November 2017

Vets Views

Page 3 


Retirement Services Officers (RSOs)

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November 2, 2017

VA Launches Program Aimed at Providing Veterans More Options

in Claims Disagreements

WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it will launch the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program, or “RAMP,” with the goal of providing Veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disagreement with VA’s decision on their benefit claims.

RAMP will provide expanded opportunities for Veterans to enter the new, more efficient claims review process outlined in the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Aug. 23.

“At its core, VA’s mission is to provide Veterans with the highest quality of service,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The new process under the RAMP initiative reflects major steps in not only VA’s effort of continuous improvement, but also in providing greater choice for Veterans and their families.”

VA began its 18-month implementation of the new process immediately after the bill became law.

By February 2019, all requests for review of VA decisions will be processed under the new, multi-lane process. VA’s legacy appeals process was slow and complex. The new law streamlines the process and includes safeguards ensuring claimants receive the earliest effective date possible for their claims.

Participation in RAMP is voluntary; however, Veterans can expect to receive a review of VA’s initial decision on their claim faster in RAMP than in the legacy appeals process. The initiative allows participants to have their decisions reviewed in the Higher-Level or Supplemental Claim review lanes outlined in the law.

The reviewer can overturn previous decisions based on a difference of opinion, or return it for correction. Participants who select the Supplemental Claim Lane may submit new evidence and may receive VA’s assistance in developing evidence in support of their claim.

Veterans who disagree with the decisions they receive in RAMP can appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in the new process and have their appeal decided by the Board when the new law becomes effective in February 2019. Veterans who participate in RAMP will not be able to return to the legacy appeals process.

VA encourages eligible Veterans with pending appeals to participate in RAMP and the benefits of the new review process. VA will begin sending eligible Veterans an invitation to participate in early November and continue the program until February 2019.

VA will continue working with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations and other Veteran advocates to implement the new appeals process over the next several months as VA continues to make bold, positive change on behalf of Veterans, their families and survivors.



November 6, 2017

VA announces Veterans Day 2017 events for this week Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced several key activities this week in connection with President Trump’s proclamation of November as Veterans and Military Families month.

“Veterans Day has a special place in the lives not only of our Veterans, but for all citizens as we pay tribute to the service of those past and present who have contributed so much to our nation’s history,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “President Trump has proclaimed, for the first time, that November is Veterans and Military Families Month and we are seeing nationwide events that will showcase Veterans.”

On November 6, Secretary Shulkin discusses Veterans’ topics at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In his comments, he will focus on Veterans benefits.

In New York on November 7, Secretary Shulkin will speak to the Veterans of Wall Street; visit the New York Stock Exchange (and ring the closing bell); and speak at the PM Heroes gala. Also on that day, the Minnesota Vikings will visit the Spinal Cord Injury Center in Minneapolis.

November 8 a StorytellerX event (one of several during the month) on Capitol Hill will showcase Veterans sharing their stories of post-military life. Additional events, updates and live video streams can be found at:

National Veteran Standout Day on November 9 will see Veterans nationwide wearing an article of clothing, pins, or hats that commemorate their service.

Secretary Shulkin will lead ground-breaking on the National WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C.’s Pershing Park at 11 a.m. Veterans from every era since WWI will be on hand.

The nation observance a Federal holiday on November 10 in honor of Veterans, and throughout the day nationwide speaking events will highlight their service. Also on that day, the nation observes the Marine Corps birthday.

On Veterans Day, November 11, the highlight of the day is the annual Arlington National Cemetery Veterans Day ceremony, this year led by Vice President Mike Pence.

- Prior to that event, Secretary Shulkin will host a Veterans Day breakfast.

The full list of events for Veterans and Military Families month is available at