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U.S.C. United States Code

U.S.C.A. United States Code Annotated

U.S.C.S. U.S. Code Service

C.F.R. Code of Federal Regulations

United States Code is the law and the U.S.C. is the governments official copy of the code.

U.S.C.A. contain everything that is printed in the official U.S. Code but also include annotations to case law relevant to the particular statute.

Like the U.S.C.A., the U.S.C.S. contains everything that is printed in the official U.S. Code but also include annotations to case law relevant to the particular statute.

The C.F.R. is the interpretation of the law.

Confusing Right? Just remember the U.S.C. is the law, the C.F.R. is how they interpret the law and last but certainly not least is the V.A. adjudication manuals that is how they apply the law. The section of the law that covers the veterans benefits is Title 38 in the U.S.C. in the C.F.R. is usually written 38 C.F.R. or something similar, V.A. frequently requested manuals are listed below.

VA M-21 Compensation and Pension Manual

VA M-21-4 C & P Authorization Procedures

VA M28-3 Vocational Rehabilitation Internal Control in Vocational Rehabilitation and Counseling

VA M29-1 VBA Insurance Operations Manual

Win Your VA Claim - VA disability claim steps to help you get granted your service connected disability.

You finally decided to file a VA claim for disability, so now what do you do? Maybe you already have started the paperwork yourself or have been helped by a veteran rep filling out the required VA Forms and are now one of many waiting to hear from the VA about your claims status.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s time to realize that you are involved in a giant paper shuffle and this IS NOT a spectator sport. You must be actively involved with your claim. No one else has an interest in the outcome of your claim as much as you do. You are dealing with the Government, even though recent changes in law favoring the veteran have been enacted, it is still up to you to provide supportive evidence for your claim and become familiar with the rules and regulations the VA plays by.

1. Get competent representation, don’t go it alone. Be picky, interview several reps until you locate one that you feel confident with.

2. Send the required SF-180 form to request COMPLETE copies of military service files (including medical & personnel), a 2nd SF-180 form to request updating of Awards & Decorations, and a 3rd SF-180 form requesting a DD-214 if needed. TIP: When filing out forms it's helpful to fill the form completely out and before you sign it make a few copies in case you have to fill it out again. It also contains valuable information if you keep a copy of the form you can use for a reference.

3. Make a list and request copies of all Medical files from private physicians and hospitals ( available to you under the Freedom of Information Act) You can click here for a sample letter you can use.
4. Request a copy of your Units History & lineage from the appropriate archive.

5. Keep a file of all correspondence (make sure to staple the envelope to the letter for postmark date) with the VA; note received date in your logbook with a brief description.
6. Keep copies of everything you send to the VA, do not send originals unless required.

7. Never send documentation or requests directly to the VA. Always route through your rep as he/she should be keeping a log of information received and sent to VA dates. ( this is a back up source when the VA says they lost or did not receive a document from you) Also, your rep should be going over everything you submit checking for, and eliminating, items that would be detrimental to your claim.
8. Use the sources of information and links from this website. Use our discussion forum it's very active you can post your question in the any section that is pertinent to your question. It may take a day or so but there's usually at least one veteran out there that can lend some assistance. Use references, access to the laws and rules governing VA Benefits, tips, suggestions, and aids in helping you become knowledgeable. 9. There are no stupid questions, check the FAQ’s first, then ask for help.

10. Follow the guidelines laid out on the website and follow through with backup for everything.
Expect to continue learning as you go, education is ongoing, share with your brother and sister veterans whenever possible, knowledge is power, we can learn from each others mistakes and avoid problems others have overcome. Welcome Home !! Thank you for your service.

How to request Veteran Affairs (VA) Records C-File

We can not stress enough how important it is to

1. View your claims folder at the regional office call 1-800-827-1000 and request an appointment to view your c-file (claims folder).
1. Ensure that all the records in your C-File are yours.
2. Check that everything you have sent to the VA is included in your C-File.
2. After viewing your claims folder (c-file) and correcting any mistakes you may find. Then request a hard copy of your claims folder.

To request your military records use this form Request for Military Records NARA SF 180

To request your C-File which is your claims folder at the regional veteran affairs office use VA Form 3288 Technically any release or waiver from that is signed by the claimant and that properly compiles with and cites the Privacy Act and FOIA is sufficient. However VA personnel are familiar with the VA Form 3288 so it will cause the least confusion.

The 1973 Fire at NPRC
On July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at NPRC (MPR) destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. The affected record collections are described below.
Branch Personnel and Period Affected Estimated Loss
Army Personnel discharged November 1, 1912, to January 1, 1960 80%
Air Force Personnel discharged, September 25, 1947, to January 1, 1964
(with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.)

No duplicate copies of the records that were destroyed in the fire were maintained, nor was a microfilm copy ever produced. There were no indexes created prior to the fire. In addition, millions of documents had been lent to the Department of Veterans Affairs before the fire occurred. Therefore, a complete listing of the records that were lost is not available. Nevertheless, NPRC (MPR) uses many alternate sources in its efforts to reconstruct basic service information to respond to requests.


Anxious to get started?

Here You Go...

Court of Veterans Appeals Cases

38 C.F.R. 4.1 Essentails of evalualtive rating

Veterans Affairs General Counsel Precedent Opinions

Veterans Affairs Disability Claims Articles

Veterans Affairs Benefits and Disablity Tips

Veterans Affairs Disability Service Connected Disability Calculator

Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension Exams Do's and Don'ts

Veterans Affairs Historical Compensation Rates

Establishing Service Coonection for Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation

and more ...

Adaptive Equipment Information Disabled Veterans Benefit

Applying For Veterans Affairs Benefits

Board of Veterans Appeals BVA Search CasesBookmarks for disabled veterans.

Brief Tips for Veterans filing a claim for service connected disalibyt compensation.

Claims Tips for veterans filing a claim for service connected disability with the Veterans Affairs department.

Do's and Don'ts for your Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C and P) Exam

Establishing Service Connection for Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation

Evidence gathering for your Veterans Affairs Claim

Frequently Asked Questions about Veterans Affairs Claims, Benefits, Healthcare.

Global Asset Functioning GAF Scale

Helpful Links

HISA grants provide for medically necessary improvements and/or structural changes to the eligible veteran’s residence .

Housebound allowance is an additional amount available to eligible veterans and dependents who are entitled to VA pension or VA compensation.

Presumptions of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents Agent Orange

PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans

Release of Information Authorization Sample Form

Requesting a copy of you claims folder (c-file) from your Veterans Affairs Regional Office.

Useful Cases

Using internet print outs in your VA claim

VA Historical Compensation Rates

Veterans Affairs Forms

89-114 Schafrath v. Derwinski BVA

90-1002 Hohol v. Derwinski BVA

90-1078 Dofflemyer v. Derwinski

90-147 Gleicher v. Derwinski BVA

90-222 Murincsak v. Derwinski BVA

90-312 Karnas v. Derwinski BVA

90-613 Peyton v. Derwinski BVA

91-1903 Ternus v. Brown BVA

91-542 Olson v. Brown BVA

91-771 Smith v. Brown BVA

100% or TDIU Veterans Benefits

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Applying for VA Benefits

One of the more difficult tasks for a returning veteran is applying for the many VA benefits. The unknown of "should I," "would I qualify," "how do I apply," or "where do I go for help" can be a frustrating experience. VA intends to ease those frustrations and facilitate your transition from active participation in armed conflict back to civilian life with some basic tips for applying for benefits.

Documents Needed for:

Non-Medical Benefits
A copy of your discharge certificate, or DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, if available
Your VA claim number or Social Security number if receiving benefits under prior service.

A copy of all marriage certificates and divorce decrees (if any)

A copy of each child's birth certificate (or adoption order)

A copy of your birth certificate if there are living parents dependent on you for support

A copy of any service medical records for disabilities you intend to claim

The most typical claim for benefits is for compensation for military service related injuries. Complete VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation or Pension, (On-line version) (Print out version). Or, you may obtain a copy of the form from any VA Regional Office (list of regional offices).

Medical Benefits
A copy of your discharge certificate, or DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, if available
In order to document your service in a theater of combat operations, it would be helpful if you brought any of the following:

A copy of your Leave and Earnings Statement showing receipt of Hostile Fire or Imminent Danger Pay

Receipt of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Kosovo Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Southwest Asia Campaign Medal

Proof of exemption of federal tax status for Hostile Fire or Imminent Danger Pay
Orders to a theater of combat operations
Complete VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits, online. Or, you may obtain the form by:

Calling VA's Health Benefits Service Center toll free number, 1-877-222-VETS(8387), Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Calling or visiting any VA health care facility or VA regional office. To find the facility nearest you, visit the VA Facilities web page.

Where to Get Help
This web site

Contact VA through on-line messaging.This link gives you access to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's), a series of "800" telephone points of contact, mailing addresses for VA offices, and access to a secure, web based messaging program where you can leave questions, by subject matter that are not answered by the FAQ's.

Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents. An informative benefits pamphlet in PDF format.
Health Benefits Service Center. Call toll free 1-877-222-VETS(8387)
Visit VA's health eligibility web site for questions about medical benefits and application procedures.

VA benefits counselors can answer questions about benefits eligibility and application procedures. Contact the nearest VA regional office at 1-800-827-1000 from any location in the United States and Puerto Rico. VA facilities also are listed in the federal government section "Blue Pages" of telephone directories under "Veterans Affairs".
State, local and National Veteran Service Organization representatives are also available to assist you with benefits counseling and claims processing. You may find lists of such representatives at http://www.va.gov/vso/
Mobilization Information and Resources Guide
. A DOD web site containing multiple links to mobilization and resources information.









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