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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Veterans Administration Shredding Documents By Mistake!

You may have heard of the problems the Veterans Administration ("VA") has had with document shredding. If not, check out these articles from the St. Petersburg Times about horrible problems at the VA's Florida Regional Office at Bay Pines here in Pinellas County:

To say that this is disgraceful is an understatement. We are advising our clients that they only send things to the VA by certified mail or some other means that offers proof of delivery (like FedEx or UPS or courier). If you hand deliver something, write up a receipt and have someone sign it, print there name and write the date you delivered it on the receipt.

Here are some tips to prove to the VA that you submitted materials in support of your application for VA service-connected compensation or VA pension disability:

1. Use certified mail. Whatever you do, get proof that it was received.
2. If you have deliver anything, have the person that takes it sign a receipt.
3. When you go to a VA Medical Center, get copies of your records.
4. If you deliver or send anything to the VA, KEEP A COPY FOR YOUR RECORDS.
5. If you speak to anyone at the VA about your claim file ("C-File"), get their name, and write it down with the date and time you spoke to them.
6. When you send things to the VA, send a cover letter explaining why you are submitting materials, and list the documents you are sending them as enclosures.

You do not want to be one of the vets who is wondering if the VA shredded your documents. But if you have the misfortune of the VA doing that to you, you need to be able to proof what you sent and when they got it.

Copyright (c) 2008 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved.

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