying " as likely as not...." to an IMO or DBQ.  If this is true, that would certainly require yet another updated IMO with a Physician or the same Physician stating that usage of a CPAP " is a medical necessity" even after already stating that Veteran was diagnosed and been prescribed and a CPAP for x-amount of years. Stop breathing in your sleep is certainly a medical necessity........go figure.

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Bronco......as to "I really want to get this done fast "without new evidence", but probably should play it safe and appeal "with new evidence" EVEN IF I have no new evidence to submit."   I agree.....today an IMO  is no longer just a great idea but in my humble opinion a necessity to add an extra layer of protection to an already solid evidence case.   New evidence being (and a new IMO qualifies) added seems critical these days for most Appeals to get granted. I tried the HLR route with RAMP and had solid evidence plus had not one but two IMOs in my favor and I till got denied so I decided right then and there screw those two lanes I want a Judge and a Hearing so I will wait them out for as long as it takes to get one and if VA wants to keep building up my retro that's fine by me.  I can wait them out....not in a bind. 

 

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