So, you’re starting the process of military disability separation. What’s the most important thing you should do that no one will tell you to do?
Get a COMPLETE copy of your medical records.
Now, make sure you don’t go in and just request your medical records. They won’t give them to you. Instead, request a complete COPY of them, including labs, x-rays and all consultations. All disabled veterans are entitled to receive a copy according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Although you are legally entitled to a copy, the medical facility that has your records may charge you for the copy. Don’t even hesitate if they do this. Though the cost could be pretty high considering that medical records can be gigantic, it is totally worth every penny to have all your medical records at your fingertips.
Your medical records are the key to both your DoD Disability and your VA Disability. If a condition is not noted anywhere in your medical records, it makes it really hard to prove service-connection and thus qualify for disability. These records are the evidence you need to prove that you deserve every penny of your military disability pay and VA disability benefits. As long as you have access to them, you have the ability and power to properly submit a VA disability claim and appeal any incorrect ratings given by the Physical Evaluation Board or the VA.
The #1 tool for maximizing your military disability? Documentation, documentation, documentation!