Blue Water Veterans Bill Passes House – What’s Next?

A bill has passed the House of Representatives that will extend the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange for “Blue Water Veterans”, veterans that served off the coast during the Vietnam War.

This is a major victory for Blue Water Vets who have been denied benefits for their Agent Orange related conditions. The bill must also pass the Senate and then signed into law by the President, and it is likely that it will without much resistance.

Once it is passed into law, the VA will develop regulations to implement this new extension of presumption to Blue Water Veterans. Special consideration should be paid with how the VA implements the new law.

The VA may decide to grant a Blue Water Veteran’s Agent Orange claim, however, the effective date may reflect the date of the law change and not the date of the claim. That is unacceptable. We saw this with the Camp Lejeune law that was passed in March 2017.

If you are a Blue Water Veteran and the VA does not grant you the correct effective date, specifically, the date of the filing of your claim, then that is an issue that can and should be appealed. Our VA Disability attorneys will help you hold the VA accountable and assist with your effective date appeals.

Is the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) Right for You?

The VA is rolling out invitations to their new “RAMP” appeals process, but what exactly is RAMP and is it right for you?

RAMP requires a veteran to withdraw his/her appeal and enroll in the “new” claims process. After enrolling, a veteran has to choose between filing a “new claim” or requesting an “informal hearing” to present the case without the ability to submit new evidence. The VA has not released any specific details about how the new process will be governed. The VA is asking you to trust that they will get it right.

Do you trust the VA to get it right for you?

There are a lot of reasons to distrust the VA and this new process. The VA is pushing hard for veterans to enroll into this system before they have a full grasp on how they will handle these claims. If you enroll in RAMP and you are denied, your claim will remain in limbo until the new appeals process is revealed in full.

If you are withdrawing an appeal and enrolling in RAMP, you are giving up your place in line to go before a Board of Veterans Appeals Judge. Giving up that chance is a huge gamble, so you must make sure that your case is strong.

Contact our VA Disability attorneys and request a free consultation to determine if your case is ready for RAMP.

Was Your VA Disability Claim Denied?

The VA denies claims for a number of reasons. Typically, the VA takes the position that your current disability is not related to your military service. You may have had an injury during your active duty service, however, that does not guarantee that the VA will approve your claim.

The VA may also decide that your condition is not severe enough to warrant an increased rating or simply rate your disability too low. The VA rating system is carefully crafted and requires specific evidence that is not often found in your medical treatment records. If you do not have the help of an expert, the VA has an edge in this legal battle.

The VA may require you to produce specific evidence in support of your claim. A VA Disability Attorney should be contacted immediately to evaluate your case and provide you with an assessment of the evidence that is needed to prove your case.

The VA regulations are vast and complex; it takes a VA Disability Attorney to navigate them and put you in a stronger position to win your claim. Our attorneys can help develop your case to assist you at both the Regional Office and Board of Veterans Appeals level.

Our firm provides a free consultation and does not bill you by the hour for our services. Call us today and speak with VA Disability attorney to find out how we can help you with your VA Disability case.