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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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slangpdx

Possible Purge Of Psychiatric Records?

Question

I have a C & P exam scheduled for the 21st. I just talked to my state vet rep who submitted my claim. We were supposed to review my active duty records when they came in but he told me they came in on March 21st and had already been sent to the VA hospital where I cannot see them. There is a computer note saying "additional requests" had been made for my psych records involving referral to a civilian psychiatrist, implying to me that no reference to them was in the active duty records where they should have been.

I remembered the name of the civilian psych and he responded to a letter they sent; I have no idea what it said, most likely he doesn't remember me or there are no records. At least they know I didn't make him up.

My brother was given an early out from the same branch after psych treatment, but when he applied for SC disability he said the psych records had been purged and there was nothing to prove his case. So this is starting to sound ominous.

Any constructive comments would be appreciated. I am going to go to the hospital patient advocate to see if I can see the active duty stuff.

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This is what the VA's Manual says about civilian mental health records:

If a service member obtains treatment “off-base,” at a civilian facility, any medical or mental health records that are created during the course of treatment are not automatically associated with the service member’s STRs. Furthermore, these records are never forwarded for long-term storage to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), as are clinical records pertaining to inpatient treatment at military facilities. Rather, they are destroyed after a period of inactivity (five years for mental health records).

Its from M21-1 MR, Part III, subpart iii, Chapter 2 Section A 1

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Even if you dont have the civ records in your file, if anything in your SMR says you were refered or treated you have your foot in the door. The civ Dr remembering you makes your case even stronger. Ask them to send you a copy, or better yet, if you can see them face to face, it might trigger their own memory of having treated you.

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