VA Launches Program Aimed at Providing Veterans More Options in Claims DisagreementsWASHINGTON — 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._____________________________________________________________________
Comrades forwarding this from National and Department for your information.
Subject: VFW Joins with Veteran-Founded ID.me to Simplify Members’ Online Experience
VFW Joins with Veteran-Founded ID.me to Simplify Members’ Online Experience
Single username and password will streamline verification processes
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (January 9, 2018) —The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce it has teamed up with ID.me to provide its members with a more streamlined and secure online experience. The VFW is the first major veterans service organization to use ID.me as a single-sign on for its digital platforms.
VFW members can now sign up for an online account with ID.me, creating a single username and password to log in to the VFW Online Membership System, access VA benefits on Vets.gov, and gain immediate access to military discounts from 200+ retailers.
A single, unified login ensures members can easily access many of their online accounts without the burden of completing the login process at each website. Further, ID.me provides users with instant online verification of military service and proof of identification.
“Trying to remember the login information for several different online accounts is difficult, and further, verifying your identity online can be a cumbersome process,” said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. “So we’re glad to be able to provide our members with a simple solution.”
ID.me was founded by Blake Hall, a third generation soldier, former Army Ranger and a member of VFW Post 15021 in Baltimore, Md.
“I founded ID.me after observing a veteran display his DD-214 separation paperwork, which listed all of his sensitive personal information, just to prove his military service to an organization. I set out to simplify how individuals shared and proved their identity online,” Hall explains. “We are excited to be teaming up with the VFW to continue to streamline the digital experience for veterans.”
VFW Contact: Randi Law, VFW communications manager, email@example.com
With our Oct. 28 “A Day to Change Direction” event and Veterans Day right around the corner, the holidays quickly approaching and many new VFW initiatives on the horizon for service members, veterans and their families, fall is already proving to be an extremely busy and productive time for the VFW and its members.
With more information available within the email below, here’s a snapshot of a few important initiatives already upon us:
• If you know of a youth interested in their share of more than $3 million in scholarships and awards, the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay entries are due to VFW Posts on Oct. 31.
• If you’re a student veteran interested in advocating for veterans on Capitol Hill, the clock is ticking. The application deadline for the VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is Oct. 20.
• If you’re a student veteran, or know someone who is and could use some help paying for school, the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” application is due on November 15.
Your VFW Membership Team
Please help us make a huge impact this year!! Spread the message
On October 28, 2017, the VFW and Give an Hour , the lead organization for the Campaign to Change Direction, are partnering for the Second Annual A Day to Change Direction, a national day of service and action to change the dialogue on mental health for America’s veterans and American communities. VFW Posts are encouraged to host events that will educate your community about the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being. You can choose to host a screening of the documentary Into the Light followed by a group discussion or you can participate in or host a community service event. Collectively, we believe in gathering together veterans and their families, community members, and clinicians to connect in a positive environment. Furthermore, we want to use this as an opportunity to encourage all Americans to pay attention to their emotional well-being as well as the emotional well-being of others
A staggering 20 veterans commit suicide every day, and the VFW is committed to helping change the narrative and stigma surrounding mental health in America. In order to raise awareness, foster community engagement, improve research and provide intervention for those affected by invisible injuries and emotional stress, the VFW has teamed up with the nationwide organizations Give an Hour and the Campaign to Change Direction, One Mind, PatientsLikeMe and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to combat this critical issue.
VFW Mental Wellness Program can be found here https://www.vfw.org/mental-wellness
Step One: VFW Posts and Auxiliary interested in participating will identify a central point of contact and report this to Lynn Rolf at LRolf@vfw.org. If you want 5 Signs Cards or Mental Wellness flyers please identify a POC and mailing address.
Step Two: Identify & plan a screening of the documentary Into the Light or identify a community service project.
Step Three: Prepare for the event by using the tools below to market your event and educate yourself on the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being.
Step Four: Host A Day to Change Direction.
Step by step resources and ideas can be found at http://www.changedirection.org/vfw-service-project/
Before the service project (Marketing & Tools)
During the Service project (How to post photos)
After the service Project (Measure your impact and the VFW impact worldwide)
Lynn W. Rolf III
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States