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Found 20 results

  1. Curious if anyone here has gone through the FOIA and had to ultimately sue the VA in Federal District Court to force them to provide their C-File in a more timely manner? FOIA's are required to be fulfilled in 20 business days by law assuming no special circumstances. Obviously the VA isn't going to respond to anything in 20 days but when it goes on for 6 months or longer that is ridiculous and slows our ability to address claim denials/issues quickly. I just filed a FOIA appeal and was sent a letter from the Office of General Counsel, Veterans Administration that my FOIA request was DENIED under FOIA Exemption 6 but remanded to be provided via the Privacy Act. The issue is that the Privacy Act process has no deadline so they can take as long as they want, while the FOIA actually has deadlines and a process for relief when they don't do what they are supposed to. From my understanding, this is a tact the VA uses to confuse people into thinking it is a Privacy Act request and not a FOIA request. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Here is an odd question about the C-file. Is EVERYTHING done by the VAMC supposed to end up in your C-file? I do mean everything. The reason I ask, is that in other posts here I have mentioned missing records from the VAMC New Orleans. When I saw my new VA Primary Care Doc for the first time, she asked tons of questions, which was great. In answer to one of them I mentioned that the VAMC New Orleans lost a bunch of my records and I was pissed about it. She had her unit's Social Worker call me to offer assistance on the issue. It turns out there is something called the Joint Legacy Viewer, which is an application that has insight into every medical record the VA has on you no matter what system it is in. Apparently there are several different systems your records could be in depending on location and year you were seen. When I went yesterday for a follow up on my foot surgery, I went to the Social Workers office and in a couple minutes he pulled up a set of treatment notes about the VNG I had for my vertigo back in 2013 that VAMC New Orleans says is "lost". Those notes are not in my c-file. So I am curios if anyone knows if some files are not put in the c-file. These notes I found don't follow the typical format that VAMC uses and happens to list the Procedure Codes associated with each treatment or test done. For example for the Vertigo they list procedures 92540 through 92547 as being done and the results appended elsewhere. i am going to make an appointment to spend a day searching those files, but I also want to get all of them so I need to figure out that path
  3. Okay so my C-file arrived, and did so amazingly fast. Less than two months, not bad time. Going through all the files and sorting them but one of the first things I need to get together is the claim on OSA. I know the rules have changed about OSA ratings and now the med file must have a doctors saying specifically OSA is a medical condition From the MR21-1MR “When determining whether the 50-percent criteria are met, the key consideration is whether use of a qualifying breathing assistance device is required by the severity of the sleep apnea.” “Use absent a medical determination that the device is necessary does not qualify. The regulation requires that the device be necessary and this is a medical question.” So here is my situation. On 07/07/2013 I had my initial PTSD C&P which noted serious sleep problems, chronic fatigue, hypersomulance but it did NOT mention the SLEEP STUDY diagnosis given on 4/13/13 At that time the simple issuance of a CPAP was considered sufficient to getting a 50% rating for OSA, but as the change listed above notes that is not the case now. I have already filed a claim for OSA secondary to my PTSD. I did this before my Review C&P for PTSD exam, which resulted in getting bumped to 100% PTSD P&T. With the change in MR21, I suspect they may disapprove the OSA claim. If they do, would my path be to file a CUE because the record showed the apnea existed and a cpap was issued when they rated me for PTSD. The retro pay would be awesome! That would seem to be an error on their part and under the old standard I would have gotten a 50% rating for OSA as well as my 70% for PTSD and 10% for Tinnitus. The 70+50+10 calculation is 87 which rounds up to 90 for pay purposes and getting that retro 20% difference for 60+ months would be a nice holiday or new years present to me In the alternative, would I submit a NOD with the same information? or would I have to get a DOC to say that the CPA was medically necessary and would that mean I needed another Sleep Study? Thanks in advance. I am just trying to get things ready for whenever they make a determination on the existing claim.
  4. I have a couple more questions I hope someone can help me with. This post concerns C-file copies. I'll make other posts on the other questions. 1. I obtained a copy of my C-file after my initial award of 60% disability. Is it possible to obtain copies of the appeals and changes since that initial award, without having to request the entire C-file? 2. Since I have never had a copy of this part of the file, will I be charged money for the copies of the new pages? Thanks in advance.
  5. I don't know if I have filed the necessary paperwork for my C-File or not, I don't even know what a C-file is. I did file paperwork requesting my medical records from when I was on active duty, 1979-1999. I Don't know what a C-file is and how it differs from my medical records. Today I had an appt. with my VSO and asked him if we had filed the paperwork requesting my C-file. He said No and he didn't really know what is in one and didn't think we needed to file for one. That bothered me. He claims to be one of the best VSO's around. I read on this sight about the C-file all the time and want to know what is in mine. So, exactly how do I file to get mine. And, what is in it, what do they look like? How is it different from my medical records? BTW, I'm 10% SC for migraines and 0% for my back. Thanks
  6. found some more interesting documents in my husband's C-File. we are also ordering more recent medical files so I am going to reorganize his documents, add the new ones, and repost them later. Thank you again, This site is amazing in how you help so many in need.
  7. Hello, So a while back, the VA sat down to decide my claim, but the DAV rep who signed my claim was apparently no longer certified or something, so the VA erased my claim. As in, I checked E-Benefits and it was no longer there. Erased. Zero. So, I e-mailed my DAV rep (who barely even apologized) and he had me send him a new EZ claim submission form. So I did. So, my new claim is currently visible in E-Benefits, however under the "documents uploaded for this claim" tab, there is nothing there. Now, the VA is requesting documents from me about any private medical care I received. I already uploaded everything that I had. Should I try to get more, because if I don't, they'll deny me? Also, I called the claims hotline twice, and each time was told that documents that I upload to E-Benefits for my claim are automatically entered into my C-File. How long does that take? Is it immediate? I just wanted to check here that that is the case, because I am getting ready to hit the "Request Claim Decision" button and if my C-File has been wiped and I get denied or have to wait another year, HAHAHA! So, should I be good to go? It has only been 3 weeks since my claim was erased, and I don't have any new documentation. Best regards, Phil
  8. I filed my first claim and recently received va decision. 10% awarded for tinnitus, sleep apnea denied, wrist tenosynovitis denied, and hearing loss denied. I have county VSO but I know they are very busy and want to put paperwork in good order before I file the NOD with them. I was only given audio exam from VA but no other exam. I retired from the Air National Guard and have twenty years of service. The service history is convoluted but I have all the records involved 3 DD214's (Active Duty Army and Air Force), Title 10 orders for (Air Guard), and NGB22 (Air Guard and Army Guard). My career was Infantry to start and Flightline Avionics for the latter part. I have my Air Force medical records. What I don't have is my Army medical records covering Active Duty Army (including initial entrance exam) and Army National Guard. Somehow Army records never crossed over into the Air Force but I located (after many requests) the records in MO and have requested 8 months ago. The recently confirmed that received the request but said it would be about 2 more months...I was not able to provide any Army medial records with my initial claim. I have request my C-file last week by fax and certified mail so hopefully I will receive soon. Just wondering what else I should be doing while I wait for those records to show up. Sleep apnea: The denial letter stating the sleep study date was wrong, I had it 10 years previous to the date they mentioned. So I figure I would point that out first thing. Also believe I will have evidence in Army medical records to back up the claim but there is the waiting game. Wrist Tenosynovitis: For this I have complaints on webHA and civilian medical records but it was aggravated by fall from helicopter. Stupidly I did not file an incident report, wrist hurt but also was embarrassed and just want to "shrug it off". I did have witness and maybe I could get lay statements....but this was also preexisting condition, but also aggravated by regular flightline work. Hearing Loss: I was told that I that I have left ear hearing loss but i didn't show service connection. I remember being told by Army medical on exam that I had hearing loss related to gunfire and that "I would want to keep these records.". I was very young at the time and was ignored it but now those are the records in MO that I am waiting on. I was also recently diagnosed with severe and recurring depression and prescribed medication and have long history of diagnosed sleep disorder and medication. I don't know weather to purse these as separate claims or as part of sleep apnea, which are symptoms. I do qualify for both gulf war exam and burn pit registry exam due to Kuwait deployment I and am wondering what the difference between those two are and if they are worth pursuing? I had throat surgery for diverticulum and diagnosed with barretts esophagus that could be related as well as forest fires in Idaho (Army) as well as fires during LA riots (Army Guard) and breathed in massive amounts of dust driving personal carrier in Mohave desert during 4 Ft. Irwin rotations. Once all my C-file and Army medical records show up I was considering going to the Ellis Clinic for exam and report to file with NOD...I figure I could fly out and pay for exam less than $1000 and was wondering if anybody else thought it was worth it? Sorry, that is a lot info to throw out there but I'm trying to figure my way through this claim process and would just appreciate any advice form the community. Thanks!
  9. I filed several NOD's back in late May 2016, and at the same time I submitted a Privacy Act Request under the Freedom of Information Act for my C-File......ebenefits said estimated completion: 12/22/2016 - 04/24/2017......Current Status: Gathering of Evidence. Those dates have now expired......11 months now.......have not heard a word from anyone. Who can I contact to find out about my C-File status as estimated dates have expired? My RO is Waco, Tx. WayneTX
  10. I've been reviewing a lot of posts on here advising what to do while waiting for a Comp. Claim to be decided. One thing I noticed was that it's recommended to get your C-File. Which is good to hear because I put in for that first. The weird thing is the time tables though. According to eBennies,I put in my Privacy Act Request 10/14/15 and the estimated completion date is 10/24/16 - 6/20/17!! Whereas, the Comp. Claim was entered 12/22/15, was changed from "Under Review" to "Gathering of Evidence" today with estimated completion date of 5/19/15 - 9/23/15! Definitely, not complaining about my Comp. Claim moving along quicker than expected! What I don't understand though, why is the Privacy Act Request going to take 1 - 1.5 years, compared to, the up to 9 months for the Comp. Claim? How can they decide Compensation quicker than sending me my C-File?! WTF? If anyone has any information to add some clarity to this concern; it'd greatly be appreciated! Thanks
  11. So I looked on eBene and it said my freedom on information act request would take anywhere from a year to 2 years. I sent it in Nov 2015 and they said it can take until the end on 2017. Does anyone know of a way I can appeal to get my C-File faster? The only reason I ask is that my Service Medical records are In there and without them..no IME. The IME is needed for the appeal and I don't want to have one down until all the records are in place. Thoughts?
  12. While going through my C-file recently, it just occurred to me that the records from my initial exams are not there. When I was getting out, I filed my initial claims, and went to various exams, and x-ray appointments at various locations. These records are not there. How do I go about requesting these specific records? I am SC for all those contentions, but there is no record of what took place, so I can even see if and how much I was lowballed by. Thanks. Semper Fi. Andyman
  13. a new proceeds heads up. email i got after request, Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act Requests are now being handled at a centralized location. I have forwarded your request as well as this address update... also they will call you and send you a letter asking if you want your records in hard copy paper or on a CD. to lesten the time frame from now on put your answer to this in your FOIA request.
  14. I put in a FOIA request for my C-file back in March 2015. I expected to get a box or large envelope of documents. Instead this is what I received Friday. The CD is PDF and searchable, which I like. However, I am still missing service records from Desert Storm so maybe VA doesn't have them. Can anyone tell me another route to get them?
  15. I call the VA and they hang up on me after they inform me I need to write a letter to the VARO in Baltimore. Ok what kind of letter? I visited the DAV there and the rep said that he completed a FOIA request for me but I don't see it in ebenes. I have sat on my 40% for over 20 years without 1/100th of the knowledge I've been learning through this site. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I've been low balled. I have most of my military records but I don't want to send duplicates of what the VA has reviewed. However I do not know how my ratings were reviewed. Can anyone inform me on how to properly request my c-file? Thank you.
  16. I received a phone call from the Houston RO last week stating I will be set up for C&P exams for my pending NOD and that my C-file was being sent. Yesterday morning someone called to verify my availability for the exams and said I would have the exams scheduled NLT 12 June. :D. Then...my husband came home from work carrying this huge box asking what the heck the VA sent that was so heavy and big. Low and behold it was my C-file that was requested last year. The entire file is very overwhelming. It has a lot of duplicate information (probably my fault) and it was four huge reams of paper, double sided. Small success and seems like my NOD is moving right along. So far I've been impressed with the Houston RO. My initial claim went through St. Louis and other than scheduling the C&P with QTC, I had zero communication with the VA.
  17. Here's a new one to me. The VA reopened my old open records/privacy act request for my C-File that had been completed back in July, 2014. I had filed the request back in February, 2013, waited nearly a year and a half for the documents, and ended up doing a Presidential inquiry in late May, 2014, and amazingly the C-File arrived in early July. I'm not sure why the VA would have reopened it this month, unless it has something to do with the 80-something pages of other veterans' medical records that were inside it. However, I had let the VA know that back in July as well via IRIS, but I didn't ask for a "purged" copy. I haven't made any new requests, so it's kind of strange. Anybody have this happen? Or what it could mean? Mark
  18. Does anybody now what the average (if such an animal exists) wait time is for an open records request for a C-File to be processed at the Houston VARO? I was one of "those people" who worked their own claims, and didn't obtain a copy of my C-File before filing. Of course, after I filed my initial claims, I kicked myself for not doing it, but put off making an open records request for fear that I would delay my claim longer. Bad part is that I waited 32 months before finally receiving a rating. Now that I'm in the NOD phase of my claim, I know I have one year to get it filed properly. I'm also in hopes of obtaining IMO's this time around for the other conditions denied, and believe that it is imperative that I have my C-File. I mainly would like to know how long it takes to get it from Houston, if there is a normal amount of time. Or if I should go ahead and file my NOD with my own language, and then shoot IMO's over to the VARO after I receive my C-File and receive an opinion or two. Btw, I already mailed off my open records request via U.S. Mail yesterday for my C-File, so at least that part is done. Any advice, horror stories, input or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again! Mark
  19. I have a couple of questions about C-files. 1. How long are they kept? 2. Are they always kept at a local office? 3. What happens when you move? The last time I filed a claim I lived in Atlanta area...and all previous claims were handled by the Atlanta VARO. Since then I have moved to Tennessee. My closest VARO is in Nashville. When I left Atlanta I left a change of address. Now that I have SSDI I want to submit to the VA that I am receiving it. Which VARO has my records? Who would I notify? and how can I request a copy of my C-file. Will Nashville VARO be able to get it if it is in Atlanta? It is impractical for me to go to Atlanta as I don't have the means to get there and back. I want the file to see what is in there because I plan on filing for TDIU based on the fact that I can not work due to my SC disability and use SSDI as proof.
  20. After, a C-File request is sent to the VARO, how long does it take for them to send it.......I have been waiting three months and recieved nothing..Is this normal. My Disability compensation claim is on hold..I can not get a IMO until I get the C-File....Yikes...Is there anything I can do to speed thngs up?
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