VA Claims Information


Now that you have organized all this information, you are probably wondering "Now what?"

This step is finally going to let you begin relating your medical records to the VA's disability ratings.

  • Assemble the following:
    • Highlight pen
    • Pencil or pen
    • Blank paper, several sheets
    • Disability Ratings hard copy
    • Working copy of your records

  • Study the Disability Ratings hard copy:
    • Read and highlight EVERYTHING that even remotely relates to your situation.
    • Include areas for which you may have no documentation
    • Include all physical conditions
    • Include all mental conditions
      Note: Depression is considered a legitimate claim if suffering from it. DO NOT discount your discouraged or low feeling about your situation.

  • Create a Reference sheet for each disability:
  • Use a separate sheet of paper for each

    • Write the disability rating title at top
    • Write the number of the rating at top
    • Note percentage you are requesting


    Hypertensive Heart Disease 7007 50%

    This is going to be your reference sheet for each disability. As you go through the medical records you will be noting any information on this sheet that pertains to the disability.

    This is also a good place to note any outside information such as buddy or nexus letters or even information gathered from websites.

    If you feel you need to gather additional information for this specific disability, attach another sheet to it where you can list what you need to request or gather. As information is received, you can then check it off. You can also note when you need to retry to gather the information.

    The intent of this sheet is to become the gather point for the disability. Instead of scattered notes to yourself, you keep your documentation in an orderly manner pertinent to the disability you are addressing.

  • Create a Reference sheet for ALL Medications. This will be used when working the Medical Records.
  • Study the Working copy of Medical Records
    • Read and highlight all records that strengthen your claim.
    • Include:
      • All medications
      • Symptoms related to medical condition(s)
      • Findings by the doctor
      • Conclusions

    • Record on Reference Sheet
      • List the actual info with the date and doctor, OR
      • Just the date and doctor

    Having the date and doctor allows you to refer back to the document at the time you write your claim if you need to find additional information.


    Hypertensive Heart Disease 7007 50%
    BP 165/95 2/01/96 Dr. Who Knows - "No ladder climbing. Patient could get dizzy and fall."
    Medicine Name 4/01/01 Dr. Who Cares

  • Medications
    • Read and highlight
    • List on the Medication Reference Sheet using date and doctor and name of medication
    • List on the appropriate Disability Reference Sheet, same way
  • Multiple Disability Records
  • Any records you find that you feel could cover a multiple group, place on a separate paper to be utilized for all the areas.

    A quick little trick for this sheet is

    • Assign a letter of the alphabet to each record noted here.
    • Note that letter on each disability sheet that is pertinent.

    This saves you a lot of time and duplicate effort.

    A - edema. Place the letter "A" on the circulation, diabetes, swelling, etc. reference sheets.

    By examining your documentation, you can weed out the unnecessary information found in your records. Eventually the necessary documentation will be incorporated into your claim to corroborate your testimony. You won't have to rely on the VA making time to hunt for will have brought the pertinent data to their attention.