VA General Counsel Issues Precedential Opinion on Attorneys' Fees in RAMP

The VA General Counsel recently issued a precedential opinion addressing fee agreements and RAMP. VAOPGCPREC 1-2018, Fee Agreements and the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) (August 6, 2018). The question presented to the General Counsel for consideration was whether a claimant's opt-in to RAMP affects an existing fee agreement.

The opinion held: "If a claimant, who is represented by a claims agent or attorney, withdraws his or her notice of disagreement (NOD) to opt-in to RAMP, that withdrawal does not obstruct the representative's eligibility for fees. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not construe the RAMP election as returning the claimant and representative to a period in the VA administrative process for which fees may not be charged or as otherwise affecting a legal existing fee agreement."

 

You can read the full opinion HERE.