Getting your VA disability claims to move faster can be like moving heaven and earth. VA’s delays are legendary. However, there are a few things that you can do to keep VA moving along as quickly as possible. Watch this video by VA Disability Attorney John V. Tucker with 3 tips for making your VA service-connected compensation claim move faster.
This video tells you how doing the following can help you:
- Get your C-File;
- Get your medical records; and
- Getting your service records.
You can get your C-File through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Currently, you can read about how to do this on VA’s website at: https://www.oprm.va.gov/foia. They change their site all the time, so it may be different page when you search, but it is on their site somewhere.
Getting your medical records can help quite a bit as well. Get them from private doctors or hospitals, VA hospital doctors, and Veterans Health Administration doctors. Don’t assume that VA will get your records. And remember, for VA doctors, you can access your records electronically by visiting MyHealtheVet. VA changes the MyHealtheVet web page all the time, so if the link does not work, just click the “Home” button when you are there and look for the link to medical records.
You can also get your military service records and service medical records through the National Personnel Records Center.
It will often take months to get all of these records, but it can certainly help speed up your VA claim processing time.
If your claim for VA service-connected compensation has been declined and you want to learn about your rights, contact one of our experienced VA Disability attorneys online or call us toll free nationwide at (866) 233-5044.
Video TranscriptThree ways you can make your VA disability claim of appeal move faster. I'm John Tucker I'm an attorney who handles VA service-connected compensation cases, from Florida all the way to Alaska. I represented vets just like you all over the country and the most common question I get is “how do I make my appeal go faster? VA is so slow.” Let me tell you three things you can do to speed up your claim appeal before you ever call somebody like me.
First, get your C file. What's the C file? That's the veterans benefits administration claim file that they keep on your disability claims. Whether you have one claim 5 claims 10 claims, it doesn't matter how many claims you have for service-connected compensation, they're all in the same file. Now they are kept electronically by VA now so they might be in different locations but you can get a copy of everything that they consider to be your claim file by making a freedom of information act request.
Go to the website you see on your screen and it will give you instructions for how to make a freedom of information act request for your C file. Now keep in mind VA websites change all the time and the website I'm giving you may not be the accurate one at the moment you're watching this video. Just do a search for VA FOIA - F O I A - request and that should get you to the right place.
Now the second thing you can do is get your medical records. Whether you're seeing veteran's health administration doctors, going to the VA hospital or seeing private doctors. If you get all of those records together, that can speed things up for you. You may have thought that VA went ahead and did that when you filed your claim even if you gave them a list of all the doctors. You would be amazed when you get that VA C-file how little of your medical records may be in there. Even if you're going to the VA facility right next door to the regional office a lot of times they don't get that.
So you can get your medical records by logging into MyHealtheVet. You'll see the website on the screen also. Log in there and you can download your records. Now you may have to go through an authentication process but do that and it will save you a lot of time.
Now the last thing you can do is request your military service records and your service medical records and you do that through the national personnel records center. I’ve put a website on the screen for that also, keep in mind that may change too. You just simply want to search for national personnel records center military records and you should be able to get to the right place.
If you get your military service records and your medical records from your military service that may help you prove a claim for service connection and that's really important. Now if you have a claim that’s in just for an increase you may not need the military records because your claim is already service-connected.
All three will help speed your claim. It will make your appeal go faster. Now I could get those records for you if you call me to have me work on your claim. It's going to take me 8 to 10 months to acquire most of those things, particularly your C file. It's going to take you the same amount of time though so before you ever call me, if you get that record request going you'll have that in process.
Keep in mind nobody can give you an opinion about your case and how good your appeal is, until you have those records that I just talked about. So if you want your appeal to move faster, the minute you start watching this video start getting those records. Now you may have some questions about your VA claim and if that's the case pick up the phone and call me at the number on your screen. I'd be happy to talk with you about your case. Thank you for watching. I'm John Tucker.