This eBook will teach you how to get C-Files (paper and electronic) from the VA Regional Office.
How to Get your VA C-File


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    • C&P Exams Results
      This descriptor is at the 30% level, from the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders (38 C.F.R. § 4.130): [X] Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks, although generally functioning satisfactorily, with normal routine behavior, self-care and conversation However, these items, from Section II, Number 3 of the Mental Disorders DBQ, are at generally higher levels: 30%
      [X] Depressed mood 
      [X] Anxiety 
      [X] Suspiciousness 
      [X] Chronic sleep impairment  50%
      [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood 
      [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 70%
      [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting 
      [X] Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships 
      [X] Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene 
      [X] Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living, including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene You can find the signs, descriptions of functional impairment, and symptoms associated with each disability rating level in the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders. I attached a Word doc, whcih contains the Rating Formula. Of course, the RVSR (VBA 'rater') determines your disability rating, but as I understand it, if they assign a rating lower than 70%, in your case, then they need to provide a rationale. It partly depends on your medical records, particularly mental health treatment records, but if they are not dramatically different, in terms of the symptoms and associated problems noted, then I would anticipate an increased disability rating for depression.  I noticed that she (the C&P psychologist) did not say anything about IU (Individual Unemployability). If the VBA requested information about employability on VA FORM 2507 (the referral form VBA uses to request a C&P from a VA medical center or contractor), then VBA will probably send your exam report back as insufficient and instruct the examiner to answer their question(s) about employability.  Her diagnosis for ICD-10 code F32.9 is wrong. She listed Depressive Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified), which is a DSM-IV diagnosis. VA instructed C&P psychologists to use DSM-5 beginning on 1 December 2013. The ICD-10 code F32.9 is for Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode, Unspecified.  Although the C&P psychologist's report is not a good one, it looks like the end result will be positive for you.  Thank you for your service and sacrifice for our country @dolfanbls.  All the Best, Mark General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders.docx
    • DRO hearing
      I mean, if they had the IMO and ignored it , that is a CUE ( 38 CFR 4.6) but the Duty to Assist and BOD regs are not CUEable.   "Yes my POA finally asked his supervisor and they both agreed with me in stating that this is in fact a CUE. What he is going to do is ask the Rater to CUE himself " great because they see what I seemed to see here too. I would let the POA write the CUE up. "and I told him to at least try to make a deal with him about the P&T."  I do not foresee VA making any type of deal even if it seemed to make sense. Current C & Ps justify new decisions and they also provide enough info ( sometimes) for the correct rating %. Your condition might have gotten worse since Dr Bash did that IMO.
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      I am going to start the process of getting my C-file. I need to see whats in there and they did not use the notes that my VA doctor wrote in my medical notes.  Thank you for your input on this issue. Its just strange how they wrote in the letter that they said I had a substance abuse problem Before I joined, Hows that possible I just graduated High School. I was only 18 and I was very responsible. The Assault happened around January or February and that's right around the time my performance went down hill. Service records show you were recognized for outstanding performance in December 1994. In January 1995 you were promoted.  Your enrollment in counseling is noted as command directed   in August 1995. Discharge action was initiated in January 1996. March 1996 service separation examination shows no complaints of or diagnosis of the record from November 1993 to May 1996.   Thank you again for your guidance and input.
    • Memorial Day Vets Freebies, discounts
      WOW long list ..... also many VAMCs like mine are having a nice Memorial Day service and I believe they will have the VA bus ready to take people up to the cemetery. It is quite a climb if you walk, and very difficult to park on Big Holidays like tomorrow is. When I got home from church today  it was almost 95 degrees out and I was about to take a dip, and suddenly like yesterday , it started to rain and then we had a violent thunderstorm. We are still under a Thunder /lightening watch. The last memorial Day service I went to at the Bath NY VA...it was hot but beautiful , blue sky and a few clouds like this AM was and this is a gorgeous historic VA with a lovely cemetery ,but just as a prominent guest speaker got to the outdoor podium, to speak, an enormous thundercloud moved over the sky fast and it began to pour in bucket loads and it was hard for us to get the vets in chairs back into the VA for cover. I think they had made the fly over ( they drop a big  wreath in the cemetery) but it turned out to be a great day anyhow ,they made a fabulous meal for all the VA patients and I stayed there for a few hours in the recreation hall ,talking to vets. We just got a flash flood warning too and the Bath VA is surrounded on two sides by the Cohocton River. But it hasnt flooded there bad yet. There are no words to really ever describe  how grateful I am for the service of so many deceased veterans, back to the Civil War at my local VA, and for the sacrifices all of you have made. It was nice to hear God Bless America and some other patriotic songs in church this AM. We have many vet members and about 6 members in Active duty. A retired Lt Col. (Desert Storm)member led us into prayer after the singing. I hope you all have a Great  and Safe Holiday!!!        
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      I apologize, I had no idea there was more to this and it regards inservice MST. There has been some excellent advise here on MST claims, some of it from vets with MST themselves. Did you specifically raise MST in the initial claim? Broncovet is right! You need to get a C file copy and copies of all of your treatment records. Also if you need your SMRs from NARA, ask for ALL of your Personnel files as well. The drinking and change in your inservice behavior proves that something happened to you, and if MST ,that is a Major stressor. Search here for the MST discussions. "This Document makes me out to look like a lair." The VA Makes us ALL feel like that. "Also they did not use the notes in my VA medical file which states I have PTSD Related to MST. How come there is no mention of that ? " Did they ever list this or mention as evidence at all? Maybe that is why they seemed to say there was evidence both for and against the claim.    
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      Thanks for the reply Berta. I agree that  "The series of experiences you found to be distressing, you reported antagonistic harassment by superiors related to alcohol rehabilitation contributed to his distress." I never said it was in the interview. They added that in. What I said in the examination after the personal assault that happened to me I was basically walking around in a fog the whole time and the only thing that let my mind calm down was drinking and that got me in trouble a lot. After That point my Behavior changed and the images of what happened I could not get out of my head, so when they said it was a series of experiences from drinking which leads to my distress. I guess I need to make myself more clear. I believe everything related to the military was distressing to me, Because it was a constant reminder of what happened and that person was in the unit near me, so I was constantly on guard, so pretty much where ever I went I was always watching my back. I really started to become paranoid. I don't know how i can correct this ? If they say that the stressor occurred how can they say that it does not affect me. That incident changed my whole view of the world....This Document makes me out to look like a lair. Also they did not use the notes in my VA medical file which states I have PTSD Related to MST. How come there is no mention of that ?  
    • CLAIM COMPLETE--Frm 80% to 100% Comb Rtg
      Congratulations on your win, hope you enjoy with your family!
    • Sc'd And Non Sc'd, How Do They Effect Benefit Rating.
      Non Service Connected ratings do not effect Service Connected ratings in any way.The purpose of Non Service Connected ratings is two-fold. 1. The VA acknowledges that you have a disability, but it is not related to your military service. The benefit of this is if at a later date you can prove it is from your military service then you would be compensated all the back to the date they acknowledged the disability. In order to do this you would need your service treatment records and show where the issue was reported during service or that it is a presumptive condition of your service. Not very likely. 2. Non Service Connected disabilities can help you if you ever need to apply for pension benefits. Keep in mind the income limitations for pension are so low you do not want to be in that position.
    • Intent to file
      I'm not sure I understand what you are asking as you stated " 3 claims that I made days prior to my original claim is in intent to file status". The 3 claims that you made prior to your original claim are the original claim, or maybe I misunderstand your question. Nevertheless, here is how the claims process works. But first, know that each Veteran only gets one "original claim", all subsequent claims are just that, subsequent claims. So, the first claim you submit is the original claim. If submitted on an EZ form it is a Fully Developed Claim (FDC), assuming all med evidence and secondary forms were submitted at the same time. The second claim you filed automatically removed your claims from FDC. No big deal, it will just take a little extra time to process your claim. If the second claim is submitted while the original claim is still open it is added to your original claim, but has a different contention date.  An example might clarify things a bit. Suppose I submit an original claim for left knee on January 1. Then on January 10 I submit another claim for right elbow. On February 11, I submit a third claim and the original claim is still open. The VA will add the January 10 claim to the original claim with a contention of January 10, and the February 11 claim is also added to the original claim with a contention date of February 11. Assuming all three claims are granted you would have qualifying disabilities with effective dates of January 1, January 10, and February 11. The January 1 and January 10 disabilities would be payable from February 1, and the February 11 disability would be payable from March 1. *NOTE: If you got out of the service within one year of filing your claim then every disability would have a qualifying disability date from your first day of return to civilian life. Here is where the claims process can get muddied. Suppose your original claim filed January 1 was for lower back pain, and your February 11 claim was for pain radiating down the left leg. The VA may have already scheduled an exam for the lower back pain from January 1, but now they have to recall the med exam to insert what is probably a secondary issue of pain radiating down the left leg caused by the problem in your back. This slows down the process, or might result in you having to report for an additional exam. To answer the last part of your question of why the second claim(s) have not been added to the original claim. There are several possibilities, but the most likely is this. When the VA processed your original claim they reviewed your evidence and probably submitted the claim for medical evaluation and automatically placed a thirty to sixty day suspense date on it. This means they will not look at your claim again until that time has passed. When they do look at your claim again, they will see the other claims submitted and determine what steps to take next. Do they need to recall the previous med exams, issue new med exams, or grant or deny outright due to evidence on file or in your service treatment records.  It is at this point they will change the new intent to file issues to the appropriate status. All in all, it is best to get all your ducks in a row and submit everything at one time, but that isn't always possible. You haven't done anything wrong, it just might take a little extra time to sort it all out. 
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      You need to order your Cfile, and review your records.  Does your entrance exam show a history of alcohol abuse?  Also read your C and P exams.  The decision states the examiner stated your shoulder issue was less likely than not related to service.  This means you have not got a nexus.  If, indeed, your c and p exam says this, then you will need to fix this to get SC, probably by an IME/IMO.   You need to check your records to see if the statments they made are consistent with the medical records/cfile.  If not, its possible either the VA did not read your evidence, they shredded some, or they used another Vets medical records (yes, it happens).     You posted (from your decision) : "You submitted a lay statement to Support your claim. A credible lay statement may establish what was seen, heard, and directly experienced. The lay evidence was found not to be competent and sufficient in this case to establish a diagnosis of your condition or to show that a diagnosis had been made by a medical professional. You submitted a lay statement to support your claim. A credible lay statement may establish what was seen, heard, and directly experienced. The lay evidence was found not to be competent or credible evidence of the symptoms of your claimed condition. Although, some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by an accurate account of the medical history and/or it is the most detailed and reliable depiction of your medical condition. While some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by your relevant military And/or personal history. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service.  You submitted lay evidence that your claimed disability is..."   The underlined portion is not a valid reasons and bases.  They must be specific as to what medical evidence conflicted your lay statements.  They need to say something like, "The Veteran reported xx, but Dr. C on 4-14-2010 stated this was yy, and that xx was incorrect".   You probably need to file a NOD, after reviewing your cfile, before, if it does not arrive within  a year.    

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PapaJahn

Award Letter Received...confused

6 posts in this topic

Well, it finally happened.....

I received my rating letter and I can't complain! I do have a question that the VA (800#) refuses to clarify.

Background info:

17 April 09: Filed claim

May-Aug 09: Butt-load of CP exams

30 June 09: Retired USAF

24 Sep 09: Received check from US treasury...no annotation as to reason (assumed it was VA Comp)

25 Sep 09: Called VA 800# and confirmed check was first VA comp. Woman stated decision letter would soon follow.

28 Sept 09: Received decision letter...100% with SMC added, effective 1 July 09

Here's where I am confused...called 800# a couple of times and have gotten conflicting anwers.

The first page has my monthly entitlement amount- $$$$$, followed by the payment start date - Aug 1 2009.

The following page states: "Your payment begins the first day of the month following your effective date. You will received a payment covering the intial amount due under this award, minus any withholdings, in approximately 15 days. Payments will then be made at the begining of each month for the prior month. For example, benefits due for May are paid on or about June 1."

If logic prevails.....I was entitled to benefits for July, August and now September. Since the first check wasn't cut until 23 Sept it should have been for July and August entitlements....correct???

Well, my first check was equal to one months' benefit....which month it was for wasn't annotated on the check. So, I call the infamous 800# to seek clarification. Woman stated that check cut was for Aug and I wasn't entitled to July because of the "payment start date" wasn't until 1 Aug. After discussing MY interpretation of the letter, she backtracked, agreed, and stated another check had been cut and was in the mail. She stated Oct 1st payments hadn't been processed for anyone yet, so this check must be the other month of retro pay and I that I would receive another check on/about Oct 1st...3 months, 3 checks.

Great...issue solved...so I thought.

Got another check in the mail today...just as she promised. One small glitch....the check is dated for 1 Oct and is annotated with "09 Va Comp for Sep".

So, back to the 800# again, different representative. I repeat the process from the previous conversation.

The young man I spoke with didn't have a clue. At first he disagreed with me...then he agreed...then contradicted himself by saying the check received today was both back pay AND October's payment...A complete idiot. I asked if I could have his name and speak to his supervisor he said NO to both and I could just call back to get another representative. I repeated my position and he says "OH!" and agrees, once again. He places me on hold to double check and then someone else gets on the phone and "tells me how it is". I was stunned at her rudeness. She stated the check received today, dated 1 Oct is for my September entitlement. The previous check (dated 23 Sept) was for Augusts' entitlement and that I am not entitled to anything for the month of July, because my payment start date wasn't until Aug 1st. She refused to speak any further and hung up on me.

So, i guess their final position is that the start date of Aug 1st IS the same as the effective date and than I am not entitled to any comp for the month of July.

Soooo, for any of you patient enough to read through my ramblings...are my assumptions correct or are these VA reps correct? If I am correct what do I have to do to get the rest of my retro pay?

I really hope I made myself clear and thank anyone for their input on this issue.

PapaJahn

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Well, it finally happened.....

I received my rating letter and I can't complain! I do have a question that the VA (800#) refuses to clarify.

Background info:

17 April 09: Filed claim

May-Aug 09: Butt-load of CP exams

30 June 09: Retired USAF

24 Sep 09: Received check from US treasury...no annotation as to reason (assumed it was VA Comp)

25 Sep 09: Called VA 800# and confirmed check was first VA comp. Woman stated decision letter would soon follow.

28 Sept 09: Received decision letter...100% with SMC added, effective 1 July 09

Here's where I am confused...called 800# a couple of times and have gotten conflicting anwers.

The first page has my monthly entitlement amount- $$$$$, followed by the payment start date - Aug 1 2009.

The following page states: "Your payment begins the first day of the month following your effective date. You will received a payment covering the intial amount due under this award, minus any withholdings, in approximately 15 days. Payments will then be made at the begining of each month for the prior month. For example, benefits due for May are paid on or about June 1."

If logic prevails.....I was entitled to benefits for July, August and now September. Since the first check wasn't cut until 23 Sept it should have been for July and August entitlements....correct???

Well, my first check was equal to one months' benefit....which month it was for wasn't annotated on the check. So, I call the infamous 800# to seek clarification. Woman stated that check cut was for Aug and I wasn't entitled to July because of the "payment start date" wasn't until 1 Aug. After discussing MY interpretation of the letter, she backtracked, agreed, and stated another check had been cut and was in the mail. She stated Oct 1st payments hadn't been processed for anyone yet, so this check must be the other month of retro pay and I that I would receive another check on/about Oct 1st...3 months, 3 checks.

Great...issue solved...so I thought.

Got another check in the mail today...just as she promised. One small glitch....the check is dated for 1 Oct and is annotated with "09 Va Comp for Sep".

So, back to the 800# again, different representative. I repeat the process from the previous conversation.

The young man I spoke with didn't have a clue. At first he disagreed with me...then he agreed...then contradicted himself by saying the check received today was both back pay AND October's payment...A complete idiot. I asked if I could have his name and speak to his supervisor he said NO to both and I could just call back to get another representative. I repeated my position and he says "OH!" and agrees, once again. He places me on hold to double check and then someone else gets on the phone and "tells me how it is". I was stunned at her rudeness. She stated the check received today, dated 1 Oct is for my September entitlement. The previous check (dated 23 Sept) was for Augusts' entitlement and that I am not entitled to anything for the month of July, because my payment start date wasn't until Aug 1st. She refused to speak any further and hung up on me.

So, i guess their final position is that the start date of Aug 1st IS the same as the effective date and than I am not entitled to any comp for the month of July.

Soooo, for any of you patient enough to read through my ramblings...are my assumptions correct or are these VA reps correct? If I am correct what do I have to do to get the rest of my retro pay?

I really hope I made myself clear and thank anyone for their input on this issue.

PapaJahn

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Papa,

I'll try to explain this and I think when done, you'll be able to understand. I was somewhat perplexed, not unlike yourself, when I received my first check. My confusion was for the same reason as yours. However, after reading this letter a few times, the light bulb finally went on, to borrow the famous analogy.

"Your payment begins the first day of the month following your effective date. You will received a payment covering the intial amount due under this award, minus any withholdings, in approximately 15 days. Payments will then be made at the begining of each month for the prior month. For example, benefits due for May are paid on or about June 1."

This can be confusing as Hell. Your effective date is July, and payment, as stated above, will begin in August, the first day of the month. Your confusion, as it appears to me is that you believe you should be paid for July also, inasmuch as this is listed as the effective date. However, such is not the case. If you would have received your first payment in September, instead of August,you would have a legitimate claim for Sep and Aug, because payment was scheduled to begin in August, first month after the effective date. So, in essence, you have to think of July as merely a date for establishing all further payments and that July itself is not a month in which you will be paid for.

Still confusing, I'm aware, but I hope this helps somewhat anyway.

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I have been on SMC for the past 6 yrs been a 100% now I have recievd a 70% rating I have a appeal in for housebound should I do a new claim on the 100 and 70 or let it ride? Also in my award letter it stated they made a unmistakable era and they changed the statis to 38 usc 1114 subsection p and 38 cfr 3 350 f3 at intermediate between subsection 1 and subsection m what does this mean please

Edited by Lenkl

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Lenkl asked:

“I have been on SMC for the past 6 yrs been a 100% now I have recievd a 70% rating I have a appeal in for housebound should I do a new claim on the 100 and 70 or let it ride? Also in my award letter it stated they made a unmistakable era and they changed the statis to 38 usc 1114 subsection p and 38 cfr 3 350 f3 at intermediate between subsection 1 and subsection m what does this mean please”

The regulations for SMC should have been enclosed with the decision. There is more info if you google M21-1MR Part IV, Subpartii, Chapter 2, Section H.

I am confused too by your question. It looks to me like you sure do get a higher level of SMC than the “S:” award but did the VA's Clear and unmistakable error you said they referred to, give you more SMC comp

under SMC 'P 'or less under the intermediate level l, to M?

If their CUE on themselves didn't favor you, that might well be something to disagree with and include in any appeal.

Have they awarded you Aid and Attendance already?

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My appeal was for a higher level aid and attendance it has been in for three years I had a severe nervous break down being stuck in this bed and the pain I am in I am rated 100%post tramatic brain injury with complex siezure disorder 40% right and left loss of use of legs 50% loss of use of right upper body shoulder arm and hand 40%for broken pelvic I fell and they had to put a plate and screws in also 40%ddd for my back and 40% ddd in my neck I was given a increase of 70% for my mental depression What I need to know is do I make a new claim on the grounds of a 100% plus 70% or let the appeal go thru 2 or 3 more years. As I wrote I think I am a M the way they said it is the way I wrote it I also do not know how to ask or get to level N. Thank you for writing back.PS I have several 10 and 20% ratings I feel they do not matter so I did not break them down. Yes I have aid and attendance.

Edited by Lenkl
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