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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    • New Va Pain Medication Policy
      I've responded on this thread in the past, and would like to update.  After 7 years of successful pain management; I took some advice from the message board and reached out to various "up the chain" types...and thought the Director of Pain Management at VA Palo Alto, CA had actually re authorized me back into Veteran's Choice program where I was being treated for my pain for 3 subsequent visits, was on the road for treatment for a procedure that VAHC had not even mentioned, (all of this after VA had "red flagged me as DRUG SEEKER")understand I have never deviated from requesting increase, missed appointments. Nothing.  Today, I get call from same Director of Pain Management, since I have not heard from Vet Choice about the reauthorization, that I was mistaken, he could offer me nothing but traveling the 40 miles to his clinic and of course that would be NO Opioids. I cannot travel the normal transportation route, and he assured me he had listed me, as Undue Travel Burden, but he would still not reauthorize. Have a nice Day! So, you tell me- how with all these qualifiers; and my Severe Pain that the Spine Specialist in my Community has agreed to treat Veterans, is only 3 miles from my home; has more compassion than those treating Veterans? Did I mention, that my Opioid meds has not changed in 7 years? Is anyone in Washington listening? Honorable Dr. DavidJ. Shulkin, your New Veteran's Choice guidelines don't mean anything to these people that have to care for us Veterans.  I was a Medical Officer for 9 years caring for thousands of brave Men and Women who served this Wonderful Country and I am appalled at the service and the way I am spoken to by the staff at the VAHC and told if you want Narcotics "Go Buy a Health Care Plan."  I say to them- without my Service to this Great Nation they would not have a job, and now they are talking to us like we are their BURDEN? If not for us, willing to Wear the Uniforms and guarantee their freedoms, they couldn't get a job except working at a County Teaching Hospital. 
    • Choice Program
      I've responded on this thread in the past, and would like to update.  After 7 years of successful pain management; I took some advice from the message board and reached out to various "up the chain" types...and thought the Director of Pain Management at VA Palo Alto, CA had actually re authorized me back into Veteran's Choice program where I was being treated for my pain for 3 subsequent visits, was on the road for treatment for a procedure that VAHC had not even mentioned, (all of this after VA had "red flagged me as DRUG SEEKER")understand I have never deviated from requesting increase, missed appointments. Nothing.  Today, I get call from same Director of Pain Management, since I have not heard from Vet Choice about the reauthorization, that I was mistaken, he could offer me nothing but traveling the 40 miles to his clinic and of course that would be NO Opioids. I cannot travel the normal transportation route, and he assured me he had listed me, as Undue Travel Burden, but he would still not reauthorize. Have a nice Day! So, you tell me- how with all these qualifiers; and my Severe Pain that the Spine Specialist in my Community has agreed to treat Veterans, is only 3 miles from my home; has more compassion than those treating Veterans? Did I mention, that my Opioid meds has not changed in 7 years? Is anyone in Washington listening? Honorable Dr. DavidJ. Shulkin, your New Veteran's Choice guidelines don't mean anything to these people that have to care for us Veterans.  I was a Medical Officer for 9 years caring for thousands of brave Men and Women who served this Wonderful Country and I am appalled at the service and the way I am spoken to by the staff at the VAHC and told if you want Narcotics "Go Buy a Health Care Plan."  I say to them- without my Service to this Great Nation they would not have a job, and now they are talking to us like we are their BURDEN? If not for us, willing to Wear the Uniforms and guarantee their freedoms, they couldn't get a job except working at a County Teaching Hospital. 
    • getting run-around by dental clinic
      In part, I agree, and in part do not! Turns out that the VA has a mantra about least cost when it comes to treating veterans. Private providers do have a profit goal to attain. It comes down to what the patient prefers, and what is the best for the patient. (Not the VA, provider, etc.)  
    • PTSD with questions
      I was actually thinking the sleep apenea and fibro secondary  to the back, I can't sleep but about 3 to 4  hours  a night my pain increases.  I know it is from being overweight  that once I hurt my back in the AF I was not able to exercise and the weight joined me so with the sleep apenea and fibro has made life almost miserable an then two months ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Can the c-file be requested from ebenefits? Thank you for your quick response.  
    • PTSD with questions
      Rita, Welcome to hadit. You are at the right place.  There are NO dumb questions other than questions about how to succeed with a false/fraudulent claim. PTSD due to MST is covered by several knowledgeable veterans here.  They will chime in shortly. The evidence requirements are different than combat PTSD.  I don't believe they are any easier or harder, but they are different.  If you are suffering from PTSD resulting from events that occurred during your military service, file a claim for it.  I have never even heard of SA or fibro being secondary to PTSD. I am not certain if either could be an adequate stressor for PTSD.  Increased chronic pain from a SC condition can certainly be the basis for an increased rating. I did not claim PTSD until 40 years after I left active duty.  I was "boots on the ground" in Vietnam with combat awards, so my claim was really a walk in the park for me.  The 30% award did nothing to my monthly compensation, but I wanted all of my bases covered so that my wife will have no problems with DIC when I croak. C-File is your DVA claim folder.  It would be wise to request a copy right away because it takes a while for the VA to provide c-file copies.  Your military records may well contain evidence in the manner of behavioral changes after the event regardless of whether or not you reported it.
    • Aortic valve /ihd
      He also has an appeal in for increase in diabetes ,. He is on Lantus solar star pen and humalog quick pen.  Private dr filled out DBQ and wrote a prescription for restricted diet and activity.  Also filled for renal failure third stage secondary to diabetes.  Private nephrologist filled out DBQ with a diagnosis of diabetic renal failure type2. And diabetic nephrology.  Both were denied.  I don't think they read anything .  They said they did not feel his diabetes had progressed that much.  His aid 8.1.  They said renal failure was denied because he had no proteinuria in his urine sample.   And you had to have proteinuria in your urine to be renal failure.  I was reading online kidney foundation, that you do not always drop proteinuria.  And we were reading over the cp file again and it ask if the veteran had diabetes on it and they did not even check it. And on one spot on it it said his bun was 19 and said it was high.  Then on another spot it said bun was 19 and said it was normal.  It did have gfr at 40 and said low.  But it is like the gfr was just kind of over looked or ignored completely.  And that is the number one way, according to national kidney foundation,  to check if kidneys are dysfunctioning.  They said there was NO dysfunction of the kidneys.  Now on the DBQ from private dr says there is kidney dysfunction.    I picked up all his labs since he has had renal failure, and all the gfr are to low.  Some as low as 34.  Thanks everyone .  And Berta I'm so sorry you had to go thru all that stuff with the va..  And sorry for your loss.
    • Knee Condition
      Can the va refuse to increase my rating since my issue has worsened outside of the military? I am in a profession which requires carrying equipment and a vest. So without a doubt the weight has had an effect on my knee. I reported the injury to my work as well. Not sure if this can effect my claim. I'm thinking about revoking my claim through my employer. Since it is cared through from the VA. At the time I wasn't sure if it was related to my previous patellar injury. 
    • Aortic valve /ihd
      Berta he was seeing a private cardio.  And I kept asking him if he had ihd and he kept saying no.  And after the surgery I saw on his one piece of paper said cad, so I ask if it was the same, and he said yes.  You are right he did not get to 60 overnight.  But maybe his mets were lower because of the valve problem .  I know the surgeon told me and our daughter his heart was enlarged.    Now I think it was in 2009 he had lung embolism, and they could not say where the clot came from.  I'm suspecting it came from the heart.  He only goes to va for cp exams.  We have tricare and Medicare?  
    • PTSD with questions
      I have been going to mental health care at my local VA, I have been out of the service for 20 or more years and he recommended that I file for PTSD, based on what I have told him. I do not have anything in my medical records from active duty to confirm this nor witnesses since I did not report being raped. How in the world do I file for this? I am also service connected for my back and am seeking an increase due to excessive pain and wanting to include sleep apenea and fibro as secondary conditions would that go with my back or would I list as secondary to the PTSD. Dumb question but what exactly is a c-file is that my military health file?   Thank you all in advance for your help.
    • C&P Re-Exam - REPHRASED
      Your ok   Good news is coming

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FaithAdele

Vietnam Veteran (Father) Died Of Als...

Question

I do not know if I'm in the right spot, but I have a long story and am searching for answers. My father served in the US Army from 1965-1973. He served in Vietnam and received numerous medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, and an Air Medal to name a few. In 2002, he was diagnosed with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He filed a claim for benefits. At the time, ALS was not considered a service connected disability. He died in January of 2004 and his claim was still in-process. He died without ever receiving a dime, and feeling as if his service meant nothing. I was resentful for so long, because had he had that money, he would have been able to stay at home rather than go into a nursing home. He needed around the clock care. When he died, the military presented me with a flag and paid $600 on his funeral bill. That being said, I found out that in 2008, ALS was found to be service connected. I wrote my congressman and told my story. I told him that the VA at least owed the $2000 for a service related death. I filled out forms and the congressman's office went to work. I just received this letter two days ago. Can anyone please decipher this for me and tell me what it means or what the VA is doing? What is my father's service to this country worth?

Status 6/10/10 (rjm)

Thank you for contacting us regarding Mr. Sparkman.

The regional office is in the process now of reopening the veterans claim for possible service connection for Lou Gehrig's disease. When the decision is made, Ms. Knuckles will be notified with an award letter.

Additional benefits will be paid if Mr. Sparkman's death is rated as being service connected.

The letter goes on to say that if I have questions to call 1-800-827-1000. I did and the answers were generic. First, I was told that no claim was open. Then I was told that a burial benefits claim was open. I am so confused. Can anyone please help me? I want to honor my father by fighting this. He deserved so much more

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4 answers to this question

Did the VA tell your mother to file a DIC claim for his service connected death. She may need to do that pronto. Hopefully Berta will chime in here as she knows this process inside and out.

J

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First of all, do not use the #800 'phone system, instead use "IRIS", the va.gov website contact system. You'll get a much more comprehensive answer. And, yes, there is quite a bit that you can and need to do to get some satisfaction, and your Mom needs and deserves the DIC (Dependency Indemnity Compensation) that goes with having a husband die of service-connected causes, and, as has been mentioned, Berta is our resident GURU when it comes to DIC. I deferr to her judgement in all matters DIC-related.

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John is right- only AO Nehmer DIC claims can be filed by and awarded to the next of kin.I am not sure how the VA would accept you as the legal claimant here.

What you received is jst a basic letter of acknowledgement.The pre determination team would raise the issue of who the claimant should be.

Is your mother still alive?

Accrued benefits (benefits that a compensation award determines were due to a veteran in his or her lifetime,less any compensation he or she already received -are only payable if the 21-534 form was received by the VA within one year after death.

There are no exceptions to that I am aware of.

When did his spouse file the 21-534? Was it within that first year after death?

Did she formally re-open that claim he had pending for VA comp?

If so what is the status of that claim?

Re-opened claims (that generated the accrued payment award) must be-as I mentioned -filed within one year after death and continuously supported with evidence.

There certainly could be a funeral expense payment due the surviving spouse.

I received in May of this year a smaller payment than that (I think 2,000 is the maximum depending on the actual funeral expense) because my hsband was cremated and had a VA cemetery burial. Still almost 15 years had passed since I applied for this benefit and it was part of the recent AO death DIC award I got so there was not time limit for that payment.

This funeral expense payment is also covered by the formal 21-534 application.

. "I wrote my congressman and told my story. I told him that the VA at least owed the $2000 for a service related death. I filled out forms and the congressman's office went to work"

What forms did you fill out? Was this the actual 21-534 form? It is quite an extensive form as I recall.

If there is no surviving spouse - I dont foresee any way you could be a DIC claimant.

I do think you are seeking a burial/funeral payment.The VA asked me again for the same funeral bills etc they had in my C file for 15 years so it is good idea to have that information ready when they request it from you.

Were you the person who actually paid the funeral/burial expenses?

If I find any more info on any eligibility you could have as daughter of the deceased veteran I will post it here- but other than AO claims (whereby the VA MUST pay any accrued, funeral expenses etc to the next of kin if the AO vet's spouse is deceased)I see only the potential here for recovery of funeral expenses to a degree the VA will determine based on the receipts of those expenses-to you- only if you paid these expenses yourself.I will try to check that out and find a regulation.

Was the ALS listed on the death certificate as causing or contributing to his death?

Did his spouse or yourself re-open his pending within one year after his death or request formally to be substituted for him on the claim that was pending at time of his death?

“Effective September 23, 2008, VA issued a new regulation

establishing presumptive service connection for ALS. 38

C.F.R. § 3.318 (2008). The regulation provides that the

development of ALS manifested at any time after discharge or

release from active military, naval, or air service is

sufficient to establish service connection for that disease.

However, service connection will not be established (1) if

there is affirmative evidence that ALS was not incurred

during or aggravated by service; (2) if there is affirmative

evidence that ALS is due to the Veteran's own willful

misconduct; or (3) if the Veteran did not have active,

continuous service of 90 days or more. Id.”

In this BVA decision the regulations are further described:

“The new § 3.318 applies to all applications for benefits that

are received by VA on or after September 23, 2008, or that

are pending before VA, the United States Court of Appeals for

Veterans Claims, or the United States Court of Appeals for

the Federal Circuit on September 23, 2008.”

http://www4.va.gov/vetapp09/files4/0931621.txt

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This is from the VA web site as to the Burial Benefits:

(This is why I asked who paid for his burial expenses.On my funeral bill the funeral director had indicated the funeral expense was paid by me with date of payment and my personal checking account number and this is what they VA needed to have.The 2,000 is the most they will pay even if the burial expenses were higher than that.

I also had to state I received 300 from the SSA as a burial payment.There could also be a plot interment amount they will refund to you.Apparently there is separate form from the 534 for this payment.The 21-530 form.

'Department of Veterans

Burial and Plot-Interment Allowances

What Are VA Burial Allowances?

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments: (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot or interment allowance.

Who Is Eligible?

You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:

you paid for a veteran's burial or funeral, AND

you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran's employer, and

the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

the veteran died because of a service-related disability, or

the veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, Or

the veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, or

the veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR

the veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, OR

the veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date or death, OR

the veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.

How Much Does VA Pay?

Service-Related Death. VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 10, 2001. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.

Nonservice-Related Death. VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance for deaths on or after December 1, 2001. The plot-interment allowance is $150 for deaths prior to December 1, 2001. If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.

How Can You Apply?

You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach a copy of the veteran’s military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent), death certificate, funeral and burial bills. They should show that you have paid them in full. You may download the form at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/'>http://www.va.gov/vaforms/

Related Benefits

VA National Cemetery Burials / Headstones and Markers / Presidential Memorial Certificates / Burial Flags

For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000

or Visit Our Web Site at http://www.va.gov

Compensation & Pension Service – May 2008"

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