I have another fantastic resource to share with frustrated veterans. How many veterans are familiar with, and have access to: VA Laws, VA Codes, and VA Manuals? What if I gave every veteran a single link in this article where they could find 7 valuable law, code, and manual resources. What if that link included detailed explanations of how all of these laws and codes affect a disability claim?
10 Steps toward Winning a VA Disability Claim:
- Get competent representation. Be picky, interview several reps until you locate one that you feel confident with.
- Send the required SF-180 form to request COMPLETE copies of military service files (including medical & personnel), a 2nd SF-180 form to request updating of Awards & Decorations, and a 3rd SF-180 form requesting a DD-214 if needed.
- Make a list and request copies of all Medical files from private physicians and hospitals.
- Request a copy of your Units History & lineage from the appropriate archive.
- Keep a file of all correspondence (make sure to staple the envelope to the letter for postmark date) with the VA; note received date in your logbook with a brief description.
- Keep copies of everything you send to the VA, do not send originals unless required.
- Never send documentation or requests directly to the VA. Always route through your rep as he/she should be keeping a log of information received and sent to VA dates.
- Use the sources of information and links from this website.
- There are no stupid questions, check the FAQ’s first, then ask for help.
Follow the guidelines laid out on the website HadIt.com and follow through with backup for everything.
If you are a veteran discharged prior to 2002, then you may not be aware of the partnership now in existence between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). These once separate entities now share health information between their unique Electronic Health Record systems.
The VA’s computerized system is known as the VistA CPRS (Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture/Computerized Patient Record System), and they have been working together with the DoD’s Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA, formerly known as CHCS II) to share information for nearly a decade.
The concept of shared information has improved clinical efficiencies and health care outcomes for both entities. Veterans and active duty Service members can now receive needed health care without having to endure the unnecessary “duplication” of medical tests. Thanks to modern technology, both VA and DoD clinicians can quickly review important health data from each other’s facilities.
The VA and DoD now share the following health information:
*Admission, disposition, and transfer data *Allergy data *Clinical theater data *Consults *Deployment Health Assessments *Drug and food allergy data *Laboratory orders and results *Outpatient pharmacy data *Patient demographics *Progress notes *Radiology reports *Vital signs data
Future plans include the development of a Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) to ultimately share benefit, personnel, and health data from the start of a recruit’s military service through their transition to Veteran status and for the remainder of their life.
If you are a veteran who has NOT registered with the new electronic system (My HealtheVet), then please visit the following website to
register TODAY: www.myhealth.va.gov
By the end of 2011 there will be more than 300 Vet Centers across the United States and U.S. Territories. Their primary function is to help veterans and their families adjust to civilian life after combat. Vet Centers also provide Veterans with services such as counseling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma, bereavement counseling, marriage and family counseling, and resources like VA benefits information and suicide prevention referrals.
for a complete list of Vet Centers in your area click here
If you do not find a Vet Center near you, check out the Mobile Vet Centers. There are 50 motorized vehicles – resembling super-sized recreational vehicles – that are driven to far-reaching rural areas as part of an “On the Road” outreach program