VA Disability Benefits:

Timely Delivery of Military Service Medical Records to VA

HRD-86-104BR: Published: Jun 24, 1986. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Veterans Administration's (VA) ability to obtain service medical records from military records centers, specifically: (1) the extent of untimely medical records delivery from the military to VA; (2) why military records centers delay providing the records; and (3) records centers' initiatives to improve their response time.

GAO found that: (1) VA currently receives most service medical records in a timely fashion; (2) VA did not keep previous years' requests for service medical records; (3) the Army diverted resources during 1984 and early 1985 to accommodate requests for replacement of service medals, thereby causing a delay in providing the VA with service medical records; (4) the Army and Navy implemented procedures to ensure that complete service records are sent to VA; (5) VA regional offices occasionally misrouted requests for medical records; and (6) the Army plans to automate its records request processing by early 1987.

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