C&P Examinations & Preparation

C&P Examinations & Preparation

If you are a Veteran who was injured during active service or diagnosed with a service-related medical condition, you may qualify for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

To receive VA benefits, you must submit to a Compensation and Pension (C&P) examination with a qualified medical professional.

Your C&P examination and preparation are crucial to the VA disability application process. The information you provide and the report submitted by the doctor to the VA can make or break your disability claim.

With so much at stake, take some time to prepare for your C&P exam to ensure you provide the best possible information in support of your claim. A dedicated VA benefits lawyer can help you during this process.

What is a C&P Examination?

The Compensation and Pension exam is unlike other medical examinations. As an injured Veteran, you will not undergo treatment, and a doctor will prescribe no medication during a C&P exam. In fact, treating your condition or illness is not the primary goal of this exam.

The C&P exam is strictly limited in scope. The contracted healthcare examiner’s job is to review all of your medical records, service records, and personal information to determine if your disability is related to your military service. If your medical condition is unrelated to your military service, you will not qualify for VA benefits.

If your condition is deemed service-related, you will need a disability rating to calculate the amount of benefits you will receive. The contracted healthcare provider may also examine and test your injuries or conditions to help determine what disability rating percentage your condition falls into.

If you have already qualified for VA benefits, a C&P exam may determine if your condition is worsening and whether you should receive an increased disability rating for your VA benefits. Either way, your future financial benefits depend on the outcome of your exam, so prepare before you go.

How to Prepare for a C&P Examination

A few years ago, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the VA outsourced all Compensation and Pension examinations rather than having in-house doctors perform them at VA locations. As a result, all Veterans will now work with a private medical professional for C&P exams going forward.

However, this does not change how you should prepare for a C&P examination. Let’s look at some things you can do to prepare for your exam to ensure you feel comfortable and maximize your chances of receiving the disability rating and benefits you deserve.

Dress However You Like

You don’t need to worry about what clothes you wear. Just make sure you’re comfortable and have as much mobility as possible. Depending on your unique disabilities or injuries, doctors may ask you to complete certain tasks or move about to demonstrate your limitations.

Bring Your Spouse or Significant Other

It may be helpful to bring your spouse or other important person with you to your C&P exam. They can provide important eyewitness evidence and back up your claims about the severity of your symptoms and how they impact your day-to-day life. They also bring a second set of ears to help you remember and understand the questions asked by your examiner.

Bring Medical Records and Assistive Devices

You’ll also want to bring any relevant medical records and assistive devices, such as canes, hearing aids, orthotic shoes, and the like. Your medical examiner might want to see how they are used or worn and ask you questions about why you need them.

Before your exam, take time to document your daily life and how your injuries or condition affect day-to-day activities. Consider how often you have pain or discomfort, the activities you used to perform that you can’t do any longer, and all the ways your life has changed because of your service-related condition.

Again, your spouse or partner can remind you about how your symptoms or conditions continue to affect you to support your VA claim and help ensure you receive an accurate disability rating.

Review the DBQ

Take some time to review the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) before your exam. This document breaks down the questions the examiner is likely to ask during your C&P exam.

By reviewing these questions in advance, you can anticipate them and prepare your answers so you can provide thorough, comprehensive evidence describing your condition or disabilities.

Remember, it doesn’t pay to be stoic or to downplay or minimize your symptoms. Now is not the time to be strong and tough it out. Give honest but succinct answers. Don’t leave out any important details, but if your answers are too long and complicated, the examiner may lose or forget the crucial facts.

Discuss your pain, psychological symptoms, lack of abilities, and other concerns honestly. The more detailed you are, the more accurate your disability rating.

The Same Tips Apply to Remote C&P Exams

These simple tips also apply if you sign up for a remote C&P exam using videoconferencing software and a webcam. Have your spouse or partner sit in on the meeting, review the potential questions ahead of time, and openly discuss everything you experience and how your life has changed as a result of your conditions.

Before Your C&P Examination, Contact Berry Law

C&P examinations and preparation can take a long time and wrack your nerves, but you don’t have to go through them alone.

The legal team at Berry Law can thoroughly prepare you before your exam to ensure you provide the VA with the most accurate and important information possible and maximize your chance of receiving disability benefits or improving your rating.

At Berry Law, we serve military members nationwide because we are Veterans fighting for Veterans. Offering decades of experience facing the VA and securing benefits for our clients, we can help you during your battle as well.

Call us today at (888) 883-2483 or complete our online contact form to learn more.

John S. Berry, , Attorney for VA Disability
John S. Berry, , VA Disability Lawyer
Berry Law

The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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