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Hobby

  1. I recently received mine, but it did not go as well as expected. I am curious about anyone else's experiences.
  2. I was trying to find my SSA records but so far I haven't. There are over 5,000 pages in this version. I have tried several searches, but to no avail. I have searched for the individual whose records where mixed up with mine but so far can't find those either. Since I should have at least been awarded TDIU back to the time SSA found me unable to work, based solely on service connected conditions, this is important to my claim. There are lots of new military records. Lots of names blacked out. I guess the VA doesn't want us looking up any of them.
  3. I requested my C-File on 22 February 2020. It finally arrived 9 January 2021. A little more than 10 months. It is now 5,130 pages. Back in 2016 I requested my C-File. It took from 12 July 2016 until 2 June 2017. About the same amount of time as the current one. It was 2,164 pages.
  4. Ok, so I started requesting copies of my c-file in 2013 or 2014 after filing to re-open my 1993 claim in August 2013. My repeated requests went unanswered, and I ended up having to make a Congressional Inquiry through Senator's office to get a copy.... and now I request a copy every time the VA makes a decision (via Congressional inquiry). Here's what I've figured out and what I'm not sure how to deal with, and a question about c-file contents. 1. I have, I think, 4 or 5 CD's of my c-file. I received the first Spring of 2015! . The problem is that documents that were in the c-file CD that I received in 2015 aren't in the one I received in April (2019)... Documents that were in my c-file CD from last summer (2018) aren't in the one I received in April (2019)... Anyone have an explanation for that? 2. Alternatively, I cannot figure out why Congressional Inquiries correspondence that was made while I was still active and the 4 years after aren't in my USAF/VA? ... Yes!, (and again to the dismay of the VA) I do have hard copies of that Congressional Inquiry correspondence... Granted, as one of my previous "Question to the Elders" noted, I have had to find friends and my ex to write letters attesting to my filing a claim and seeing a VA doctor in 1993 because the VA has lost the files, so it doesn't surprise me that the VA sucks at filing documents in c-files. However, in the April 2019 copy I received, I noticed they seem to have "piecemealed" what letters/correspondence from the Senator's office, who is my intermediary for the VA, is copied into my c-file... Anyone have an explanation/solution for that? Granted I have all the correspondence to/from the Senator's office and the VA, but it makes me wonder what they've sent to the BVA... 3. Is there an option for me to view what is on VBMS? I ask this question because the c-file I received summer 2017 included a "Rating Decision" page which I never received from the VA and at the bottom of the page I noticed a note that read, "VSR: Please see the deferred issue in VBMS as to the "appeal" noted on the VA Form 21-4138 (dated August 1, 2016) with attachments and tabbed in VBMS documents. Veteran notes the appeal regards "an earlier effective date as to the service connected conditions." The Veteran's "appeal" received on August 2, 2016, should be addressed by the Appeals team." There was no appeal filed at that time. The Form 21-4138 they reference makes clear the documentation I was submitting was being submitted in support of my 2016 claim, which the VA closed. I have since requested the VA correct their error and attach the document to my NOD, and now to BVA appeal. But this makes me wonder what other *&^% ups they've made that I can't see in VBMS? I went to the D.C. VARO office last week and the dude who is working at the front desk said I can't access/view VBMS... No, I do not have a VSO... haven't had a good experience...they don't seem to have read 38CFR, know or keep up on case law, and only seem to know 'surface' information... (i.e. File such and such on this form). Thoughts? J McB
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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!
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Does any one know if a c-file can be requested from ebenefits or another website or do we have to actually go to the VA to obtain?
  16. 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?
  17. Hi everybody, I'm helping my dad through this claims process. I requested his C-File via FIOIA on Nov 19, 2015. I submitted his FDC on Dec 16, 2015 and per E-Ben, the date of completion for claim is 5/15-9/15. However, the CFile's completion date is 12/16-7/17! Wow! If I send another request to expedite c-file request, could it delay the comp decision? Anyone have experience with this? Thanks!
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. Hello all, Hope this isn't a repeat, I thought I wrote this yesterday evening, but now can't find it. Yesterday's mail brought a most interesting letter from the VA. It was from the director of the records depot in St. Louis. Apparently "they" sent my C-file to another Veteran. That Vet's lawyer contacted the records office to inform them of their error. I am still feeling quite beside myself about this. Strangely enough, they didn't bother to send me my C-file with this letter. So I still don't have it, but I have a letter saying someone else got it. Lucky for me, they are offering me a free 1yr paid premium subscription to a credit monitoring service. I got a MH apt on Monday, not sure how that's gonna go, now, because of this. Any thoughts on what I should do now? Thanks in advance. Semper Fi. Andy
  21. 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?
  22. Can someone tell me how to get a copy of my C-File. I have a NOD submitted, how can I check on the status of that, there is nothing showing in Ebennies. Thanks, Coastie72
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Howdy All, It's been a while since I've been on here, and I wanted to share that I finally got my C-File copy that I requested way back in February of 2013. I ended up finding the military and civilian medical records of four other individuals tucked inside, about 89 pages worth, and found that a majority of my own SMR's and civilian medical records were missing. I'm working on that through my appellate process, and I'll keep y'all posted. It does look like the C-File is missing most of my separation physical examination testing and report documentation though. I was able to reconstruct a bit with copies that I had and have since forwarded on to the VA, along with a lot of personnel documentation that wasn't in the file either. However, the thing that intrigued me was that I finally was able to read what my VA examiner, a medical doctor (retired USAF Colonel) working for the contract company Veterans Evaluation Service had provided in my C&P examination report. This particular examination was for service connection for Mononucleosis, incurred while on duty. I noted that he did service connect the Mononucleosis infection on my DBQ, advising that the first sign occurred while I was on active duty. However, he goes on to state that while I show no "active" signs of Mononucleosis, the resulting Epstein Barr Virus (virus that causes infectious Mononucleosis), has caused residual conditions of Chronic Fatigue and "recurrent viral symptoms and infections". He even went so far as to add my other claimed condition, Hodgkin's Lymphoma as a secondary condition to the Mononucleosis (I have a NOD already filed on this, along with the Mononucleosis and Epstein Barr Virus residuals.) I believe the rater probably went with the "no evidence of active Mononucleosis" and denied. On the Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Epstein Barr conditions, the rater stated that there was no record of Mononucleosis in service, which even the VA examiner noted was present. (Which now that I have copies of my SMR's in my C-File, I know that evidence of diagnosis was present and available upon rating.) I've picked up the football with a medical opinion letter from my oncologist, linking my Hodgkin's Lymphoma condition to Mononucleosis and Epstein Barr infection, so I'm working on that. However, here's my question: Should I go ahead and file a new application on the Chronic Fatigue and "recurrent viral symptoms and infections" conditions right now? Or wait? I already have claimed conditions that are in NOD for joint pain, sleeplessness and sinusitis. Would these cancel each other out with a Chronic Fatigue or "recurrent viral symptoms and infections" claim? Also, because he diagnosed these conditions on my Mononucleosis DBQ, will the VA trash them immediately? Any thoughts or advice would be deeply appreciated. Have a great weekend! Mark Oh yeah....and when people on here say to get your C-File copy first before starting on this adventure......DO IT! I wish I had saved myself the years of waiting and stress by requesting my copy at the onset.
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