The claims file (also known as the C-file) is the most important set of documents for successfully winning a claim for VA disability. The claims file contains everything the VA rating agent will consider when deciding a claim for VA disability. The file contains military records, medical records, any forms the veteran previously submitted to the VA, and rating decisions. Making sense of this file is key to winning a case for VA disability.
In a perfect world, the claims files would come in a nice binder sorted by color, however, we do not live in that world. Claims files, spanning hundreds or even thousands of pages, often arise in a jumbled mess often secured only by a rubber band. The claims examiner at the VA is busy and will not take the time to examine each of the documents in a jumbled claims file. This is where the services of an experienced accredited VA disability attorney become valuable. The attorney can sort the documents contained in the claims file and use them to form a persuasive argument on qualification for VA benefits. There are often records that should have been included in the claims file but are missing. Replacing these records can assist the VA claims representative in awarding disability.
It should be easy to get a copy of your claims file, after all you are entitled by law to a free copy. This is not usually the case in practice, as there can be waits exceeding six months. There are tools available to attorneys that can greatly shorten the length of time it takes to receive a claims file. These tools include filing a case in Federal court asserting a violation of the Freedom of Information Act0.
An experienced accredited VA attorney can clear through the clutter of the VA and build a case for veterans benefits.