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The Vcaa Letter

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A local vet called me last night asking me what I mean by the VCAA-he reads here as a guest----

I attached something for Jangrin at another post but it pays to post here again-

the law is explained at :


and at numerous other sites as well as posted in its entiretely in 38 USC.

This is what I attached for Jangrin's pamphlet idea.

The most important legislation VA ever passed for VA claimants is called the Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000.

At some point after filing your initial claim or re-opening a past claim you will receive a letter with IMPORTANT-“reply needed†on the top of the letter from the VA Regional Office. This complies with the VCAA regulations.

This letter will contain specific information from the VA as to what evidence the VA already has and what information and evidence they still need to award your claim. The letter will state what the VA is obtaining in your behalf and will also state what specific evidence that you must get and send to them.

For example: if a C & P exam will be scheduled for you,that will be stated in the letter.

If an independent medical opinion could be obtained by you, in order to support the claim, they should state that. If there are lay statements or buddy statements that will support the claim, or private records from a non VA doctor, these are mentioned in the notice and these are up to you to obtain.

Basically the VCAA makes every effort to insure that the VA obtains all of the evidence they are able to obtain and that the veteran knows specifically what evidence it is up to the veteran to obtain. The letter will state that it is up to the veteran to obtain and send to the VA “all requested records that are not in the possession of a federal department or agency.â€

This letter will come with an Election Form. This is the “reply needed†section.

Most veterans representatives will want to go over this VCAA letter for whatever evidence you still need to see if you need to contact your unit, or printout and send a medical treatise, highlight something in your SMRs or medical records with VA, locate a past private doctor for your records there,get information as to ships logs, obtain an After Action report to support a stressor , try to obtain an independent medical opinion, get a Wall tracing or printout to support a buddy’s death, etc, etc - in order to help you to comply with producing the evidence that the VA needs.

You can choose to state that you have no further evidence and that VA should decide your claim as soon as possible. Check the first box to do that.

Or you can choose, based on what they asked for in the letter, to check off the second box, telling VA you do have more evidence and want the VA to wait at least 60 days before deciding the claim.

You have to elect, then sign and date this form, make copies of it for you and your vet rep, and send it to the VARO, (certified or priority with tracking slip.)

Then obtain whatever additional evidence you can -that is your responsibility to obtain as stated in the VCAA letter, and submit it to the VARO within 60 days in support of the claim. Your vet rep might well want to submit your evidence themselves and they need to send it with a 21-4138 calling VA’s attention to it.


(As I mentioned here before, based on the BVA Chairman's recent published report re: 2006- I am asking my Congressman to sponsor an amendent to the VCAA, as follows:

Upon receipt of an illegal VCAA letter -one that is not at all specific to the claim-and/or if there is a lack of election notice sent with the VCAA letter, the veteran or widow and/or their representative will have the right to immediately ask the VARO to prepare a proper VCAA letter ,under requirements of 38 USC 5103 (a) and provide proper election notice under the Rule of Prejudicial Error as determined in Mayfield V. Nicholson, 19 Vet.App. 103,121 (2005)

PS: any veteran on board here in this area who did not obtain legal VCAA letter and notice and is represented by Western Division- NYSDVA please PM me.

I am unable to answer PMs on any other issues- too many time limits-

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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My PM thing is buggered -

trying to fix-

any veteran who is represented by NYSDVA and did not receive a letter in complaince with the VCAA please email me-

please put NYSDVA in the RE: so I see it-

the purpose of this request is for potential class action complaint against NYSDVA in NY State Court of Claims.

I think I have more than enough veterans to support class action certification already but any additional veterans can email me as to stating their VCAA letter was illegal-or they did not receive election form, and they had NYSDVA -Western Division as their POA.

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