We very much want to handle your claims as efficiently as possible and have the best information available to help your case progress more quickly through the VA. Here are some things you can do to assist us:
Check Your Email
If you gave us an email address, check it frequently for emails from us. It is the fastest, most efficient way we can get in touch with you. Keep us posted on ANY changes for addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Return Documents Promptly
Please complete and sign documents we send to you and return them to us quickly. (We can send them to you the quickest via email.)
Keep up with your medical treatment in order to provide evidence for your case.It is important that your medical records accurately describe your condition. Be sure and tell your doctor details of how you are doing. (Don’t say “I’m fine” or “I’m doing okay” when you really are not.) Medical providers often put your statements in your records verbatim as you have described them so be careful what you say! Plus, your doctor needs to know how you are truly doing in order to provide you with the best medical care.
Request Updated Records
Every 6 months to a year, request updated medical records from your medical providers who are treating you for your VA disability-related conditions and send them to us so that your medical information in our files is up to date. If you have a new medical provider (for a disability-related condition or a condition that you have asked to be service connected), obtain those records and send to us, too. (Please note that we do not need your records for your medical conditions that are not related to your disability-related conditions and prefer that you do not send those to us.) We can also order your medical records for you if you cannot, but medical providers & the VA typically will release your records to you more quickly and at lesser cost than they will for an attorney’s office.
Keep Us Informed
Let us know when you receive something important from the VA. Especially important would be a Rating Decision, Statement of the Case or hearing notice. The VA does NOT always send us copies of documents even if the notice says we were copied. We must receive these filings in time in order to file the necessary documents to keep your appeal(s) alive.
Hold Your Calls
Please do not call us periodically just to check on the status of your case. As much as we would like to talk with you, this takes up our time on the phone that we could be better using to prepare your case. If you have something urgent or new to report, that is the time to call or send us an email.
Submit Info in Writing
As much as possible, submit your updated information to us in writing (via an email or written document you can fax or mail to us). Sending information in writing allows us to input it into your records much more quickly than handling a phone conversation and then transcribing it ourselves into the record. Plus the information will be the most accurate as it will be in your own words. If we do not understand what you have submitted to us, we will give you a call to clarify.
The VA gives a lot of credence to testimony from you and others. Get “Buddy Statements” from your family members, friends, co-workers, fellow military members with whom you served, etc. to help provide facts for your claim. (You can provide your own statement, too.) Statements can help to provide a neat, summarized version of details that might describe your medical symptoms (current and past), incidents that occurred while on Active Duty, prior locations where you served (if not in the military record), or other information that may or may not be in the records already or may not be very clear. Buddy Statements are a great way to provide more evidence for your claims. Please do not be concerned that the written testimony may not be in perfect format. If needed, we can put the testimony into a Form 21-4138 (Statement in Support of Claim:) for you and send it back to you (or others) for signature.
Attend Your C & P Exam
Attend any C&P Exam that the VA schedules for you. These are very important and are often a necessary step for the VA to decide your claim. The VA could deny your claim based simply on your not showing up for a scheduled exam. Here is some additional helpful information about what to expect from your C&P exam: