When we hit Nashville for the NOVA conferences 20-23 March, I actually though I had a good handle on the AMA layout. Well, ‘not exactly’ as they say over at Rentawreck™. So, since the time we walked out of there, I’m still somewhat disflusticated as to whether I heard all that co-reckly.
Here’s the take. I compared it to a Mobius loop for the 4/11/2019 Hadit.com Blog talk radio show yesterday with Jerrell Cook. As promised. I’m going to draw one out here and then put in the dotted lines to connect all the possible combinations. Remember there are two forks of three paths each. Well, except for the fact that you can jump around like a hoarder in a flea market and go whither thou choose. Confused yet? Okay. I relent. here’s the Rand McNally roadmap.
First of all, as long as you meet all suspense dates, you can technically keep your original effective date forever or until you lose at the CAVC or the Fed Circus. Thus you lose at the SLR and then the HLR. You file your NOD to the BVA and get your front teeth kicked in. You then discover you needed a nexus/IMO all this time and get one. You go back to the Supplemental Claims Lane and begin again… but… with the original filing date. How cool is that?
Now for the insanity. You put in three claims. Each one can have a certain path depending on denial or a desire for a higher increase. The problem is elementary. How do you present or provide evidence for a higher evaluation for a HLR? You can’t. You cannot submit squat in a higher level of review. Your only option is to go to the BVA or back for a do over in the SCL venue. This eventually devolves into a game of being able to manufacture N&RE in vast quantities and hoarding it to insert as necessary.
I personally think the kicker is that you can make a u turn after the BVA loss and begin anew at the SCL with more evidence and keep you filing date. As usual, we’re going to learn by error. My attitude about the HLR Lane is decidedly negative. I’m pretty sure it will be a “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand, sailor?”
And boy howdy, if you even thought the BVA was more constipated than a sailor on a desert isle with a pallet of American cheese right now, well… you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, honey. This is going to be a fustercluck of epic proportions. They have 600,000 Legacy claims still sitting there.
So, in review, there are no more RAMP claims. They ceased on February 14th, 2019 at 1630 Hrs Local. On February 19th, 2019 at 0800, we commenced the new AMA. If you have a Legacy claim, you can keep it. I know that lead-in sounds suspiciously like the Obamacare promise but it’s true. You can drive your Legacy to the end and take it to the CAVC. Or….the moment the VARO issues you a SOC or SSOC, you can opt in to the AMA and go to the BVA for one of the three choices I discussed above. It’s a smorgasbord of choices-sort of a mix-and-match or a salad bar.
Most of my clients are very ill so I try to get Travel Board hearings whenever possible. If the schedule is too crowded, the option is there to go to DC and do it at 810 Yellow Brick Rd. NW. All my folks are in the Tidewater region anyway so it’s six of one and half a dozen of another. Kill two birds with one stone.