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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    • Should I file a claim now or wait?
      Thanks Gastone, I have not started the claim on E-ben yet.  I'm still getting all my evidence in order.  I never filed on E-ben before I assume you can do a FDC on there just like filing at VSO.  
    • PTSD Denied NSC - Schizophrenia NSC
      Hi Mark, Thank you so much for responding.   He does not have a current treating psychiatrist.   Following a 1978 suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization at a psych ward for 30 days - the psych ward doctor issued a diagnosis of schizophrenia - paranoid type.  After some bizarre behavior by my brother in years that followed, he was an outpatient treatment at county mental health center on and off and attending physician wrote diagnosis in 1983 of " schizophreniform episode with depressive symptoms" .  This medical evidence was submitted with his original claim in 1982 and his request to re-open claim in 2015.  He was not treated for any mental illness while in service / Vietnam.   At his recent C&P exam (last month) the attending VA examiner diagnosed him as still being schizophrenic and they issued a 50% rating -- but the rating indicates NSC. I will request a copy of his C&P exam from last month immediately -- thank you for pointing me to the form.  I have contacted several psychiatrists in the area to examine him and complete a "DBQ" to show nexus to his Vietnam trauma and they won't even return my calls.   My personal opinion as his sibling (I'm a former banker - certainly not a doctor) is that immediately upon return from Vietnam he had PTSD (burning his uniform, anti-social, startled behavior, etc) and this evolved into schizophrenia, culminating with a suicide attempt. Symptoms are still there -- just under the surface - because I take care of everything for him down to covering his rent shortage, co-signing for his apartment, buying his clothes and (meager) furnishings, etc.      
    • Question about NOD wait time after applying.
      Pack a lunch. DRO Reviews anywhere 12 - 18 months, DRO Hearings 2+ yrs, mine took 4.25 yrs in 2014. Check your RO's, most recent, Monday Morning Report. Unless it's changed, the MMR will show the "Total Appeals" pending for your RO. It doesn't list the DRO's separately from the BVA's. Gives you some idea of what your into. Call any of the VSO's that have an office at your RO, try to get the MFIC or a Sr Service Rep on the line. Find out how many DRO's are on your RO's Staff. He should be able to find out exactly how many pending DRO Hearings have been handled in 2016. From there you can do the math. Keep in mind, you MUST submit the "New & Material Evidence," Mandated by the VA Reg for a DRO Review or Hearing.  Early receipt of your N&M Evidence, could trigger the VA Automatic Review of your Denial by a Sr Rater or actual DRO. You "could?" get an award or a Continued Denial, much sooner than the actual DRO Hearing.  FAILURE to submit the N & M Evidence, will guarantee you an Administrative Denial. At the 4 yr mark, I filed an Official Request for an "Informal DRO Evidence Conference." Never got the conference, but within 3 months I received the VA notification that my DRO Hearing was on deck for 6/28/14. I chose to go "Informal," no recording transcription. Hearing lasted 35 min, DRO told me he was awarding everything. I was out of the RO by 930am. VSO Rep had a copy of the DRO Award by 3:30 same day. Retro hit mid July, VA Award Letter, like Aug 1. It's not unusual for the DRO's Decision, to take up to a yr after a Regular (not informal) DRO Hearing. Semper Fi
    • Question about NOD wait time after applying.
      The best way to figure out where you stand with your NOD is to follow the VA Monday reports. Look up your Waco RO and click on the TA tab all the on the right side. It will tell you how many appeals your RO has waiting. Follow the reports for a month and you will get a general number of how many NODs the RO is completing. Even this is not a guarantee or totally accurate. Example: My brother in law in Connecticut had his DRO review done in 28 days. A friend of mine out of the Tampa St Pete RO has been waiting 2 1/2 years. The VA says the average is 377 days. I figure 12 to 18 months is the average. I am out of the NY RO. I figure two years for DRO review and then tag on another three years if it goes to the BVA judge. Good luck with your appeal!
    • PTSD Denied NSC - Schizophrenia NSC
      What diagnosis does his current treating psychiatrist list? How about mental health treatment in the past--did they diagnose schizophrenia? PTSD?  When did he first manifest symptoms of schizophrenia? When did he first receive treatment for schizophrenia? Sorry to ask so many questions, but that information will help me and others to give you more specific advice.  I agree with @Berta - you have a right to receive a copy of the C&P exam reports from VBA after the Rating Decision. Use VA FORM 3288 and either mail or fax it to the VBA Centralized Intake Center. If you mail it, do so in a way that gives you proof that it was received, e.g., U.S. Postal Service Signature Confirmation. If you fax the form, you will receive a fax receipt from the VBA centralized intake center. I attached a copy of VA FORM 3288 with some tips for how to fill it out. You can complete the form by printing it and then filling it out with a pen, or you can type your answers into the form, and then print it. Be sure to sign and date the form in ink. VA FORM 3288 is online at: All the Best, Mark VA3288-Request-for-Records-use-for-C-file_Requests.pdf
    • Tbird in Chatroom Now - Mon May 30 NOW - Join the Chat 
      Tbird in Chatroom Now - Mon May 30 NOW - Join the Chat 
    • Question about NOD wait time after applying.
      When you file a NOD how long does it generally take on the average to hear back from a DRO?. I filed a NOD form last week with Waco, TX. Regional Office and also asked for a DRO Hearing right up front to get that part out of the way without further delays asking me what kind of DRO I wanted...  Never done a NOD before so any input on average time frame of initial response is helpful.  Just curious. Wayne.
    • PTSD Denied NSC - Schizophrenia NSC
      "Furthermore, they made no mention of Agent Orange disabilities claimed (hypertension, ischemic heart disease, etc) even after I responded to 8 of their questions on this disability." Sorry I missed that at first...they properly developed the 5103 waiver as far as I can tell. The vet rep will want to see a copy of that and how you responded to it.  The 40 % GSW rating is for what would obviously be a stressor. There must be something in the original denial that they would not re-open the PTSD claim for. The Vet rep might well use this 40% rating as New and Material to the PTSD claim.... Your statements would be good as to symptomatology, but long standing serious symptoms have to  lead to documented medical care. I concerns me that they did not defer the AO issue, but simply seemed to ignored it.      
    • PTSD Denied NSC - Schizophrenia NSC
      Were any AO disabilities claimed on the 21-526 form? "I need to get an expert involved for our NOD and a new claim for Agent Orange since they completely overlooked that -- A rep at American Legion wants to take it on.   Do I go this route or go to an attorney?" I would let a rep look it over first. "Will QTC give me a copy of his exam? " The VARO should be willing to release it to you with a formal request for it.   "I need to get him another dr exam to show evidence of his current Agent Orange symptoms"   Did the 5103 waiver or anything else from the VA  ask for more specific medical evidence of any claimed AO disabilities? There were many personal statements from you in the evidence list. VA often breezes over statements like that in favor of concentrating on any established medical evidence, such as formal diagnosis and treatment records.. I think you had mentioned here before that he had heart disease. Did they have any medical evidence to that affect?  
    • Finally got my 100% for Malignant melanoma
      Great News - Happy you got your rating. Take care of yourself.

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Va Fl 10-42

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Veterans Benefits Administration

Washington, D.C. 20420

October 12, 2010

Director (00/21)

All VA Regional Offices and Centers

Fast Letter 10-42

SUBJ: Guidance on Rating Dental Conditions


This letter provides clarification on establishing eligibility for outpatient dental services and treatment.


The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has been receiving from Veterans copies of rating decisions in which service connection "for treatment purposes" is established for certain dental conditions. Examples include periodontal disease on a direct service-connection basis, periodontal disease as secondary to diabetes mellitus, bruxism secondary to post-traumatic stress disorder, and dental caries secondary to medication-induced xerostomia (dry mouth).

VHA is responsible for notifying Veterans of the determination of eligibility for dental treatment. Eligibility for dental treatment is limited by statute. VHA generally has no authority to treat a noncompensable dental condition or disability, even if service connected, unless the dental condition or disability is due to combat wounds or other service trauma; the Veteran is a former prisoner of war; the Veteran is in receipt of compensation at the 100-percent rate due to service-connected disability; the Veteran is participating in a rehabilitation program under 38 U.S.C. Ch. 31 and requires dental services for certain reasons stated in 38 CFR 17.47(g); OR the Veteran is applying for one-time dental care within 180 days of discharge or release from active service. Conditions such as periodontal disease, carious teeth, and missing teeth can be service connected for dental treatment purposes under 38 C.F.R. § 3.381(a) only as provided in 38 C.F.R. § 17.161. Sections 1712 and 2062, title 38, United States Code, and 38 C.F.R. §§ 17.161-163 and 17.165-166 provide the eligibility requirements for Veterans' outpatient dental treatment.

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