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Documenting Your VA Claim – Examining your service medical records


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Documenting Your VA Disability Claim

Organizing Service Medical Records:

  • Number each page sequentially (e.g., 1 of 100, 2 of 100)
  • Make a colored copy (yellow or buff) of the original records
  • Work from the copy, storing the original safely

Creating a Medical Evidence Index:

  • Review records page by page
  • For relevant entries: Number them (e.g., #1, #2)Bracket in red. Note the page number and summary on a separate index sheet.

Identifying Evidence:

  • Study symptoms of your diagnosis
  • Look for related medications prescribed
  • Note symptoms that align with your condition

Getting Current Medical Documentation:

  • Have doctors document your diagnosis in medical records
  • Include these records in your claim
  • Consider a $50 office visit for documentation (cheaper than later independent medical opinions)

Key Questions for Your Claim:

  • Were you diagnosed with the illness/injury during service?
  • Is your current diagnosis related to that problem?
  • Was it documented in your service medical record?
  • Do you have a current diagnosis related to your service?
  • Was a pre-existing condition aggravated by service?
  • Can you link the aggravation to service-related illness/injury?

Potential Sources of Information:

  • Service Medical Records
  • Hospital Records (may require FOIA request)
  • Performance Reports
  • After-Action Reports
  • Personal journals and letters home
  • Conversations with fellow service members
  • Incident Reports

Key Points:

  • Get a current diagnosis and severity assessment before claiming
  • Request a copy of your service medical records
  • If you’ve had a previous claim, request a copy of your claims folder (c-file)

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Tip: Use a rubber stamp with your full name, SSN, and address on each page submitted to the VA for easy identification.


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Tbird
 

Founder HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran LLC - Founded Jan 20, 1997

 

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I am writing my memoirs and would love it if you could help a shipmate out and look at it.

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This is pretty good, T-Bird. I would add one part, though. If a medical doctor is seeing you, whether at the VA or not, have them put the diagnosis into your medical records. Those records should be included in your claim. It is much cheaper than getting an independent medical opinion later on when you need it for an appeal. VBA must weigh your existing medical records at face value. A $50 office visit is also far cheaper than hundreds for an IMO.

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@pwrslm Great suggestion I added it in and reformated the post for readability.

Tbird
 

Founder HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran LLC - Founded Jan 20, 1997

 

HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran | Community Forum | RallyPointFaceBook | LinkedInAbout Me

 

Time Dedicated to HadIt.com Veterans and my brothers and sisters: 65,700 - 109,500 Hours Over Thirty Years

 

diary-a-mad-sailor-signature-banner.png

I am writing my memoirs and would love it if you could help a shipmate out and look at it.

I've had a few challenges, perhaps the same as you. I relate them here to demonstrate that we can learn, overcome, and find purpose in life.

The stories can be harrowing to read; they were challenging to live. Remember that each story taught me something I would need once I found my purpose, and my purpose was and is HadIt.com Veterans.

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39 minutes ago, Gopher said:

Great update, TBird!

Thank you Gopher.

Tbird
 

Founder HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran LLC - Founded Jan 20, 1997

 

HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran | Community Forum | RallyPointFaceBook | LinkedInAbout Me

 

Time Dedicated to HadIt.com Veterans and my brothers and sisters: 65,700 - 109,500 Hours Over Thirty Years

 

diary-a-mad-sailor-signature-banner.png

I am writing my memoirs and would love it if you could help a shipmate out and look at it.

I've had a few challenges, perhaps the same as you. I relate them here to demonstrate that we can learn, overcome, and find purpose in life.

The stories can be harrowing to read; they were challenging to live. Remember that each story taught me something I would need once I found my purpose, and my purpose was and is HadIt.com Veterans.

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