WHAT IS EVIDENCE
While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has the "duty to assist," this duty does not guarantee that any extraordinary effort will be made on your behalf. The wise veteran will ignore this and act as if there were no such requirements to assist you in gathering your records; as a part of our process, we'll request your military records.
If you kept your original military records at separation, there are no other copies. You are now the custodian of your military records, not the VA. If you lose your records, it's your responsibility, not the VA's, however, the VA will try to gather all other documents under their duty to assist the program. Gathering all records should be your number one priority; get these records to your advocate immediately. The VA will postpone processing your claim until it's exhausted its duty to assist, delaying your claim 120 days or more.
Time and time again the VA will wrongfully deny a claim for compensation because they or the veteran could not locate their military medical records. This subtle distinction has lost many veterans their well-deserved benefits. Often this is because the request records are lost or destroyed; usually, the veteran kept the original copy at separation – this is 100% on the veterans, there are no backup copies for the VA to review.
If you have any treatment records related to your claimed condition(s), send them to us now. This includes your military medical records and personnel file or reports, statements from doctors, hospitals, laboratories, medical facilities, mental health facilities, as well as reports of x-rays, physical therapy, surgery, etc. These reports should include the dates of treatment, findings, and diagnoses.
If you are unable to obtain any doctor, hospital, or medical report and want us to try to obtain it on your behalf, please complete and return VA Form 21-4142, Authorization to Disclose Information, and VA Form 21-4142a, General Release for Medical Provider Information, so that we can request treatment records from your private medical sources. Talk to the Advocate before releasing any records to the VA
If you have received treatment at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility or treatment authorized by VA, please tell us the dates and places of treatment. We will then obtain the necessary records if you give us enough information to locate them.
You may also send us your own statement or statements from people who have witnessed how your claimed disabilities are related to service and/or how such disabilities affect you. All statements submitted on your behalf should conclude with the following certification: "I hereby certify that the information I have given is true to the best of my knowledge and belief."
YOU ARE THE BEST WITNESS TO YOUR EVENT How to Write a Statement.
You can submit evidence using any of the following:
Email: email@example.com PDF only, no JPEG or other imaging formats
Bulk Records More than 500 pages, please mail to:
The VA Disability Advocate
4025 Lone Fern Ct
North Las Vegas, NV 89084
We strongly encourage you to send any information or evidence within 30 days of the application process. However, you have up to one year to submit the information and evidence necessary to support your claim. If the VA decides your claim before one year, you will still have the remainder of the one-year period to submit additional information or evidence necessary to support your claim. If you receive a letter from the VA requesting additional information using VA Form 21-4142(a), you can authorize the release of your private medical records from outside the VA medical network, if you believe the information will help support your claim. Talk to the Advocate before releasing any records to the VA
The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-209-5722