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Documenting Your Claim


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#1 Tbird

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:45 AM

Have a diagnosis from a doctor before applying for a claim, depending on what your claim is for the diagnosis may have to be from a VA doctor, such is the case with PTSD.

Request a copy of your service medical records.

If you have had a previous claim, request a copy of your claims folder.

Examining your service medical records:

This my system, but you may have a better one so use it. (I use IBS as a sample but can be used for any disease/injury/illness)
  • First thing I do after receiving a service medical record is number each page when I get to the end I go back and add 1 of 100 and so on.
  • Second I then make a copy of my service medical records on a different color paper, yellow or buff something easy to read, but it will distinguish it from the original.
  • I then put my original away and work off the copy.
  • Now if you know the specific date it's fairly easy to find.
  • If on the other hand you don't know specifically or you had symptoms leading up to it. Well this may take some detective work and so Watson the game is afoot.
  • Let's say it's Irritable Syndrome
  • I would start page by page from page 1, When I run across an entry that supports my claim for IBS, I number it #1, I Bracket it in Red, and then on a separate piece of paper I start to compile my medical evidence log. So I would write Page 10 #1 and a brief summary of the evidence, do this has you go through all the your medical records and when you are finished you will have an index and easy way to find your evidence.
  • Study your diagnosis symptoms look them up. Check common medications for your IBS and look for the symptoms noted in your evidence that seem to point to IBS, if your doctor prescribes meds for IBS, but doesn't call it that make those a reference also.


#2 Berta

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:30 AM

Fabulous TBird!!!!

We dont discuss this enough here.

This gets a claimant organized right from the git go.


By the time the VCAA letter arrives, with this type of organization, they will know where to find what the VA might ask for in the letter.

We are always,as the claimant, the BEST vet rep we will ever have.

All of the above can make it easier for a vet rep with the vet's POA handle the claim better.

Sometimes I think many reps want to truly help the vet, but are handled a stack of stuff that has no organization to it and might feel reluctant to even attempt to sort through it.

Your format here makes their job easier too.

#3 halos2

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:15 PM

I am big into highlighters and sticky notes too. Different colors for different diagnoses...

#4 Tbird

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:43 AM

I use a program called EverNote it is free and can found here http://www.evernote.com to help me remember things. A few features that I love and use are:


Capture anything.
Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see.

Access anywhere.
Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there.

Find things fast.
Search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images.

Finding things is great for my notes all I have to do is remember 1 word or phrase and I can search through all my notebooks to find the note I am looking for.

I use the audio to record doctors appointments, phone calls etc. Anything that I may not remember, which is a lot.

Though sometimes I just need to put pen to paper and I do this with a LiveScribe pen, you have to see it to understand it http://www.livescribe.com I upload the notes to the computer and drop them into my Evernote.

Livescribe smartpens record everything you hear and write so you’ll never miss a word. Play back lectures or meetings with a simple tap on your notes. Save, search and organize your notes and recordings on your Mac or PC for fast, easy access to what’s important. Easily send notes and audio as an interactive digital document, called a pencast, to people and destinations of your choice – all from your paper.

These two tools and have been great for me.