One common phrase that can be heard around our office is: “Once we do a review of your C-file, we will know everything about your case.” However, what is exactly is a C-file? How does one get this file? What does this mean for my case? Well, the truth is in there…and we want you to believe.
All puns aside, a Claim file, or C-file is kind of like the lifeblood of your case. A C-file is something that every Veteran has once a claim is filed with the VA. Some C-files are small, and others contain more 7000 pages, but no two files are the same.
What is in a C-file? When we say everything about you, we mean it. For our purposes, we have separated the contents of a C-file into 11 different Categories.
- Miscellaneous: basic information can be found here like birth certificates, employment information, and more.
- Military Administration: This area pertains to everything from your discharge to your awards and personal records.
- Compensation and Pension Exams: Any records pertaining to your C&P Exams,
- VA Medical Records: Record for any occasion in which you have sought treatment at any VA facility.
- Private Medical Records: Any medical records from non-VA facilities, or from your active duty period.
- Military Medical Records: Any medical records from your time in service.
- Entrance and Separation exams: These exams are performed when an individual enters and when they exit the military.
- Ratings Decisions and Statements of the Case: This section is rather large and will contain your application for benefits, appeals, decisions, statements of the case, and so much more.
- Statements in Support of Claim: Any statements or questionnaires that you may fill out will be located here.
- Transcripts: This simply pertains to transcripts from hearings.
- Social Security Administration Records: Any applications, decisions, and records pertaining to Social Security.
Unfortunately those large files are not currently electronic, and they arrive from the VA unsorted. One of the first things we do when a C-file arrives is sort it into the categories above. Those eleven categories contain all of the essential information about your case. Once the sort is complete, the file is scanned into our system, and then it is reviewed by an employee at our firm. Kris, who you may recognize from the photo next to VeteranDisabilityBlog.com logo at the top of every page, is one of our C-file reviewers. When asked about reviewing the files, he says the number of pages does not really matter. What plays more a part in the review is the number of claims a Veteran has filed for. Kris states that a Veteran who has one claim and 5000 pages of records is not as time consuming as a Veteran who has 22 claims and only 1500 pages of documents. Kris also mentioned that no matter the amount of pages, they all get reviewed. Then he said something I did not even know that we did. We check for claims that a Veteran may not have mentioned during our initial consultation. He also mentioned that some of our older Veterans may have forgotten about claims they filed in the past. He checks for all of that too. If there is a chance that we can reopen it, then we will do so.
So, how does one obtain a C-file? That part, unlike the review, is simple. All you really have to do is ask for it from the VA. Remember, the word simple with the VA is a relative term. As I mentioned earlier, the files are not electronic. They are paper. (Do yourself a favor, don’t Google image search this topic.) As they are paper, they are stored in filing cabinets. Further, depending upon when you served, where your case is in the process, and which Regional Office is handling your claim, the file may be in multiple locations. Because of this, it takes time to get your file together. In some cases, it may take more than a year for you to receive your file. Also, it is important to note that only one copy of your file is free. If you request additional copies you will be charged. Clients of ours actually can receive a copy of their file on disk once we have it sorted.
Saying that a c-file is important to your VA Disability claim is an understatement. Honestly, the records found within the c-file really determine your eligibility. It’s like we said at the beginning…the truth…is in there.
If you are impressed by our abilities with C-files, and would like to learn what else we can do for your claim, give us a call today for a free consultation. Our number is 1-877-526-3457. Or, fill out this form, and we will give you a call.