I know this is a subject you don’t want think about but you are going to die. If you have files or are about to file a claim with the VA there are some things you want to do not only to help you keep track of your claim but to make it easier for your family to continue with the claim once you depart. This is very important if you are a Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran or even a Veteran from Iran or Afghanistan. It may help you or your family help file a claim in the future.
NOTE: Make sure that you put COPIES of everything in the 3 ring binder. Keep the originals in a safe place and make sure a family member knows where they are.
1 Make sure you keep COPIES of all documents together in a Three Ring Binder and make sure you keep it up dated.
2. Make sure a family member knows about your claim and knows where ther paperwork is,
3. Explain what a VSO is and who it is and to contact them after your death.
4. I myself will make sure my wife know about this group so that she can get on and seek help here since she'll get better help here than with the VA.
5. Make sure that you file a claim first with a VSO but you may have to switch to a lawyer later..
6. Make sure that you have several COPIES of your DD214 available in the file.
7. If you have filed any claims in the past make sure that they are in the file.
8. If you haven’t done so yet make sure you have COPIES of ALL your medical records in the file. Not only VA medical records but if you have seen a private doctors make you get copies of those records also.
9. Make sure you keep COPIES of any and all correspondence from the VA about the claim or anything.
10. Always get a second opinion from an outside the VA especially for any major illnesses or surgeries. Also if you don’t feel comfortable with any of your VA doctors request another one.
11. If you have a Power of Attorney make sure a COPY of that is in the file.
12. If you have Advance Directive or Living Will make sure a COPY of that is in the file.
13. Make sure that you have a list of ALL of doctors, both VA and private in the file.
14. Make sure you keep a list of all medicines in the files.
15. If possible write up a document that explains where you were while in the service.
16. If you were in the Navy and have copies of Deck Logs, make sure you have COPIES in the file.
17. If you have documents, pictures or any other items stored on your computer that talk about your time in the service you may want to get a thumb drive and make a COPY of those files and store it in the three ring binder also.
18. If you have a list of Bookmarks on your computer for sites that has information about your time in service, illness, claims, or any other important information then print those out and store that in the file also.