As a veteran filing for VA disability benefits, you have the legal right to view your c-file. The VA creates your c-file as soon as you file for disability benefits and it contains everything that the VA has collected about your service history, your medical condition and your prognosis.
Requesting a copy of your c-file not only allows you to confirm the accuracy of the records but also helps you craft an appeal if necessary.
What is in the c-file?
A c-file is a comprehensive record of everything that the VA has reviewed in your case. Your service record is the first thing they requisition, including details of the date of your service separation due to the injury and your DD-214. Any incident reports or statements relevant to the incident apply as well. You will also find your disability application, questionnaire and character statements. C-files also include medical records, VA assessments, benefit denials and appeals.
Why should you get your c-file?
You might wonder why your c-file is so important. Any time you receive a denial for VA disability benefits, your c-file details why. If you want to appeal the decision, obtaining your c-file first lets you craft an appeal specifically targeted to the reasons for your denial.
Not only can the information prepare you for an appeal, but it can also help you ensure accuracy. The VA is not infallible, and records are sometimes misfiled or recorded incorrectly. Review your c-file for accuracy and ensure that the records are complete.