Message Clarifies Medical Record Disposition

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Story Number: NNS140827-03Release Date: 8/27/2014 3:21:00 AM

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn (NNS) -- Sailors need to take an active role in getting their medical and dental records to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at retirement or separation, according to a Navy message released Aug. 19.

"One of the benefits Sailors have earned with their voluntary service to the nation is support throughout their life from the VA. To make it as easy as possible for the VA to provide that support, it's in their best interest to make sure their medical records have been turned in to the appropriate medical facility when they separate or retire from the Navy," said Ann Stewart, director, Pay and Personnel Management.

Before a Sailor separates or retires, commanding officers (CO) and officers in charge (OIC) are responsible for ensuring that the 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.

"If you need to file a claim with the VA in the future, and please don't assume that you never will have to, they will check to verify your period of service in the Navy. If, later in life, you need to make a connection between a medical condition and your time in service, the VA has to have access to your medical record. That's the reason why NAVADMIN 187/14 is so important," Stewart said.

With the release of the message, COs and OICs are directed to provide a quarterly list of personal who have separated or retired that includes their name, separation date, date their STR was made available to the medical/dental facility, and an explanation for STRs not provided by the separation date, if necessary.

"Take this seriously, if you have your medical record, turn it in. If you don't, verify with your supporting medical treatment facility that they have it, and if they don't, help them find it by providing your duty stations for the last five years so your medical department can track it down," Stewart said. "This effort is in your best interest, make sure you have access to what you've earned."

For more information, read NAVADMIN 187/14 at www.npc.navy.mil.

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.

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