As part of the disability claims process, if the VA determines that there is sufficient evidence of in-service occurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury, it will typically schedule the veteran for an examination called a Compensation and Pension Examination or more commonly referred to as a C&P exam. They may be performed by a VA examiner or by someone outside the VA who is under contract with the VA to perform the exams. These exams are critical to the case both in determining if the condition is service related and the extent of the disability for rating purposes. However, in typical fashion, the VA doesn’t tell the veteran what will happen at the examination. At Veterans Help Group we believe veterans have a right to know what is going to go on in these examinations. Below are some general guidelines for veterans attending a VA Compensation and Pension Examination.
VA Compensation and Pension Examination Guidelines
- Be on time.
- Be polite.
- In PTSD and Other Mental Disorder claims, avoid talking about alcohol or drug related issues. You are not there to be assessed for those problems. You are there to be assessed for your psychiatric functioning as today relates to your service history.
- Stay on point with coherent, concise, sentences, and not rambling rants.
- Answer the questions to the best of your ability. If you don’t know say so.
- Be honest. Don’t embellish your stories with fanciful tales. Just the facts please.
- Dress the way you normally dress. Your appearance may be part of the evaluation so if you go overboard in your dress it could unfairly influence the examiner’s opinion.
- When responding to examiners you need to pick the worst moment of time relating to that question. You need to be rated for the worst times you have had.
- Bring your spouse or significant other if possible. If they are allowed in the examination room and allowed to talk they can share a unique and valuable perspective.
- Remember to report how you REALLY are doing and not how you’d like to be doing. Most veterans want to be doing MUCH better than they really are. It’s a natural response. Even something as simple as responding to the question “How are you doing today” with “I’m doing ok” can be used against a veteran. Your there to be rated based on how you are doing so if you minimize how bad things are your disability rating will also be minimized.
For more information regarding C&P exams visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Legal Assistance with Veterans’ Claims
If you need help supporting a claim or want to appeal a decision for VA disability compensation, call our advocates for veterans at (855) 855-8992 or complete our free online veterans disability case evaluation form.