There have been a number of stories in the news recently about how the VA has either misplaced or shredded documents veterans and their representatives have submitted to support their claims. Information submitted online has been lost, and documents sent to the VA have been wrongfully shredded. There is no way of knowing for sure whether you are one of those affected, but there are things that you should do to protect yourself.
• Never send original documents to the VA. If you need a certified copy sent, make sure you keep one for your own records.
• Maintain your own medical records and copies of the same. If those records are electronic, be sure to make a back up copy.
• Send everything via certified mail, or otherwise ensure that you have a receipt of delivery. This will help protect your appeal rights, and will provide proof that the VA received a copy.
• Request copies of your claims file on a regular basis to ensure that the evidence you have sent to the VA is included in the file.
• If you have a representative, be sure to submit everything through your representative, and once again, be sure that copies are made.
If you have any questions about applying for benefits, or think that you are entitled to benefits you’re not receiving, please contact us at (402) 817-6550