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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    • 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.    
    • Memorial Day Vets Freebies, discounts
      Add yours to the list if you have one: Memorial Day is May 30. It's a time set aside to honor those who lost their lives in the service of their country. It's also become a time for people to thank active duty military personnel and veterans for their service to America. Some stores, restaurants and attractions offer freebies, deals and discounts for both current and former military personnel. It's always good to check with individual merchants to ensure their participation and make sure you have military identification. Here are some of the best Memorial Day offers: Restaurants Applebee's: Up to 10 percent off with valid military ID. Cinnabon: Save 15 percent at participating locations daily with your military ID. Dunkin' Donuts: Take 10 percent off all online orders every day with your Veterans Advantage membership. Hooters: Present military ID at Hooters on Memorial Day and for a free burger, buffalo chicken salad, or 10-piece wings. Lone Star Steakhouse: 20 percent off on Mondays, and 10 percent all other days of the week with valid military ID. McCallister's Deli: Free meal to all active duty military. Includes complimentary entrée, drink and dessert on May 30. McCormick & Schmick's: Active-duty military and veterans can get a free entrée for dinner or lunch on Monday, May 30. The options include buttermilk fried shrimp, parmesan crusted chicken, beef medallions, or beer battered fish and chips. Outback Steakhouse: 10 percent off with valid military ID. Red Robin: Free appetizer with any $10 purchase all weekend. You have to be a Red Robin Royalty member to qualify and can sign up here. Shoney's: One All-American Burger with fries is available to each guest with military ID on Memorial Day. Texas Roadhouse: Receive up to 30 percent off depending on location with valid military ID. Attractions Museums: More than 2,000 museums around the country offer free admission to active-duty military and their families from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. You can find participating museums here. National Park Service: Current U.S. military members, dependents of deployed members of the armed forces and most Reservists and National Guard members can get a free annual pass year-round with military ID. Walt Disney World Resort: Four days military promotional tickets with park hopper option is $196 plus tax. Purchase through Dec. 16 for use now through Dec. 19. Zoos: Many zoos, including the Birmingham Zoo, offers free admission for all active duty and retired military and their dependents on May 28 from 9 a.m.-May 30 at 5 p.m. Other Lowe's  Year round 10% Discount for Active Duty, Disabled Vets, retired.     General motors: Active duty, reservists, retirees, veterans and their spouses can receive the General Motors military discount on Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC vehicles through May 31. Hyundai: Hyundai is doubling its usual $500 military discount for active, retired or veteran military members and their spouses for all eligible 2015, 2016 and 2017 model-year new Hyundai vehicles. Lowe's: A 10 percent military discount to active duty military members and retired veterans, or VA recipients. Valid military ID required. Nike: Save 10 percent at Nike.com and U.S. Nike retail stores throughout the year as an active duty, retired or reserve member of the armed forces. Under Armour: Veterans and active duty service members receive 15 percent off with valid UA Troop ID from May 24 to May 31. You can find out more here.
    • Increase Upgrade rather then DRO or Re open
      Your Award has to pass the 1 year mark, without a NOD filing, to become final. I was in the same situation back in 07/14. Secondary 04/14 FDC Awarded @ 0%. At that time, I had just been Awarded IU at a 06/28/14 DRO Hearing, from a 2010 NOD. Sure didn't want to wait another 3 to 4 yrs for a DRO Decision. Filed a New Secondary FDC 01/15, exactly the same as the 04/14 FDC. C & P took place 04/15 (real Negative VA Dr), 07/15 Decision letter, same Secondary SC @ 0%. I was getting ready to get back on the NOD Train 12/15, just hadn't mailed it in yet. Went on E-Ben 01/03/16 to get a copy of my IU Award for MI Property Tax Exemption. Low and behold, the VA Quality Control Phantom Rater, had taken me from 90% IU to 100% Scheduler with SMC S (1), in mid December. I have no idea of how long the Quality Control Rater had my 07/15 Decision. Had I jumped back on the NOD Train right away, would that have stopped his review and subsequent Award, I don't know. Semper Fi
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      The decision states: "Because we were able to identify a marker in your service treatment reports you were scheduled for a VA compensation examination which was conducted in July 2015.  The examiner diagnosed major depressive disorder and other specified anxiety disorder.  The examiner indicated it is at least as likely as not the" stressor occurred. However the examiner indicated The series of experiences you found to be distressing, you reported antagonistic harassment by superiors related to alcohol rehabilitation contributed to his distress." That, in my opinion ,is not a stressor. We have a topic here I did on what is and isn't a stressor available under a search.  Although combat is not the only prerequisite for a stressor, this does not come close to a non combat stressor. Others might disagree with me and chime in here.    
    • Should I file a claim now or wait?
      Sax, your NEW claim has no bearing or affect on the Issues being Appealed to the BVA. I don't recall you mentioning that you actually started a New claim on your E-Ben site. You know, right, just starting the Claim on E-Ben, establishes your Retro Date? Filing as an FDC, is the way to go. My experience has been very positive with filing FDCs, as soon as the New DX Condition is in my VMC Medical Record. Some would caution, that Filing New Claims would slow down your other older claims or appeals. I filed (2) Secondary FDCs 02 & 04/14, 4 yr old DRO Hearing request was held 06/29/14. Both FDCs (1 Denial, 1 Awarded) were done by 07/14.  Semper Fi  
    • Exams during flare up?
      Oh okay, very good info. Seems similar to the one I had as well. Crossing my fingers for an increase. 
    • DRO hearing
      Rpowell, I would hold off on this until John Dorle sees it.     I think that is the John D you mean. Maybe Dr Bash or even John Dorle could provide an Addendum solely supporting the P & T Issue. I do not see a CUE here. And I do not feel you should drop those pending issues if any of them could possibly cause or contribute to your death. P & T is a medical determination, and like all of the other disability ratings, it requires a C & P exam unless they have significant evidence already, as you said they do in the opinion from Dr. Bash. Even if this involves a new IMO ( Dr Bash might want them to do a new C & P so that his IMO can attack that word for word) it would be well worth the investment  (his fee) in my opinion because the benefits of 100% P & T to your dependents and even with impact on your property tax, depending on where you live, all of that would be worth an IMO specifically for the P & T.        

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rydastar

Recent Letter

15 posts in this topic

so i have a ptsd claim and heart aschemia going on...my question is...i received a letter from v.a. that states they cannot find my IN SERVICE records for my claim???

Is this a typical letter that goes out? I have NO in service claim records as the ptsd and heart ischemia diagnosis was done a year ago? so they said on the letter that to look else where would be futile.

Is this the END of my claim? or is this a form letter they sent just to inform me , as they said that no other in service records can be found of my claim..its crazy to me, as i didn't have any inservice claim for anything 40 some odd years ago...no one knew about ptsd, or AO!

thanks i was rambling but trying to get my point across.. i hope this is not the end of my claim..

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I see you are USN.

'I have NO in service claim records as the ptsd and heart ischemia diagnosis was done a year ago?'

Are you considered Blue Water Navy or Brown Water?

Did you have visitation to Vietnam-even for mere minutes?

Is your ship on the Brown Water list?

Does your claim fall into the New PTSD criteria?

If not have they asked for stressor info yet?

Be as detailed as possible on the stressor.

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sorry be as detailed as possible to the VA- you dont need to reveal the stressor here.

The new PTSD criteria is here in our PTSD forum.

In some cases the VA will not consider the MOS and time of stressor etc as consistent with the new regs andwill try to have it verified by Joint Services Records Research Center.

Did your PTSD diagnsis come from a VA MH professional?

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I found a past post your made here.

You said you were on the Mekong Delta in around 68-69. I assume you went into tributaries (Brown Water)

Can you tell me exactly what type of boat or vessel this was and what ship it came from?

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Generally, the VA sends out a letter acknowledging a claim. This letter may ask for the world as far as service records, medical records, etc..

What I do know is that your Navy service records were kept at the St. Louis records center. When the VA receives a claim, they normally request those records.

The records center has been known to occasionally say that they don't have records when they actually do have them.

IMPORTANT!

If you have a service connected disability, or claim in progress, the VA likely has the master copy of your records.

It seems that the National Records center sends the ORIGINAL to the VA, not a copy. The Original may eventually be returned by the VA to the records center after a period of inactivity.

(No further claims, no VA actions needed, etc.)

Just to add to the problems, service record custodians have repeatedly claimed that the VA is returning incomplete files, showing that the VA "lost' key records. It also seems that the type of records

often "lost" are those that might be favorable to a claim.

If the VA has somehow "lost" the original copy, completely reconstructing the records is a chancy thing.

"Buddy" Statements may be the only option. This gets difficult after forty or so years have elapsed.

Since you mentioned "brown water" service, you may have been part of what is called the "River Rats". If so there is a web site run by the MRFA that may have some useful information.

http://www.mrfa.org

When I was separated from the Navy in 1969, I was given a copy of the records in my "jacket".

These were not complete, and several problems resulted. I had to do research to determine the number and type of awards that I was entitled to that were not on the original DD214.

This eventually resulted in the issuance of a DD215. All of the records involved were at St. Louis.

I was also able to obtain a copy of my records from ST. Louis before the VA got their grubbys on them. This included some hospital records that were key to proving "feet on ground" well before the VA finally acknowledged

"Brown Water" service was presumptive for A.O. exposure.

Funny thing, records of a potentially "CUE"able claim going back to 1969-70 are no longer in the Original file currently held by the VA.

(I'm still digging to see if I have a readable copy of the VA denial somewhere in a closet full of records.)

Just to complicate matters, my parents passed away some years ago, and we are still sorting those records as well.

So far, we have disposed of uncountable bags of shredded records that are un-needed. After a dozen or so bags, we loose patience, and have to quit for a week or two.

so i have a ptsd claim and heart aschemia going on...my question is...i received a letter from v.a. that states they cannot find my IN SERVICE records for my claim???

Is this a typical letter that goes out? I have NO in service claim records as the ptsd and heart ischemia diagnosis was done a year ago? so they said on the letter that to look else where would be futile.

Is this the END of my claim? or is this a form letter they sent just to inform me , as they said that no other in service records can be found of my claim..its crazy to me, as i didn't have any inservice claim for anything 40 some odd years ago...no one knew about ptsd, or AO!

thanks i was rambling but trying to get my point across.. i hope this is not the end of my claim..

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Great info Chuck-I misunderstood this vet-

I thought he was saying VA said they found no evidence of PTSD or IHD in his service records.

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This is what VA told Commander Bob about his PTSD claim. No in-service record of PTSD therefore claim denied.

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Rockman filed his claim for his PTSD from Vietman in September 2010. We waited and waited and wondered why VA kept saying he had to prove his inservice. With the new regs, we were very confused. We had filed for his Agent Orange Claims and all that. We did the IRIS thing and got a call from the Nashville RO within 2 days. We did not realize that the VA needed a new release of medical information for this claim, since it was not agent orange related. As soon as we did this, things started moving along. I don't know if this is of any help or not., but it did in our claim.

Mrs. Rockman

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ok let me answer this first...thanks for replys,,, yes i was diagnosed last year in n.y. for aschemia, by my cardiologist, i have a stent in place from heart problem approx 5-7 years ago, yes i am river rat, mekong delta 68-69 , my base ship we were attached to was named in new regs. uss benawah..i have been to psychiatrist of myt own and she diag. me as ptsd symptoms gaf. 50%

I see you are USN.

'I have NO in service claim records as the ptsd and heart ischemia diagnosis was done a year ago?'

Are you considered Blue Water Navy or Brown Water?

Did you have visitation to Vietnam-even for mere minutes?

Is your ship on the Brown Water list?

Does your claim fall into the New PTSD criteria?

If not have they asked for stressor info yet?

Be as detailed as possible on the stressor.

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yes i was in river squadron 91...ATC (armored troop carrier) , alfa boat, mike boat also...it came from u.s.s. Benawah..

I found a past post your made here.

You said you were on the Mekong Delta in around 68-69. I assume you went into tributaries (Brown Water)

Can you tell me exactly what type of boat or vessel this was and what ship it came from?

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Has the VA diagnosed you with PTSD? That is important now. Do you have combat medal, ribbons or badges? As long as you have proof you were in Vietnam your heart claim should be approved. If you have PTSD DX from the VA with your combat history you should be approved for that condition as well. There have been recent rule changes for PTSD. You must get a PTSD DX from the VA. This is my understanding. Our man here, Larry, has a very good grasp of this rule change. It used to be that you had to verify a stressor for PTSD. I think now if VA says you have PTSD then that is all you need.

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Well i have been to a v.a. phys. Ass't and he looked at me and my cardioligist diagnosis with heart problems. Then i went in for a ekg. i do have medals ribbons badges and also its on my dd214 combat ribbon with bronze V and another ribbon also. As i said earlier my private psychiatrist gave me a gaf of ptsd 50% diagnosis. As it stand now NO to your question of a V.A. doctor diagnosing me with ptsd. I am hoping that is the next step in this process ?.

It just seems like they are not getting my health records i sent and someone else is getting my application claim and not putting them together, If that makes sense?

At one time after submitting my health records i got a letter that they lost my records, then later i get this letter that its "futile" to look any further? I am starting to get ready to dump this whole thing. what a runaround. i will wait for there next communication thnough and see if its any different or what the story is. I also read the new rules and at least as i read it i do not need to show or proove my stressor as was the case in the past, As long as i showed i was in country..to me it sounds weird, being on the river for about a year, many fire fights etc. and having to show i was there..man!! any ways thanks for any and all your help and comments, i will keep trying to get this right even though i am getting depressed at the process. i will update as things progress good or bad! outcome..thanks ryd...

Has the VA diagnosed you with PTSD? That is important now. Do you have combat medal, ribbons or badges? As long as you have proof you were in Vietnam your heart claim should be approved. If you have PTSD DX from the VA with your combat history you should be approved for that condition as well. There have been recent rule changes for PTSD. You must get a PTSD DX from the VA. This is my understanding. Our man here, Larry, has a very good grasp of this rule change. It used to be that you had to verify a stressor for PTSD. I think now if VA says you have PTSD then that is all you need.

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Yep- USS Benawah was exposed to AO and your MOS was Brown Water.(ATC)

The ship should be on this list link:

If it isnt I have other links but having PC problems due to weather and will post links later---

Your PTSD claim and IHD claim should be relatively easy based on what I see here BUT

check out the new PTSD regs here in the PTSD forum- and I need to mention this-

the list of ships providing vessels to inland waterways-Vietnam- has gotten longer over the past year. I dont know if the VA's list is up to date.

Some of the younger Va raters probably wouldn't know an ATC from a fire tug so it pays to give them detailed info on the ATC and the ship it came from as being on the AO ships list.

A printout proving that should be all they need.

"As i said earlier my private psychiatrist gave me a gaf of PTSD 50% diagnosis. " Unfortunately the new regs require a PTSD from a VA MH provider.(This is unfair and is being challenged in court)I dont think you will have any problems however with the PTSD claim - but you should mention the private diagnosis to the C & P doctor.

I think someone at VA saw USN on your IHD claim and just arbitrarily assumed you were Blue Water and thus said no records of PTSD or IHD in service.( how many vets really have PTSD or IHD in their service records-sure not many)

They need it explained to them that your ship was AO presumptive and so was your MOS.

"It just seems like they are not getting my health records i sent and someone else is getting my application claim and not putting them together, If that makes sense?

At one time after submitting my health records i got a letter that they lost my records, then later i get this letter that its "futile" to look any further?"

Boy they are messing up here.

Can you possibly scan and post that letter (cover personal stuff.)

Do you have a vet rep?

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i will look for the letter that info was lost,,and scan if ...i dont know about a vet rep? i have someone helping me with this claim and seems to being a great job, i am for lack of a better word, apprehensive ,nervous, etc.LOL but believe me these last comments from you and others has made me feel a lot better..thanks again

Yep- USS Benawah was exposed to AO and your MOS was Brown Water.(ATC)

The ship should be on this list link:

If it isnt I have other links but having PC problems due to weather and will post links later---

Your PTSD claim and IHD claim should be relatively easy based on what I see here BUT

check out the new PTSD regs here in the PTSD forum- and I need to mention this-

the list of ships providing vessels to inland waterways-Vietnam- has gotten longer over the past year. I dont know if the VA's list is up to date.

Some of the younger Va raters probably wouldn't know an ATC from a fire tug so it pays to give them detailed info on the ATC and the ship it came from as being on the AO ships list.

A printout proving that should be all they need.

"As i said earlier my private psychiatrist gave me a gaf of PTSD 50% diagnosis. " Unfortunately the new regs require a PTSD from a VA MH provider.(This is unfair and is being challenged in court)I dont think you will have any problems however with the PTSD claim - but you should mention the private diagnosis to the C & P doctor.

I think someone at VA saw USN on your IHD claim and just arbitrarily assumed you were Blue Water and thus said no records of PTSD or IHD in service.( how many vets really have PTSD or IHD in their service records-sure not many)

They need it explained to them that your ship was AO presumptive and so was your MOS.

"It just seems like they are not getting my health records i sent and someone else is getting my application claim and not putting them together, If that makes sense?

At one time after submitting my health records i got a letter that they lost my records, then later i get this letter that its "futile" to look any further?"

Boy they are messing up here.

Can you possibly scan and post that letter (cover personal stuff.)

Do you have a vet rep?

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Your ship is also on this AO list from H VAC and posted at the Blue Water Navy Site:

http://www.bluewaternavy.org/shiplist3.pdf

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