38 U.S. Code § 5103A - Duty to assist claimants
2012—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–154, § 505(a), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows:
“(1) As part of the assistance provided under subsection (a), the Secretary shall make reasonable efforts to obtain relevant records (including private records) that the claimant adequately identifies to the Secretary and authorizes the Secretary to obtain.
“(2) Whenever the Secretary, after making such reasonable efforts, is unable to obtain all of the relevant records sought, the Secretary shall notify the claimant that the Secretary is unable to obtain records with respect to the claim. Such a notification shall—
“(A) identify the records the Secretary is unable to obtain;
“(B) briefly explain the efforts that the Secretary made to obtain those records; and
“(C) describe any further action to be taken by the Secretary with respect to the claim.
“(3) Whenever the Secretary attempts to obtain records from a Federal department or agency under this subsection or subsection (c), the efforts to obtain those records shall continue until the records are obtained unless it is reasonably certain that such records do not exist or that further efforts to obtain those records would be futile.”
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–154, § 505(b), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “In the case of a claim for disability compensation, the assistance provided by the Secretary under subsection (b) shall include obtaining the following records if relevant to the claim:
“(1) The claimant’s service medical records and, if the claimant has furnished the Secretary information sufficient to locate such records, other relevant records pertaining to the claimant’s active military, naval, or air service that are held or maintained by a governmental entity.
“(2) Records of relevant medical treatment or examination of the claimant at Department health-care facilities or at the expense of the Department, if the claimant furnishes information sufficient to locate those records.
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