RAMP: The Fast Lane to Claims Res­o­lu­tion

The Weekly Vista - - Fun & Games -

If you’re bogged down in a dis­agree­ment with the Depart­ment of Veter­ans Af­fairs about a claim, help (or at least hope) might be on the way. En­ter the Rapid Ap­peals Mod­ern­iza­tion Pro­gram, also known as RAMP.

RAMP will give veter­ans a more ef­fi­cient claims re­view process, cour­tesy of the Veter­ans Ap­peals Im­prove­ment and Mod­ern­iza­tion Act of 2017.

Ac­cord­ing to a sum­mary of the Act, it takes an av­er­age of six years to ap­peal a dis­abil­ity claim. The Act cre­ates three lanes, which is meant to di­vide claims into cat­e­gories and zip them through the process, in­stead of let­ting all claims stay lumped to­gether. Lane 1 will move a pend­ing ap­peal di­rectly over to the Board of Veter­ans’ Ap­peals, jump­ing over the other lay­ers. Lane 2 takes a re­jected claim and sends it to a higher level of ad­ju­di­ca­tion for a sec­ond look. Lane 3 is where a vet­eran can sub­mit new ev­i­dence in a claim.

These new steps are in­tended to speed the process. How­ever, there are con­cerns. Ap­par­ently, the new act mod­i­fies the “duty to as­sist” lan­guage. That duty re­quires the VA to help a claimant to get the ev­i­dence needed for the claim. The gov­ern­ment has all your files and there­fore could quickly gather what is needed for the claim, but now that “duty to as­sist” lan­guage is changed.

De­pend­ing on your claim, you might re­ceive an in­vi­ta­tion to par­tic­i­pate in RAMP. Look care­fully at the de­tails. Once you agree to RAMP, you might not be able to re­vert to the pre­vi­ous sys­tem.

In other news, VA Sec­re­tary David Shulkin is re-think­ing the list of pre­sump­tives for Agent Or­ange. He’s re­view­ing the work of the Na­tional Academy of Medicine, its data and rec­om­men­da­tions. More ill­nesses may be added for dis­abil­ity com­pen­sa­tion.

(c) 2017 King Fea­tures Synd., Inc.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.