Impact of Legion’s work produces results for veterans waiting years for answers

The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) the week of Oct. 8 began working appeals submitted through the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP). Designed to streamline the appeals process, RAMP is part of VA’s Appeals Modernization Program. RAMP allows veterans to seek faster resolution when she or he appeals the decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) on a disability compensation claim.

RAMP is brought into effect under the bipartisan Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which was advocated for by the American Legion and ultimately signed into law at the American Legion’s 99th National Convention held in Reno, Nev.

“To fulfill our patriotic duties, we must take care of our great veterans,” President Trump told the convention audience. “One year ago at this gathering, I promised you that I would make it my priority to fix the broken VA system and deliver to our veterans the care they so richly deserve.”

RAMP provides veterans with the opportunity to choose one of three lanes that best fits her or his needs. The lanes include:

  • Higher Level Review at the office of original jurisdiction

  • Supplemental Claim with the office of original jurisdiction

  • Appeal to the Board

The announcement of BVA beginning to work RAMP appeals comes on the heels of VA’s announcement they adjudicated 81,000 appeals decisions of disability benefits in fiscal year 2018 — 28,000 more than the previous year — shrinking the backlog of approximately 470,000 pending appeals.

“The Board’s historic achievement delivering results to veterans and their families reflects VA’s hard work and commitment to getting it right for our veterans under the leadership of President Trump,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Together, we have achieved significant results for our nation’s veterans, as each of the more than 81,000 decisions produced by the Board can make a real difference in their lives and for their families.”

The VA is working toward full implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act, which is scheduled to go into effect in February 2019.