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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

RAMP Opt-In Open to All Veterans with Pending Appeals

As promised back in April, the VA has finally released full details on how to opt-in to the RAMP program without having to wait and receive an official invitation.

If you are a veteran with a pending claim that has not yet been added to the BVA's docket, then you can submit the RAMP Opt-In form found on our Appeals Page. Make sure to follow the instructions in the included letter so that your application is complete and correct, including all supporting evidence needed for them to correctly process your claim.

This voluntary opt-in will only be available until February 2019 when the current appeals system will be completely replaced by the new RAMP program as part of the 2017 Appeals Modernization Act.

While there are still stories of veterans being unsatisfied with the new RAMP program, the program overall seems to be fairly successful to date. More than $45 million in retroactive benefits have been awarded and more than 73,000 appeals have been processed through the system (both RAMP and the BVA).

Hopefully this is a good sign for the future.

8 comments:

  1. There is lots of current research that support a strong link between PTSD and Fibromyalgia. I was denied solely on the bases that I am not a combat veteran. However, my PTSD is directly caused by the MST I experienced. I also have a letter from my Rheumatologist that support trauma can contribute to fibromyalgia. Any help or thoughts will be appreciated.

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    1. Was everything denied? Before fighting for fibromyalgia secondary to PTSD, you first need to get your PTSD firmly connected to your MST. If the triggering event is clearly noted as MST, then the VA should grant you this one. What was their reason for denial of your PTSD?

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  2. Thank you Dr. Johnson for your response. To clarify my post, I was granted PTSD in connection to my MST. I have been denied fibromyalgia secondary to my PTSD with the reason being stated that I am not a combat veteran. Please advise.

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    Replies
    1. That seems like an odd denial. Regardless of whether or not you were a combat veteran, if the fibromyalgia is clearly caused by your service-connected PTSD, it shouldn't matter.

      I suggest trying to appeal. Make sure to include all of your evidence in your appeal, especially showing the clear link between the fibromyalgia and PTSD. You can then also refer to previous cases that service-connect fibromyalgia to PTSD like this one:

      https://www.va.gov/vetapp97/files3/9721324.txt

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  3. Thank you so much Dr. Johnson for the information and resource. I will follow your advice.

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  4. Good Morning Dr. Johnson, I am a Retired Army Gulf War veteran with 70% disability with 20% for lumbar, 20% for cervical and currently working on a claim for the limited move of the hands, thighs and Achilles tendon on both feet. I am a Law Enforcement Officer with a full gear, belt weapon, baton, etc. weight in at approx 20 pounds. My disabilities are starting to affect my job performance, how can I claim this to VA?

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    Replies
    1. Any time your service-connected conditions worsen, you can submit VA Form 21-526b for an increased evaluation, and they will update your ratings accordingly.

      http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/vaform21-526b.pdf

      If the conditions ever progress to the point that you are consistently unemployable, then you can also apply for IU.

      http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/permanentandtotalunemployability.html#iu

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