How Can a Veteran File an Appeal in the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP)?
Veterans with currently pending appeals can switch their appeals from the legacy (current) appeals process into the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program if they opt in to the program.
To enter the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP), a veteran must opt in to RAMP using the Opt-In Election Form and the attached bar code form. The election form requires veterans to choose one lane (either the higher-level review lane or the supplemental claim lane) through which they would like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to review their currently pending appeal.
Note: On February 19, 2019 the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA) was officially implemented, thus ending the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program. The most up-to-date information on the AMA can be found on our page: Veterans’ Appeals Reform.
Not All RAMP Decisions Are Favorable: Here’s How to Appeal an Unfavorable RAMP Decision
While RAMP can help you receive a decision more quickly, there is no guarantee that the decision will be favorable. But if you receive an unfavorable decision on your initial appeal in RAMP, you can appeal the decision by submitting your appeal to a different lane (e.g., if you chose the higher-level review lane for your original appeal, you would choose the supplemental claim lane). You have one year from the date of your decision to appeal to another lane.
Appealing a RAMP Decision to the Supplemental Claim Lane
If you determine (or VA states in their decision letter) that your original appeal did not have the evidence necessary to prove your claim for disability benefits, the Supplemental Claim lane allows you to submit additional evidence. You can choose this option regardless of whether or not you were in this lane for your original appeal in RAMP.
Our veterans disability lawyers can help you determine what evidence you might need and help you use that evidence to craft a strong appeal.
Appealing a RAMP Decision to the Higher-Level Review Lane
The higher-level review lane may work best for you if you believe the rating specialist who reviewed your appeal made an error. It is important to note that this lane does not allow you to submit additional evidence.
Appealing a RAMP Decision to the Board Lane
Currently, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) is not adjudicating appeals from RAMP participants. But the VA says the Board lane will begin to adjudicate RAMP appeals in October 2018.
So, if you decide to appeal your decision to the Board lane (within RAMP), you will be added to one of the three Board dockets (a docket is essentially a waiting list of cases) for RAMP appeals. The Board dockets for RAMP appeals are separate from the Board docket for Legacy appeals. So the Board dockets for RAMP appeals will likely move much faster than the Board docket for Legacy appeals.
Can I Leave RAMP and Return to the Legacy Appeals Process If the VA Denies My Appeal?
No. Once you opt in to RAMP, you cannot opt out and return to the legacy process. The decision is permanent. However, as we noted above, you can change lanes or wait until the third lane (also known as the Board Lane) opens in October 2018.
To Discuss Your Options for Appealing a RAMP Decision, Call 401-331-6300 Today
While the VA launched RAMP to help veterans get decisions on their appeals more quickly, the process can be difficult to navigate. The team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD is ready to help you put together a strong disability appeal. For a free case consultation, call 401-331-6300.
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