Advice for Your VA Compensation and Pension Examination
VA accredited attorneys provide guidance throughout the claims process
If you have filed a claim for disability or pension benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs because you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, the evaluators may ask you to submit to an examination. The compensation and pension (C&P) exam can help the VA determine if your disability is service related and whether your condition deserves a higher percentage rating, especially if the condition is worsening, which may happen with a TBI. At Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, P.C., we understand that a request for a special examination can be confusing. As VA benefits attorneys, we are determined to see you get the full measure of the benefits you deserve, so we want you to know what you can expect at your C&P exam.
Pertinent facts about your VA claim exam
Not everyone is scheduled for a C&P exam, but being called for one does not necessarily mean that your claim is in trouble. For disability applicants, a request is fairly routine. In fact, if you are claiming more than one disabling condition, you may have to attend more than one C&P exam. The C&P exam comes toward the end of the information-gathering stage of your claim, which is about 60 percent of the way through the process.
The VA medical center or its partner will contact you about scheduling an exam, either with a letter stating the date and time of your exam or by phone to inquire about a date that fits your schedule. If the assigned date and time don’t work for you, call immediately to reschedule.
Plan to arrive 15 minutes early for your exam. Typically, an examiner will review your complete records, assess you physically, perform whatever tests are required, and complete a report on the exam. You have a right to receive copies of any test results. The exam can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a little over an hour.
If you have new medical information that has not gone into your VA file, try to submit those records prior to your C&P exam. You can bring those records with you and present them to the examiner, but the examiner may not be able to submit these records for you.
Tips for getting through your VA C&P exam
Your C&P exam need not be an issue and can greatly benefit your claim. Here are a few tips on making the exam successful:
- Go — Failing to attend your exam could delay the process or prompt the VA to evaluate your file as it is.
- If you must reschedule, do so immediately — The VA is dealing with a significant backlog, so advance notice of any changes is very helpful.
- Update your contact info with the VA — The VA regional office or medical center may have to contact you again about your exam, so make sure both locations have your correct information.
- Call and confirm — Make sure your appointment time and date have not been miscommunicated, either to you or to the VA medical center.
- Submit any new records before your exam — The examiner should be able to consider all your current records. You should upload records online or mail them to your local office well in advance of your C&P exam.
When you go to your C&P exam prepared, you increase the chances that this step in the process will help rather than hinder your claim.
Contact VA accredited attorneys who will fight for your disability benefits
TBI is often a disabling condition, but you don’t have to fight for your VA disability benefits alone. Call Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, P.C. from anywhere in the country at 866-866-VETS, and someone will be ready to talk to you, or you can contact us online. Our firm never charges upfront fees, and there are no attorney fees unless we win your claim for benefits.