A compensation & pension (C&P) exam is an examination by a United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare provider or a third-party professional who checks to establish the three elements of a valid benefits claim: the clear diagnosis of a disabling condition, the severity of the condition, and the nexus or service-connected cause of the condition. While your attorney will let you know what to expect based on the specifics of your claim, there are some general tips that can help you.
Be on Time
The VA will deny your claim if you miss your C&P exam. If you can’t make the appointment, you need to reschedule immediately. If you’re not sure where the exam is located, get directions, and leave early to plan for any potential delay.
Bring a Spouse, Family Member, or Trusted Friend
You will need to ask permission to have someone attend the exam with you, but individuals who are familiar with your condition and know how it has impacted your life can be very helpful. They can corroborate your statements and make sure you don’t leave out any important details.
Verify What Is Being Evaluated
Many veterans have more than one disability, and it’s possible that you may be asked to attend multiple C&P exams. If you’re not sure what’s being evaluated, call and ask.
Share Your Journal
It’s often recommended that you keep a journal to document your symptoms on a day-to-day basis. Sharing your journal entries with the examiner can help support your account while reducing the risk that you’ll forget important details because you’re nervous or anxious about the meeting.
Often, veterans instinctively want to minimize the severity of their condition to portray a “tough” image to the people around them. This is a mistake. The C&P examiner needs to hear about the severity of your symptoms in full detail—including the level of pain you experience on your worst days and the activities you’ve been forced to give up because of your condition. Be brutally honest—even if you’re discussing sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, or other potentially uncomfortable topics.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.