When a Veteran files a claim for disability benefits, they often must undergo a medical examination known as a compensation and pension or C&P exam. A Veteran may have to undergo a second C&P reexamination when they file a claim for an increased disability rating or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants to reexamine a service-related condition.
When you receive a notice for any C&P examination, you are obligated to appear at the scheduled examination. Failure to appear can lead to disability benefit payments being reduced or discontinued altogether.
The C&P exam is a part of the claim-review process that allows the VA to determine if a Veteran’s disability is service-connected, the level of the Veteran’s disability, and if the condition should receive a rating increase or decrease
The length of time that a C&P exam lasts can vary depending on the Veteran’s medical condition. One common evaluation, a mental health evaluation, commonly lasts between two and four hours.
An examiner could ask you questions, observe your behavior, perform a limited physical exam, or just review your file with you. Keep in mind that an examiner will be reviewing your medical records well before and after your C&P exam.
After you receive a rating decision from the VA, it may also indicate its intention to schedule a date for reexamination. In most cases, the period will be five years for injuries that are expected to improve.
You should expect a C&P exam if you apply for an increased disability rating, as the VA has an obligation to ensure that you deserve such an increase. Veterans may avoid C&P reexaminations if they have medical conditions for which they clearly will not recover, such as amputations.
You will want to adequately prepare for your C&P exam, possibly writing down all of your various symptoms if you are not sure that you will be able to remember them all. It is also a good idea to bring your complete medical record, including doctor’s reports or tests that you have done in the past. Certain disabilities have flare ups that will not occur when you are at the doctor’s office. You also want to make sure to dress appropriately and try to present yourself in the best way possible. However, you should act as you do on a daily basis to help the medical examiner get a good idea of the limitations your disability is causing.
You do not want to downplay any symptoms you experience, but you also do not want to exaggerate them. Be honest about your condition and make sure that you arrive early just to be certain that you will be on time.
Since 1965, Berry Law Firm has helped thousands of Veterans in their fight for disability compensation. We have helped Veterans from all branches of the military and from every state in the US, along with some Veterans living abroad. As a firm owned and operated by Veterans, we take great pride in helping our nation’s heroes fight for the disability compensation they earned. If you need help appealing a decision the VA made regarding your disability benefits, give our team a call today.
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