All About VA Form 21-4142
VA Form 21-4142 gives the VA permission to obtain your personal information from non-VA
sources, like private physicians or hospitals. In many cases, a medical release form like this one
is a standard part of the process. The issuing agency receives it, processes it, and keeps it on file.
However, Veterans generally file Form 21-4142 if they require the VA’s assistance in obtaining
medical records or wish to include them in the official record. Although Form 21-4142 is
optional, it usually becomes necessary at some point in a Veterans claim.
Therefore, many Veterans fill out this form to prepare their claim but do not submit it until it
becomes necessary. Preparing the form beforehand prevents any last-minute scrambling that is
generally prone to mistakes. Waiting to submit the form until it becomes due restricts the amount
of personal information that could be subject to data or another breach.
Completing Form 21-4142
Typically, VA forms come with elementary instructions. Since it is best for Veterans to be as
informed as possible, we have supplemented the directions provided by the VA.
VA Form 21-4142 is actually two separate forms that serve two distinct purposes. There is no
need to file both forms, only the one that fits the purpose relevant to your claim.
While Form 21-4142 may seem like a relatively standard medical release, it bears some notable
distinctions. Veterans should only submit it if they are unable to obtain their own medical
records or want their medical records to have a more official status.
Form 21-4142 Section IV
Section IV, Records to be ‘Released to the Department of Veterans Affairs’, includes fine print
comprised of important information, which you should not disregard. For example, the form
automatically expires in twelve months and may be revoked at any time. Generally, the
revocation must be in writing.
Additionally, Veterans should keep in mind that Form 21-4142 may give rise to privacy issues.
For example, Veteran Bill submits Form 21-4142 for a claim regarding his disabled knee; and
assumes that the doctor who treats Bill’s disabled knee also treats his erectile dysfunction
disorder. Technically, Bill’s doctor must separate the records and only provide those related to
Bill’s knee. But many doctors simply hit “send” without reading too closely. Therefore, Bill may
want to think twice before he asks the VA to request these records.
At its core, VA form 21-4142 is an investigative form. It gives the VA a direct line to your
Generally, Veterans only require assistance obtaining medical records when institutions refuse to
release records without something similar to a subpoena. Additionally, disabled Veterans may
have a hard time dealing with the constant run-around that involves requesting and obtaining
Furthermore, most medical providers are unsure what to make of VA Form 21-4142, which is
why attorneys add a cover letter explaining the form’s purpose. Our VA disability attorneys also
send accompanying disability forms for the provider to fill out and return, to extract and
highlight the information essential to the claim.
Contact Diligent Attorneys
While VA Form 21-4142 is not always necessary in disability claims, it usually becomes
necessary, so it is best to stay informed. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans
disability attorney, contact the Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to
your right. We represent Veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client