Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Form 5495 Appeals

Instructions and Help about Form 5495 Appeals

Hi my name is Ryan Gallucci am the director of the VFW national veterans service today we're going to talk a little bit about Appeals reform over the past two years the VFW has been working with Congress and VA to reform the outdated and convoluted VA appeals process this past summer the president signs the Appeals Modernization Act into law this new law means that by February 2019 we'll have new options to more easily resolve rating decisions disagreements in a timely manner without appealing to the board of veterans Appeals in the meantime VA has the authority to implement new programs in an effort to address the 400,000 appeals currently awaiting adjudication on November 1 VA launched the rapid Appeals modernization program or ramp which offers veterans with some of the oldest Appeals the option to seek a new rating decision through one of two new adjudication lanes these lanes are called supplemental claims and higher-level review the first thing you should know about ramp is that VA is rolling this out slowly to eligible veterans if you have an appeal pending with va va will notify you by mail if you're eligible to participate you'll receive this letter explaining your options along with an opt-in form at the end of the package now before you make a decision on whether or not you want to opt into ramp please speak with your VFW accredited representative or the VA accredited representative you have worked with on past claims if you have never worked with a representative 0.1 now you can find your local highly trained professional accredited VFW representative at WWV fw org slash nvs or by calling toll free at you're formally withdrawing your pending appeal and filing a new claim for VA to consider now don't be alarmed even though you technically withdraw your appeal your effective date will not change if you submit new and relevant evidence you're probably now asking how do I know what's new and relevant so let's look at an example say you had appealed your 30 percent decision on post-traumatic stress disorder seeking a higher rating new and relevant evidence could include a lace statement from a spouse explaining symptoms that demonstrate a higher ratings such as violent outbursts neglect of personal appearance or suicidal ideation it could also include new treatment records from a health care provider that you've seen since the lacerating decision was issued since these are relevant to your current level of impairment however if you appealed that same 30 percent decision and submitted your diagnosis for PTSD this would not be considered new and relevant as VA is already granted service connection this was just one example if you have questions about new and relevant evidence as always talk to your accredited representative the secondly higher level review is for veterans who want VA to issue a new rating decision but believe that VA has in its possession all the evidence necessary to grant the claim if you choose a higher level review lien you are formally withdrawing your pending appeals informing VA that they have all the evidence they should mean and asking VA to have a more experienced staff member review your file to issue a new rating decision as with the Supplemental claim option your original effective date is protected in this process if you're wondering what kinds of Appeals would work for this Lane here's another example say you filed a claim for fibromyalgia related to Gulf War Service and VA denied service connection your claim file already includes your military service records documenting covered Southwest Asia service as well as both a current diagnosis and VA treatment records for fibromyalgia since fibromyalgia is a presumptive condition for Gulf War service you do not need to submit anything else you only need a more experience to be a Raider to apply the proper regulations and grant service connection this may be a proper scenario to request higher level review but as always talk to your accredited representative for advice on which option to choose now there is a third option but it doesn't require you to fill out a form if you receive the opt-in letter but don't want to change the course of your pending appeal you don't have to you can just ignore the form in fact shred the scores if you choose not to respond to the letter you will maintain your appeal docket date and your appeal will proceed in normal order to the board of veterans appeals so you may be asking what if they still deny me under this new process am I out of luck why is VA addressing pending appeals like this let's try to put your mind at ease on each of these now if you opt in to ramp but are still dissatisfied with your rating decision you can still appeal that decision to the board of veterans appeals however please note that your appeal will now be governed by a new set of business processes that will not go into place and so February of 2019 as far as why VA is choosing this option the goal is to resolve as many appeals as possible in a new non adversarial process while preserving your date of claim this is a good thing in the past once you filed your notice of disagreement with VA it kicked off a series of rigid and often redundant business processes before you could receive a new decision even if the issue at hand was minor and easily resolved like the two examples we already discussed this new program hopes to get appeals results accurately and in a more timely manner I understand that this program is new and there are still lots of questions about it however I hope this video helped explain a little of what we know about ramp now that the program is kicked off as always if you have