Veterans Appeal Act Effective February 19th

on Friday, 08 February 2019.

The Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 became law on August 23, 2017 (Pub L. 115-55). It is also known as the Appeals Modernization Act. You can read the law in full on Congress.gov.

Know More
The need for a Modern Appeals System Rapid Appeals Modernization Program

Frequently Asked Questions

  • VA's Implementation Plan
  • Opt-in Letter with election Form
  • Multimedia Materials
  • RAMP Overview Video
  • Benefits of RAMP Video
  • RAMP Fact Sheet
  • RAMP Infographic
  • RAMP Poster
  • RAMP Brochure

The new law will:

Modernize the current claims and appeals process
Include three review options for disagreements with decisions.

Require improved notification of VA decisions
Provide earlier claim resolution.

Ensure you receive the earliest effective date possible
What are the new options for review?

You have three options for review:

Option 1: Higher-level Review
Your claim is reviewed by a more senior claims adjudicator and involves:

A higher-level de novo review (new look) of the decision
No submission of new evidence allowed

The possibility of overturning the decision based on:

A difference of opinion

A clear and unmistakable error

The reviewer, who identifies or learns of a duty to assist error, can return the claim to the regional office for correction. You or your representative can request an informal phone call to identify specific issues.

Option 2: A Supplemental Claim Lane

You can submit or identify new and relevant evidence to support your claim. VA will provide assistance in developing the evidence.

Option 3: Appeal Lane for Appeals to the Board

This option allows you to appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. You can choose between three options:

  1. Direct review: You have no new evidence and do not want a hearing.
  2. Evidence submission: You have new evidence, but do not want a hearing.
  3. Hearing: You have new evidence and want to testify before a Veterans Law Judge.

For more information go to: https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp

Tax Season Tips for Military

on Friday, 21 December 2018. Posted in News

IRS has Resources for Veterans, Current Members of the Military

The Internal Revenue Service is committed to helping all Veterans. We work with community and government partners to provide timely federal tax-related information to Veterans about tax credits and benefits, free tax preparation, financial education and asset-building opportunities available to Veterans.

Our Approach
The Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) office within the Wage & Investment Division has built a network of national and local partners. Organizations include corporate, faith-based, nonprofit, educational, financial and government. With so many tax benefits available today, taxes can serve as the starting point for many people's dream of stronger financial security.

Partnership with VA
The IRS and US Department of Veterans Affairs entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015. The primary focus of the MOU is to provide free tax preparation services to Veterans and their families.

Partnering organizations prepare tax returns free of charge for low- to moderate-income taxpayers. Also check out the partner Outreach Corner for links to newsletter articles, podcasts, widgets and other electronic products to help reach out to customers with timely tax news. If you represent a Veterans organization, why not look further to see how you can become involved?

Legal Advice Line Available from Prairie State Legal

on Thursday, 11 January 2018.

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Prairie State Legal Services is pleased to launch its telephone legal advice line for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault who live in the counties served by PSLS**

The Legal Advice Line is open:
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
9am to 1pm
Wednesday Evenings
6 p.m. to 8 pm

Victims Legal Advice Line
844/388-7757 (toll free)

We provide bilingual staff or interpreters for limited English proficient callers.

VA Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (Ramp) launched

on Monday, 28 May 2018.

What is RAMP?

In November 2017, VA launched Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) with the goal of providing eligible Veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disability compensation claim.

Initially started as an invitation only program. On April 2, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded RAMP, by removing the requirement that Veterans first receive an invitation from VA in order to elect participation in the program.

RAMP is voluntary and will provide eligible Veterans the opportunity to enter the new, more efficient review process outlined in the historic Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 before the law becomes effective in February 2019.

VA Social App Connects Veterans

on Monday, 01 October 2018.

Motorcycles – retired Navy – fuel exposures. Sonja Skinner says those are three items she added to her profile on VA DoD Veteran Link, a new social networking app just for Veterans and current service members. The app creates a secure, closed community where users can connect and feel comfortable talking about common interests and life circumstances – including any health concerns they may have.

After retiring from the Navy in 2005, Skinner began her second career at VA. Today, she works at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple, Texas, as a My HealtheVet Coordinator, a VA Online Scheduling Manager and a Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) Representative. She’s busy, but not too busy to help test new VA technologies and apps. She tested VA DoD Veteran Link this past spring.

Court Ruling Favors Blue Water Vietnam Vets

on Wednesday, 30 January 2019.

U.S. Marines prepare to board ship at Danang in 1970 for trip back to U.S. under withdrawal orders. On Tuesday, a federal court ordered VA to award presumptive disability benefit status to thousands of Vietnam veterans who served on ships in the waters around that country. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON — A federal court ruled Tuesday that the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot deny disability benefits to thousands of Vietnam veterans who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants simply because those vets served in the waters off the country’s coastline, and not inland.

The ruling marks a major victory for so-called “blue water” Navy veterans who have fought the department for years over the denials. VA officials have said the existing scientific evidence doesn’t justify the presumption of toxic exposure for the group and have strongly opposed legislative efforts to overturn their decision.

A New Way to Help Veterans: Donate Your Vehicle

on Wednesday, 05 December 2018.

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Supporters of LCVFSF have been generous with donations of time and money. Now there’s another way. If you own a car, motorcycle, ATV or other motorized vehicle, you can donate it to our Foundation. We get the funds. You get whatever tax deduction your donation earns.  In partnership with Auto Parts City of Gurnee, we are happy to offer a new and easy way to make a donation to LCVFSF to help the Veterans of Lake, McHenry and Southern Kenosha counties.

Equestrian Connections Partners with LCVFSF for Veterans

on Friday, 29 June 2018.

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Recognizing that working with horses can be a powerful therapy for Veterans and family members, LCVFSF has begun partnering with Equestrian Connections on Bradley Road in Lake Forest. It offers best in class equine therapy to enrich the lives of people who choose to benefit from its many resources and services.

Equestrian Connections offers a broad range of equine therapy programs, including one called ReConnect, specially designed for Veterans and family members to connect with horses and with each other to create a uniquely positive experience.

The VA Program For Veteran Caregivers You May Not Know About

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016.

VA caregiver benefits provide financial, medical, and peer help for family members that support veterans.

Roughly 5.5 million people serve as caregivers for veteran family members. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a lesser known benefit for these family members. Known as Caregiver Support Services, these benefits aim to help family members who are tasked with the primary care of a disabled veteran.

The services available include access to a caregiver support line, support coordinator, peer support for caregivers, adult day health care centers, and home care, among other things.