Files or Piles The C-File

The C-File

What is a C-File?

A VA claims file, most often referred to as a C-File, is an important piece of the disability and benefits puzzle. The C-File contains all of the records the VA receives and obtains that relate to disability benefits. The file can contain service records, medical records, benefit application, all claims, appeals, denial letters, code sheets, ratings decisions, and a DD-214 (separation from service report). 

A veteran’s C-File is extremely important. Without the right documents and information, the veteran may not get established service connection, the most accurate ratings for any disabilities, or the right date for disability compensation to begin. A huge step in the disability process is making sure the C-File contains all of the information needed and that it is accurate.

ClipartKey 173962 The C-File

C-File vs Medical File

While the C-File does contain medical records and reports, it is not the same as a medical file. An easy way to remember is to refer to the following:

  • Veterans’ Benefits Administration- responsible for service connected benefits / C-File
  • Veterans’ Health Administration- responsible for medical care and records as the veteran uses their care

Some of the files from the Veterans’ Health Administration can end up in the C-File, but many times they don’t. This makes it crucial for the veteran to be aware and obtain a copy of their C-File to review and see what has or hasn’t been done in the file in response to claims submitted. Length of a C-File varies, but the longer a case or claims have been pending or going on, the larger the C-File. 

How Do You Get a Copy?

The waiting time for receiving a copy of the C-File used to greatly vary, ranging from a few months to a year or more in some cases. The good news is, new streamlined measures now allow you to complete a VA C-File request form online here: Once it is completed, it can be emailed to

For veterans who do not want to do this online, they can also contact their local VA Regional Office to request a copy of their C-File. Form 3288 can be completed and emailed, faxed or dropped off at the local VA Regional Office. Find a location at: Keep in mind that this process can take more time than the streamlined email request.

You can check on the status of the request by logging in to 

frustrating The C-FileWhat’s Next?

Once a veteran has a copy of their C-File, as mentioned above, it is crucial to review it and make sure the information it contains is accurate. The veteran also needs to check the status of the claims as shown in the C-File. 

Doing the VA dance for service connected disability benefits is not easy or straightforward. It can take time, determination to keep at it, and is oftentimes extremely confusing. This is why we recommend teaming up with someone that understands the process, can help sort through the confusion, and help you get the benefits and rating you deserve as smoothly and as streamlined as possible. 

Connect with one of our amazing team members for a free consult here.

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