Veterans Disability C&P Exam – Do’s and Don’ts
I remember when I was a kid. I was a member of Boy Scout Troop 44. We had some great times during those days. We also had a scoutmaster who insisted that we follow the Scout Motto: “Be Prepared.” That is probably the most sound advice I can give you for your C&P Exam. C&P stands for Compensation and Pension exam. The VA Regional Office will schedule one of these exams when it deems it necessary to evaluate your disability. The C&P exam is conducted by a doctor, usually at the VA Medical Center, but it could be conducted by a private physician, hired by the VA, at his/her office. The exam will give the VA “evidence” to grant or deny disability and/or set your rating for your disability.
Make sure you go to the appointment. The Regional Office will schedule your appointment. They will send the notice to your address, so make certain that they have your correct address. The VA will count it against you if you fail to show. If you can’t make the scheduled appointment, reschedule it PRIOR to the time on the notice. If you have to reschedule, make sure you make a note of the person you talked with, when you talked with them and the substance of the conversation and how you will be given your rescheduled appointment. I also recommend that you send a notice containing this information to your claims file. You do not want to get into a “he said, she said” argument with the VA at a later date when they accuse you of missing your appointment (I’ve seen this happen more than once).
When you get to the appointment, make sure that the doctor who is seeing you has ALL of your records. If you have new records that you have not yet submitted to the VA, then, by all means, take copies of those for the examiner to review. Make sure the examiner knows where all you have been treated.
Honestly answer the questions that are asked by the examiner. Remember, this is a disability exam. So, you want to discuss how the condition you are complaining about affects your daily activities. If it takes you 30-minutes to tie your shoes in the morning, or if you always require assistance in preparing your meals or taking a bath, make certain the examiner knows these things. You will not usually get a second chance at a C&P exam. You may be asked to perform certain tasks. Comply with these requests to the best of your ability. Don’t try to be a hero, or do things that you are normally not capable of doing. Remember to discuss your symptoms with the examiner. Do not provide or volunteer information that is not requested. The examiner usually has a specific protocol for conducting this exam and if you are continuously talking and not responding to the examiner’s specific questions, the examiner may not note an important symptom or condition.
C&P exams can be nerve racking. But, if requested you must participate. This examination will be different from any other doctor visit you may have had. At the end of the examination you generally will not know what the examiner has found, nor will you be prescribed any medication or given any type of treatment. Don’t exaggerate your symptoms, but don’t minimize them either.
Hope this helps.
We are always here to answer your questions.