VA Claims Information
- Claim Form & Military Records
- Gather Records
- Investigate "Title 38"
- Organizing Your Records
- Once you Organize
- Online Research
- Creating Your Claim
- Filing an Appeal
- Submit Your Claim
- After Claim Submission
- Preparing to Use
- Before You Begin
- Filling out the Application
- After You Have Filed
- Sorting Documents
- Active Military Personnel
- Using a Representative
- Finding a Representative
- Social Security Disability
STEP 4: ORGANIZING YOUR RECORDS
Step 5 >>
- Make copies (preferably at least two of each) of all records, whether military or medical, nexus or buddy letters. If you make more than two, these extras could be used when visiting a hospital or filing for Social Security Disability at a later date.
- Put your original set received from the various organizations in a safe and secure place. You will be working with your copies, not these. This saves you having to request additional copies from these organizations.
- Create two sets of records. Keep them in identical order of each other. One will be your working copy for your use and reference and the other will be submitted with your claim.
- Make your records easily accessible for information. Depending on your personal preference, sort your records into categories. Here is where a lot of future time can be saved.
Some categories that could be used are:
The Eyes, Heart, Mental, etc. according to your condition
Specific doctor's name(s)
Printouts from Websites
Ascending or descending date of visits for each category
If more than one year of records, sort by year.
- Depending on what is easiest for you to find is how the information should be organized.
- Use a 3-ring notebook large enough to hold all your records.
- Use Index tabs for each category.
For your working copy:
- Add extra categories as necessary (such as for articles or miscellaneous correspondence or even between you and your rep)
- Make a category for keeping a copy of your future correspondence with the VA.
- Include a medications category. This area can eventually hold information about all medications you are taking.
This notebook can be a convenient way of organizing, accessing, and transporting said records.
(My husband found this to be very useful when he was evaluated by the VA medical examiners. He took his copy with him and when he was asked a question about previous medical exam stuff, he was able to find it quickly and give an answer since everything was contained in this notebook.)
- Use an accordion file folder(s) and combine with manila folders if a notebook is not convenient.
REMEMBER keep both sets of records in the same order so you can easily find the necessary information from either.