Claims Corner: what to expect at your C&P exam


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When I attended my first compensation or pension (C&P) medical examination several years ago, I didn’t really know what to expect  — I had little information so I was unprepared, and a little anxious before and during my appointment.

I don’t think I’m alone. For some of us, attending a C&P exam for the first time can be stressful — they’re very different from the exams we’ve had in the military or private sector. So it’s understandable how going through an unfamiliar process like a C&P exam for the first time, or even the second time, may cause anxiety.

When I was in the Marine Corps, I found having a bit of intel before entering any situation helpful in alleviating my fear of the unknown.

Here’s what I found helpful:

  1. Your examiner doesn’t decide whether or not your condition is service connected – VBA claims processors do. C&P exams are tools used by claims processors to either collect missing evidence or clarify information in your claim. A complete C&P exam is just one part of the complete body of evidence from which claims processors must consider when making their decision.
  2. Keep in mind, that not all our contentions will require VA examinations. In some cases, claims processors may have enough evidence in hand to make a decision without the need for a C&P examination.
  3. If you’re scheduled for an exam, it’s important that you make every effort to show up! Missing a scheduled exam could adversely affect your claim. You can read more about this in my previous blog ‘Claims Corner: the importance of VA exams.’

As always, if you still have questions, a VA representative or a Veterans Service Organization may be able to help.

Have a question about C&P exams? Leave a comment below.

Author

Mark Ledesma

– Mark P. Ledesma is a public affairs specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration after having served six years as a senior Veterans Service Representative at the San Diego VA Regional Office. Mark is also a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Comments

  1. Stanley Burnell Bennett    

    I was injured during ITS at Camp Geiger NC, they sent me home from training,it states ,released from duty because of back trouble, and they can’t find my records, the Va keeps saying what they need ,month after month,they tell me I’m not service connected,I’ve reached out to every source to find my medical records,my issues are terrible,my private doctor diagnosed my back,ankle knee ,this the only medical proof I have, so what can I do??????

  2. Charles K Shaffer, Jr    

    I retired in 2006 from active duty Army, but did not submit a disability compensation claim until 2014; due to the fact that my physical conditions were getting worse w/age. The claim was submitted in July, 2014, with an effective date of August 1, 2014. I received my first payment effective 3/1/2015. Does the VA owe me any back pay from the initial filing month, and if so, when could I expect to receive this back payment?

  3. Te'e Jr. Masaniai    

    Mine was done back in 1984-1989 it was really good back then compare to this days. But, the bottom line is that C&P Doctors were doing a great job with my C&P Examination then. Except one thing was missing then was my Left Ankle damaged. I have to file an Appeal after I inquiry my Medical Records from Missouri it does shows my left ankle was damaged during Boot-Camp Training and through out my Military time with the United States Army in March 13, 1966-March 14, 1968, and United States Marine Corps 1968-1972. And I am suffering with extreme pain to my left ankle to this days. And also, a gunshot to my Right Knee, PTSD and among other injury according to my Military Medical Records.

  4. Te'e Jr. Masaniai    

    Thank you for the helpful information provided here by this fella serviceman. I understand quite well how it is. When I went in for my first C&P examination. it deemed like everything they were looking for, was from my Military Medical Records. This information will correspond to what the Examination Dr. will be looking for in advance. And among other wounds might not been serious during my Military service, they will all eventually become worst as I’m getting older and older my Doctor said. This is another point must not forget, to mention every injury which occurred and incurred during anyone’s Military service. As long it happened during Military service while on Uniform will be granted as service connected wound. One erroneous the VA Medical had done to me to this day….Was my “Left Ankle” damaged during Boot-Camp was left out during my C&P exam. Now I inquiry information through VA medical records in Missouri and it shows my Left Ankle was damaged during Boot-Camp when I was Drafted in the United Stated Army in March 13, 1966, and continue on During my time I join “United States Marine Corps in 1968-1972 and now. It is worsen right now and the VA VBA never Rating it ever since. And I did appeal and resubmitted evidence to them few years ago. I expecting it to be final by 2016 I hope. If not, I will file another Appeal to VBA again.

  5. Roy e. Billings    

    The VA has always been a joke and always will be joke…I am a Vietnam Vet to receive Comp…You have to prove you were in the military and prove you have a witness that seen you get hurt while in there…I was in recovery, (picking up bodies in Vietnam, Volunteer) but my AFSC states I was an Aircraft mechanic. Lost my hearing from Acft engine Noise and the VA wants me to prove I have hearing loss even after the AUDIO test they give me at Audie Murphy Hospital.
    Although Ancient Orange (dioxin exposures) derives from engine Combustion and other things, I have to prove I was a mechanic…(what the hell is the AFSC for) therefore I will not receive Compensation…And remain deaf for the rest of my Life….yet I can’t hear… shit… from the VA but prove it!!!

  6. William Holliday    

    Recently got a “negative” C & P exam for an increase in PTSD even though Vet Center psychologist exam was “positive” after 50+ sessions with him. Does VA place higher priority on C & P exams or do they consider the whole body of evidence in their decisions? Does veteran have any viable options when faced with this condition?

  7. James Braun    

    I have been in for two exams and have not had any problems, it did take awhile to get a decision six months the second time. I have always had my paperwork done by VSO through VVA this could be the problem people are having if they are doing the paper themselves. I do not know how to address the problems with the doctors since I never had those problems, don’t give up that is the worse thing you can do

  8. JOE PING    

    Just got denied for a neck injury that the VA claims was not service connected.. Amazing that at 17 when I went in I had no such problem and now at 56 after 33 yrs I do. How long does the appeal process take?

  9. Wayne Castleberry Jr.    

    My first exam was very professional. I was checked top to bottom. I recently had a new evaluation exam and it was a joke. I saw the doctor for a total of 4 minutes and the doctor actually checked me out for a total of 79 seconds. They are rejecting vets claims left and right without proper information. How do you answer a question like “Did the veteran have a flair up?” with the answer ‘No’, then the next question, ” “Does the veteran have pain during a flair up?” With the answer ‘no’. How the hell could he possibly answer the second question with anything but “I don’t know”. I have been a 70% service disabled vet for 33 years. You really think I got better? How could a patient with third degree burns and multiple broken bones be listed as “No scar tissue” when he am covered in scars from my belly to my knees. The new system is a joke.

  10. Richard Eleby    

    Mr. Ledesma, thank you for providing this much needed information; I will do all I can to pass this on to veterans here in Germany, who think there is no help for them or nowhere to turn to for help filing VA compensation claims..

  11. Debra Boyd    

    My question or reply is this, my husband (a veteran) passed away in 2010, I submitted paperwork for death-related disability in May 2014. My paperwork has been passed around, rejected, accepted again, resubmitted, and the last I heard was with a Decision Review Officer (DRO). I don’t know how long this process takes, but I am living on a very tight budget awaiting a reply. I was told I would hear the beginning of November, here we are the middle of December. Does anyone know a trick to this process of getting your paperwork through faster? Or does anyone know why it takes a year and a half to have your paperwork reviewed?

  12. Myron Coleman    

    I was wondering how long do I have to wait for my appeal.hearing it’s going on 2years is there someone I can call . Please let me know I’d appreciate it very much

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