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What To Do When Your Evidence Is Shredded?



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First, you have to know your evidence is shredded. How do you know that? There are 2 serious clues:

1. You have been denied because your records are "absent" any evidence of xxx condition, and you know that is not the case.

2. You order a copy of your claim file, and you say..."Gee, why did they not have xxx document that shows the doc said it was at least as likely as not, your xxx condition was related to military service", for example.

So, either through a A) bad denial, as above or B)stuff missing when you get your cfile.

A. A bad denial, where the "reasons and bases" conflict with YOUR version of the evidence. There can be 2 reasons for this:

1) The VA never even read your evidence. Instead, they "top sheeted" you and read the first page and wrote a decision.

2) The VA did not have your evidence to read because of "evidence mishandling". This includes inappropriatly shredding, it includes your information placed in another Veterans file, your evidence simply is lost, it could be stuffed into a cabinent somewhere. It may or may not be found later.

Sometimes, the Veteran does not know if the VA had the evidence and never read it, or if they mishandled the evidence. I think each of these should be treated the same:

APPEAL, APPEAL, APPEAL and, importantly, DOCUMENT that the decision conflicts with the evidence and explain precisely why you should have been approved and what evidence seems to be missing. Send the applicable evidence into VA, and I do suggest marking on that document. "This document has been resent by Veteran, as this document appears to me missing from cfile".

Ask The VA to Cue themselves. (Ask Berta if you do not know what this means)

Always send evidence to the VA certified mail return receipt requested, especially if they lost it the first time, they are even more likely to lose it the second time. VA has promised they fixed the shredder issue, multiple times, and Veterans report that is not true. The new "evidence intake centers" may help the problem but it is unknown to what degree, if any, or if it will make the problem even worse.

Always follow up: Ask the VA if they got your evidence.

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Thanks broncovet.

I await for my C-FILE.


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I had a DRO at my RO tell me they can't take anything out of your c-file but they can put in it

How Crazy is that!!! if they can't take anything out then where is some of my smr's I need.

IF the VA would send the veteran a copy of anything they put in your c-file would make a world of difference.

instead they keep it under guard and take there time getting it to you.

That's not fair at all.


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If a veteran gets a letter from VA stating that they do not have his/her evidence, it behooves the veteran to get, send or try to find that evidence. Keep in mind that veterans can use medical records, buddy statements, new paper clippings, news articles, old personal letters of the event or anything that will show proof of the veterans claim. I helped a veteran get 100% with a news article that proved his claim. Of course the news article mention his name and unit at the time of the event, so it went really fast.

Never Give Up

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The only thing about buddy statements you served with most of mine are deceased or I can't find them,

Back in my Vietnam Days I had a buddy that seen me get injured, fell of a truck onto cement on my both my knees I went to a medic and got some pain medications but lord I was not even thinking about a claim back then and never thought from my fall I'd be having a crippling disability with it today (over 40 plus years ago).so I have no prof. (no record)

The medic didn't log anything down he just went in and got the the medication told me it would BE bruise Bad and turn all sorts of colors & swell up but just take it eazy a few days I'd be ok... but that's what happen.

I can't prove it tho...if I could find my buddy that witness it he would sure testify on my behalf.

I have tried to get anything from my smr's that helps me or be favorable for me to no avail. come up empty.

I believe that's why I have bad arthritics in my knees today with lots of pain so bad at times I can't walk. its hard to get it SC but a VA doc told me it could likely as not be the cause of my arthritics. but that Doc is retired now...I don't know where he is or remember his name...altho the VA treats me for it with pain meds and 800 Ibprophen & depression meds.

and there's not anything in my progress notes that he said that to me while examine me I look!...but that's what he said.


Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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I mentioned this in another thread as well. I'd go ahead and do a few requests to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. You can make the requests online, and then fax a signed confirmation, and it usually only takes a few weeks to get your records, if they have them.

I've made multiple requests over the years, and seem to get an additional page of SMR's or personnel records with each request. Don't assume that the VCAA will actual compel the VA to actually obtain those records. In my case, they didn't.

This will help you in your claims research, and when you receive your C-File, if you find these documents missing, you can get ahead of the game by having them handy to send off to the VA.

Just a thought.


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