VA Has New Process for Responding to Privacy Act Requests

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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented a new process Oct. 1 for responding to Privacy Actrequests from claimants received by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) for access to their claims files.

VA has amended its process for those requesting their own information while respecting the privacy rights of third-parties by redacting third-party personally identifiable information (PII) from the claims files.

“VA is committed to providing Veterans prompt access to their claim records increasing transparency and improving customer service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “It’s imperative that we protect files containing sensitive and personal information.

VBA is required by the Privacy Act to allow Veterans — or their representatives — the opportunity to review or make copies of claims files.

Under this new process, VA does not anticipate delays in forwarding copies of claims files to Veterans or their designated representatives.

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