FEDweek

Vets To Get More Ways To Challenge Claims

Veterans should be able to challenge benefits claims more quickly and accurately. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented a plan to streamline the appeals process, and put safeguards in place that ensure the earliest date possible for making their claims effective. Veterans can volunteer to submit their claims through the new process, known as RAMP (Rapid Appeals Modernization Program).

The program now is in an 18-month implementation stage, and will take full effect in February 2019.

Under RAMP, participants can have their claims reviewed at either a high-level or supplemental level. VA’s claims reviewers would be able to overturn an earlier decision based on a difference of opinion, or send the claim back for correction. Veterans who choose the supplemental claim approach would have the chance to submit any new evidence they may have that would support their claim.

Veterans who still disagree with decisions they receive through the RAMP process can appeal again, to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, when the new law becomes effective in February 2019.

While VA wants as many veterans as possible to take part in RAMP, the department notes that veterans cannot go back to the legacy process once they opt in.