What is a C-file? Too many veterans who seek an attorney’s help with their disability claims don’t know what this is. All the evidence that the VA acquires, or that a veteran got for their claim, is kept in the C- file, and if filing a disability claim, veterans should know the importance of their C-file, why it is vital in a disability claim, and also what other evidence may be needed to put into the file. It is extremely important to get this file by requesting it from the local regional office and to examine it thoroughly. The VA bases its decision on the evidence contained in this file. Even if a veteran provides the VA with all the necessary information, including dates, medical facilities where they were treated, where they were serving, the unit they were in and other information requested by them, it cannot be safely assumed that the VA got all the information necessary for their claim. If left up to the VA to get all the evidence to prove a claim, it is done at the veteran’s own risk.
So what exactly is found in a C-file? Usually it will have all a veteran’s correspondence with the VA and the claims that they have made. In addition, a veteran’s DD 214, military medical records, entrance and separation exams, and any C&P exams performed will typically be found. It is important to note that there is very little organization to the C-file, and they can be extremely large and require a great deal of time to go through every page. If a veteran doubts their ability or knowledge to do this, then finding a representative or attorney who will is beneficial.
If, after reviewing the file, a veteran or their attorney finds that there is important information missing, they should request the VA obtain the information. Often times, a veteran will not find in their file military personnel records, which include things like how they performed in their duties, what their unit did, and any awards and decorations bestowed upon them. A veteran will also probably need to update the medical information in their file. They may also want to seek to get nexus letters or reports from their present treating doctors. Additionally, they may want to request a C&P exam if their particular case calls for one or more. Looking through the file and not finding medical records that should be there or records that were sent in that are not in the file is the easy part. Knowing what evidence is needed to get to give the best chance to win can be the more difficult task. This is where professional help can make all the difference in the world.
What should be taken away from reading this blog is a veteran’s need to request by certified mail from the regional office his or her C-file and service medical records, review every page, take copious notes, determine what is missing, and what additional evidence is needed to win the claim. Then, take all this information and explain as briefly as possible why they are entitled to the benefits they seek and point out the evidence in the file that is favorable to their claim. Remember, it is important to make the person deciding their claim’s job as easy as possible to find favorably. Lastly, if a veteran finds this overwhelming or is any way unsure, competent help with the claim is the ticket to success when dealing with the VA.