VA Rapid Appeal Modernization Program Information

VA Rapid Appeal Modernization Program Information

VA Rapid Appeal Modernization Program Information

By Debbie Gregory

Late last year, the VA launched Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) with the goal of providing eligible Veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disability compensation claim. On April 2, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded the program by removing the previous requirement that Veterans first receive an invitation from VA in order to elect participation in the program. The VA initially prioritized sending RAMP invitations to those veterans who have been waiting the longest for the chance to appeal their case to the board.

RAMP is voluntary and provides eligible Veterans the opportunity to enter the new, more efficient review process outlined in the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (Appeals Modernization Act), before the law becomes effective in February 2019.

Under RAMP, Veterans can expect to receive a review of the decision on their claim much faster than if they remain in the legacy appeals process. The legacy appeal process splits jurisdiction over appeals in compensation claims between Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board), resulting in average wait times between three years through VBA, and seven years through the board.

RAMP allows participants the option to have their decisions reviewed in the Higher-Level Review or Supplemental Claim Lane outlined in the Appeals Modernization Act.

RAMP will only run until the February 2019 implementation period for the Appeals Modernization Act. However, the VA will continue to process any RAMP elections received after February 2019.

Here is one important thing to consider: choosing to opt into RAMP will effectively withdraw your appeal from the Legacy system.  Once you exit the Legacy appeal process, you cannot go back.   Also, you will be unable to appeal an unfavorable decision to the board until February 2019 at the earliest, and progress made in your Legacy claim will be abandoned.