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Effective dates for lost records after 47 years

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Texas Bart

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Blown up/burned in 1976.  Received Honorable Discharge in the mail. Tried to get my records for and kept being they were lost, there was a fire in Wisconsin, etc, etc, etc. Fast forward to 2011.  I tried again, same results but I kept the paperwork. In 2011 got help from a Full Bird Colonel, who got them for me in 5 weeks, from the EXACT same people that kept telling me I didn't exist!. Since then , I have been granted 100+% disabled. How/can I apply for an earlier effective date? 

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I would file a cfr 3.156 new and material evidence appeal for the original date you filed.  I would first file a supplemental claim and if this does not get you the dates you wish I would file to the BVA.  If you never filed an original claim it could be complicated.  Hopefully you filed when you got out.

(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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