Department of Veterans Affairs

Reduce timeliness and redundancy when developing for evidence

When we receive a VA Forms 21-4142, Authorization and Consent to Release Information, we develop for the evidence. If the medical evidence on the form we are requesting is more than 7 years old we should call the doctor or facility to see if they still have the records, a lot of doctors, clinics and hospitals destroy evidence after 7 years and some after 10 years. If the VA Forms 21-4142, is for a doctor, clinic or hospital the file should be check to see if we already have the evidence. If we have already obtained evidence from them before we should call the veteran and tell him what we have and ask if there is additional evidence the veteran would like us to obtain. We should also tell the veteran in the initial VCAA letter we have all the evidence he has sent in over the years. We should also inform the veteran when we answer a privacy request please do not send the records back to us and this would just be duplicate evidence which is already a matter of record in their C- file. .

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Idea No. 7745