What is a VA claim file?
Your VA claim file—sometimes called the ‘C-file’ within the VA—is like a supercharged version of the exhibit file built over the course of an application and appeal for Social Security disability benefits. Your entire service, medical, and claim history can be in this key piece of evidence.
What kind of information is in a claim file?
Sometimes a claim file is relatively small, but usually it contains hundreds of pages. Items typically included in your file can be:
- Military records
- VA medical records
- Non-VA medical records
- Compensation and pension exam records
- Discharge documentation
- Military records, including awards and information about your entrance and separation exams
- Statements in support of claim
- Ratings decisions
- All notifications of prior decisions
- Statements of the case
- Applications for benefits
- Transcripts of all hearings related to your claim
- Birth certificate
- Employment history
- Social Security records
Should I review my VA claim file?
Familiarizing yourself with your VA claim file will benefit your case. Aside from refreshing your memory on the history of your current claim, you may be able to catch any mistakes or omissions that might be hurting your odds of obtaining a favorable decision.
The VA allows you one copy of your full VA file, free to your request. However, because VA claim files are not maintained electronically, physical copies must be made of every piece of paper in the file. Additionally, parts of your file may be in different locations. Because of this, it can take a year or more for the file to arrive. In other words: Request a copy of your C-file as soon as you decide to apply for VA disability benefits.
If you’re ready to take charge of your VA disability case, don’t wait another day—talk with one of the dedicated Houston VA benefits attorneys at Morgan & Weisbrod. Contact us by calling toll-free 800.800.6353 or filling out the online contact form.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.