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missing and or lost medical records


DLLBoatwright

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Hello Veterans, I am seeking help/answers to a million dollars question..what to do? I am trying to make it simple, but it just can't with this type of situation I did everything to locate my in service medical records since 2014 and to this 13th day of May 2018 still nothing, yes I contacted The Records Management Center in St. Louis, MO, The VA, The VA Hospitals, The Army Hospitals where I was stationed, even the 21st Evacuation in Korea, my local Congressional Office, The VA White House hotline, I am still empty handed...please chime on in, and thanks in advanced.

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I have it all Buck, I even have e-mails  stored from the point of contact person after contacting the White House VA hotline and yes I requested my C-File everything in it from some training etc, but nothing about my medical treatments received while I was stationed at my duty stations only (1) when I was hospitalized while in Korea, everything else is gone like I did not serve time in Ft. Gordon, Ft. Lee, Ft. Lewis, Or Camp Casey! But I will give the VA Hotline another call.

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I think the first thing you need to do is order a copy of your cfile, and see what records VA does have, if any.  

So, if I understand, you have appealed the VARO denial.  Has the VARO sent you a SOC, yet?  If not, has the VARO acknowledged your NOD?  

As Tbird mentioned, our representatives have access to more about us than we do.  

There are, of course, 2 types of records:  Paper and electronic.  The paper versions are rather easy to misplace, but the electronic records sometimes survives.  The ones our representatives have are usually electronic.  Have you asked your (VSO, or other representative) for help finding your records?

Now, for good news:  38 CFR 3.156 (c) addresses your issue.  It means when they do find your records, you should get retro pay all the way back to when you first applied:

Quote
§ 3.156 New and material evidence.

(a)General. A claimant may reopen a finally adjudicated claim by submitting new and material evidence. New evidence means existing evidence not previously submitted to agency decisionmakers. Material evidence means existing evidence that, by itself or when considered with previous evidence of record, relates to an unestablished fact necessary to substantiate the claim. New and material evidence can be neither cumulative nor redundant of the evidence of record at the time of the last prior final denial of the claim sought to be reopened, and must raise a reasonable possibility of substantiating the claim.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 5103A(f), 5108)

(b)Pending claim. New and material evidence received prior to the expiration of the appeal period, or prior to the appellate decision if a timely appeal has been filed (including evidence received prior to an appellate decision and referred to the agency of original jurisdiction by the Board of Veterans Appeals without consideration in that decision in accordance with the provisions of § 20.1304(b)(1) of this chapter), will be considered as having been filed in connection with the claim which was pending at the beginning of the appeal period.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)

(c)Service department records.

(1) Notwithstanding any other section in this part, at any time after VA issues a decision on a claim, if VA receives or associates with the claims file relevant official service department records that existed and had not been associated with the claims file when VA first decided the claim, VA will reconsider the claim, notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section. Such records include, but are not limited to:

(i) Service records that are related to a claimed in-service event, injury, or disease, regardless of whether such records mention the veteran by name, as long as the other requirements of paragraph (c) of this section are met;

(ii) Additional service records forwarded by the Department of Defense or the service department to VA any time after VA's original request for service records; and

(iii) Declassified records that could not have been obtained because the records were classified when VA decided the claim.

(2) Paragraph (c)(1) of this section does not apply to records that VA could not have obtained when it decided the claim because the records did not exist when VA decided the claim, or because the claimant failed to provide sufficient information for VA to identify and obtain the records from the respective service department, the Joint Services Records Research Center, or from any other official source.

(3) An award made based all or in part on the records identified by paragraph (c)(1) of this section is effective on the date entitlement arose or the date VA received the previously decided claim, whichever is later, or such other date as may be authorized by the provisions of this part applicable to the previously decided claim.

(4) A retroactive evaluation of disability resulting from disease or injury subsequently service connected on the basis of the new evidence from the service department must be supported adequately by medical evidence. Where such records clearly support the assignment of a specific rating over a part or the entire period of time involved, a retroactive evaluation will be assigned accordingly, except as it may be affected by the filing date of the original claim.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a))
 

 

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Keep this in mind, and tatoo it on your arm if necessary:

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You can not trust what every VA employee or VSO tells you.  

I recall a case where the VA claimed the Veterans records were burned up in the St. Louis fire.  

However, someone checked and this Veteran got out of the service in 1982, and the St. Louis fire was in 1972, so it was not possible that all that Veterans records burned up in the fire.  

Persistence is what it takes to win at the VA.  CC always used to say, "NEVER GIVE UP".  

I did a CAVC case law search using the terms, "lost service records" and got over 7000 hits, just at the cAVC.  http://search.uscourts.cavc.gov/search/

Remember, your "service records" are only 1 leg of the Caluza triangle:

1.  Current diagnosis

2.  "In service event" or aggravation.  This applies to lost records..

3.  Nexus or docs opinion that your (condition) is at least as likely as not due to an in service event.  

This may be a good time for you to consider a Veterans lawyer.  Either go to NOVA

https://vetadvocates.org/welcome/find-an-attorney/ 

or ask here for help choosing an attorney.  I can make a recommendation if you like.

 

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Hello Broncovet, thanks for your information and yes I know first hand what kind of trust issues some of the VA employees and/or VSO has. I was told that my records may have been destroyed in the fire as well, but I checked that statement on the spot with the

representative on the phone because I graduated High School in 1975 and had not joined the military until 1979 so you see where that was going?  There is a story dated Jan 30, 2014 about Records workers dumped, destroyed or lost 1,800 veterans documents By Robert Patrick documents found in 2012, discarded in the woods near the center off I-270 in the Spanish Lake area. I will never give up. Yall feel free to hit me up anytime, again thanks for everything.

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