Should I opt-in to the Rapid Appeals Modernization Process (RAMP)?

Posted on: Thursday, May 03, 2018
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Should I opt-in to the Rapid Appeals Modernization Process (RAMP)?

Question

Is (RAMP) Rapid Appeals Modernization Program opt-in process creating a unnecessary conflict of interest with legacy appeals?

On 31January, 2018 the House committee on Veterans Affairs noted that in order for the Veterans Appeals Improvement & Modernization Act of

2017 (which goes into effect February, 2019) to move forward a 10% sample data base of (all existing appeals) would have to be established to judge the program's efficacy. At the hearing only a 3.5% sample was attained. So how does the VBA (Veterans Benefits

Administration) get up to 10%? One way is to deny the "legacy appeals"

the oldest on the books and than offer up an invitation to opt-in to this brand new process which is only a temporary pilot program, but does represent what in the near future will be the way claims processing will be managed by the VBA. So you have the carrot & the stick. Deny you here, we'll give you a quick out there. Only if you give up your legacy status to participate in RAMP. You have stated in the past, not to get on the RAMP. Today what are your thoughts on the matter?

Jim's Reply

My position hasn't changed. If you have an active appeal in process it's my strong recommendation that you're represented by an accredited veterans law attorney. If you are represented by anyone less than an accredited veterans law attorney, you're going to a shootout at the OK Corral armed with a pocketknife. Having said that, the veterans law attorneys who I talk with across America recommend that you do not get on the RAMP. The harsh fact is that we don't trust VA when it announces "better faster cheaper" when trying to clear up backlogs that it created with previous modernization programs. The failure record of VA "modernization" efforts has been an embarrassment. We prefer the traditional, methodical, step-wise approach that will get the claim properly adjudicated with as little fuss as possible.

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