The VA relies on a Compensation and Pension exam to determine a Veteran’s level of disability.
Called C&P for short, they often use these exams to determine the initial disability rating. The VA may also use this exam to support a bid to increase, reduce, or terminate disability benefits altogether.
These examinations are a critical step in the VA’s process. But they were so backlogged trying to meet the demand that legislation changed the system in 2014. Now, the VA can outsource these Compensation and Pension Exams to qualified medical examiners who meet VA guidelines.
Now, when a Veteran receives notice of a C&P exam, it may or may not be with the VA. The outsourced medical examiner completes the examination according to the VA’s guidelines and submits their findings to the VA.
How The VA Notifies You of a C&P Exam
Most Veterans will receive a notification for a C&P Exam at least one of the following ways:
- eBenefits or My HealtheVet
- By letter
- By telephone
When The VA Orders A C&P Exam For You
Whether you submitted an initial claim with the VA or filed for an increased rating, you may be required to attend a C&P exam. Depending on the medical evidence you provided for the condition your claim is dealing with, the Veteran Service Representative (VSR) reviewing your claim will either deny your claim or ask for more evidence.
The VA will then order you a C&P Exam as their way of helping you get more medical evidence for your claim. However, many Veterans feel that the C&P exam process is not thorough enough to support their claim. If you feel your C&P exam was not adequate, you have options to stay on top of your claim and get the best rating you deserve.
When Your C&P Exam Doesn’t Go Well…
Did you go to your C&P Exam and feel like your doctor or nurse practitioner was thinking “blah, blah, blah” as you were talking about your symptoms?
Did they seem to scribble 2 sentences and send you on your way?
You’re not alone. We talk with Veterans all the time who feel the same way. And we know it’s true because we’ve experienced this ourselves!
If you want to support your claim, despite a poor C&P Exam, check out the following options.
Get an Independent Medical Opinion
An independent medical opinion (IMO) is more than it sounds. While it’s not proof that you’re condition is related to your time in service, a good IMO will be written exactly to what the VA requires in the 38CFR. Think of an IMO as more of a supporting document than an exam or a medical evaluation.
Think of it this way: Even if a specialized physician writes about how severe your condition is and they have test results that prove it to your time in service, the VA can still deny your claim. The reason the VA will do this is because your medical evidence has to be written according to the way the VA wants it.
When searching for a provider of an IMO, make sure the provider will write your medical opinion according to the 38CFR. For more information about IMO providers and which companies we recommend, get started here.
Get a Disability Benefits Questionnaire
In the same way you can find an IMO provider, you can also find a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) provider. However, a DBQ provider must be a licensed doctor or physician. The benefits of hiring a DBQ provider revolve around the fact that they providing a specialized service to Veterans. With a C&P exam DBQ, the physician is not specialized to solely focus on Veteran VA Claims.
If you’re searching for a licensed provider that specializes in DBQ’s for Veterans, please give Strategic Veteran a call at 800-761-9004. We can talk to you about your VA claim and point you in the right direction for a DBQ provider.
Contracted C&P Exams Ordered by the VA
The VA has been using non-VA medical providers to conduct C&P exams since 1996. The Medical Disability Examination (MDE) program oversees all private contractors for C&P Exams. All VA Regional Offices (VARO) have access to contracted providers.
Below are only a few examples of private contractors for C&P Exams.
- Vet Fed Resources
- Veteran Evaluation Services
- Medical Support Los Angeles
- Logistics Health
- QTC Medical Services
If your C&P appointment is with one of these contracted companies, you will have to report to them as if you are responding to the VA.
Who Are We?
We are Strategic Veteran, a company run by Veterans offering free resources to help Veterans understand the VA disability claims process. We strive to level the playing field so that Veterans understand the system and feel empowered to go after the benefits they’ve earned.
Have you been struggling with getting your claim filed and accepted? Call us today at 800-761-9004.