MAY 27, 2015, MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) – Sailors are being reminded to personally ensure their medical and dental records are available to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by returning them to their medical treatment facility at retirement or separation, Navy leaders said May 26.
“A benefit of service is a lifetime of support from the VA,” said Ann Stewart, director, Pay and Personnel Management. “To make sure Sailors can get the best level of support possible, they need to make sure their medical records have been turned in to the appropriate medical facility when they separate or retire from the Navy. A copy of medical and dental records will be provided to separating or retiring Sailors.”
Before a Sailor separates or retires, commanding officers (CO) and officers in charge (OIC) are responsible for ensuring that the medical department or medical treatment facility knows the Sailor is separating or retiring, and that their Service Treatment Records (STR), medical and dental records, are at the appropriate medical and dental facilities. This guarantees that the records will be available to the VA. Medical departments or medical treatment facilities annotate on command/organization check-out sheets the disposition of the STR (per NAVADMIN 187/14).
“There may come a time when you need to file a claim with the VA in the future, and they will check to verify your period of service in the Navy,” Stewart said. “Making sure your record is left at the appropriate medical or dental facility when you leave the Navy means that the VA will have immediate access to your records and can expedite care.”
It is essential that all Navy leaders and Sailors understand their responsibility when it comes to storing and handling their medical and dental records, and their disposition after separation or retirement. Non-compliance with policy could impact timely adjudication of their VA benefits.
“Getting your records turned in and making sure the medical department or medical treatment facility knows you are separating or retiring really is in your best interest,” Stewart said. “Make sure you have access to what you’ve earned.”
For more information, read NAVADMIN 187/14 at www.npc.navy.mil.