Trying to get the benefits you deserve can feel immensely frustrating.
But there is some good news: VA has a “duty to assist” those who are applying for benefits.
This means that, by law, VA has to help you get records from lots of different sources if you tell VA about the records:
- military service and medical records
- Veterans Health Administration treatment records
- records from other Federal Agencies (such as Social Security Administration records)
- private treatment records you identify and grant the Agency permission to retrieve.
What does this mean for your claim?
The best thing you can do is tell the VA about any records that might be helpful for your claim and give VA permission to obtain records from your private medical providers.
You can provide this information when you submit your claim, or in a separate statement . Be sure to include the following information:
- Dates and locations of treatment for the condition you are applying for, including both VA and private treatment
- Give VA permission to get records from your private providers, or get the records yourself and submit them to VA
- Identify all units that you served with during your military service.
VA will attempt to obtain all records relevant to your claim, and it will add them to your electronic claims file. Although VA doesn’t always get all the necessary records, its a great start to help you start to build your claim.