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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Questions for Elders ...one at a time... 5th - Contents of c-file


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).








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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 Congression

I have received my C-File twice, once in 10/2017 and 5/2019. As far as I can tell the second one has all the first ones info plus everything that has happened since then (2,500 pages in first one and

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I've had similar situations, and to be honest, every C-File request rendered different results.  There always seemed to be extra records that were not in previous C-Files and some pages missing.  Of course, I also had nearly 100 pages of other veterans records, which took me several years of fighting the VA to remove them.

You'll get similar results from requests from the NPRC.  I actually received a new NPRC packet the other day and it had 6 pages of records from my active duty days that I had not seen before, even though I had done requests multiple times previously over the years.  Amazing.

Good luck in your fight and hav a great weekend.



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  • HadIt.com Elder

When I originally requested a copy of my c-file 7 or 8 years ago, I was told future requests would only contain new documents. If I wanted a full copy each time I would have to pay for the copies already sent previously. With data being provided on disc, I would assume they would just copy all of it each time. I have a request in the hopper to get a full copy on disc. Waiting to see what comes of it.

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I am not an elder but I have a few ideas.

First, I believe the VA is haphazard and sloppy in how they move our records to the electronic data que.  They make it important to get and keep copies of all treatment you have been given.  What is interesting about my cfile is that they have records for some care the VA denies I ever received.  They lost the records to cover a SNAFU that they committed in 1987.

Second, I do not believe that the VA keeps and maintains records of congressional correspondence.  There was a great deal of congressional correspondence between the VA and my official in 1987 and again in 1995 and it is nowhere to be found.  I have copies but that is the extent of it.  If you are sure that this correspondence is important to your case I would upload it using va.gov.

Third.  You are not allowed to view VBMS, it is a black hole that veterans are not supposed to know about.  It does contain interesting information.  That is why you might want to get a VSO and maintain a friendly relationship with them.  In my case they have locked my VBMS up and my VSO can no longer see my information.  I do not know if it is personal or just an "error" on the VA's part but I have been to hell and high water to fix it to no resolution.


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5 hours ago, Vync said:

If I wanted a full copy each time I would have to pay for the copies already sent previously.

I have received my C-File twice, once in 10/2017 and 5/2019. As far as I can tell the second one has all the first ones info plus everything that has happened since then (2,500 pages in first one and 3,750 pages in the second one). I requested another copy of my complete C-File last week, I expect to see it in April or May 2020 (they are slow). I was not charged anything for the second disk.

6 hours ago, vetquest said:

In my case they have locked my VBMS up and my VSO can no longer see my information.  I do not know if it is personal or just an "error" on the VA's part but I have been to hell and high water to fix it to no resolution.

I would suggest emailing the Chief of Staff of the VA and ask for her assistance. I am sure once she is contacted it will be unlocked.

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Ok.  I have had similar experiences with cfile(s).  

You have 2 choices to see a copy of your VBMS:

1.  Hire an attorney with VBMS Access.

2.  Give your POA to a VSO with VBMS access.  

     The VA currently does not grant pro se Vets VBMS access.  Its a tremendous disadvantage.  The VBMS is "real time" access, while paper or cd copies of cfiles are out of date by the time we get them.  

     The VA "having control" over our files is frustrating.  So, I suggest you keep either an electronic or paper copy of everything VA sends you, or everything you send VA.  

     You can get your medical records at your release of information office at your VAMC.  Get em and keep em.  

      Other than what I mentioned, along with your existing copies of your cfile, you can request your own at NPRC.  

     Its never a good idea to let your opponent at law have control over your records, but we dont have a choice.  

However, by getting your cfile, and keep copies of every document in and out, you can come as close as possible.   But you wont get "internal" documents related to your case.  Example:  "Rating sheet" that goes with your decision that Veterans never see "until" you get a copy of your cfile that is AFTER your BVA decision.  Its then called the RBA (Record Before Agency).  

     VA just plain manipulates our files as they see fit, and get away with it because they have zero accountability.  

     Now, I guess the question is, why do you need these records?  Are you in appeals?  Apparently you are at 100 percent, are you seeking an EED or SMC?  Other than an 1151 claim, there are only 3 ways to additional comp that Im aware of:

1.  Obtain an earlier effective date for your 100 percent rating.

2.  Get one or more SMC's

3.  1151 claim. 

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