As part of the VA disability claims process veterans must attend a C&P ( compensation and pension) exam ordered by the VA to determine their disability rating. The C&P Exam is a very important step in determining if the veteran will win his/her claim therefore it is important that he/she is ready for this. Provided are top tips on how to do well on your C&P exam.
Effective Tips on How to Do Well at Your C&P Exam
The healthcare examiner from the VA will inform you of the time and place of your exam. Make sure you are not late for the appointment. Getting to your appointment on time or even a few minutes early can help you appear responsible. The most important thing is not to miss an exam. Also, don’t arrive late because it may seem disrespectful to the doctor. If you are late for the exam, reschedule immediately to avoid serious delays.
Make sure you know which condition is being evaluated.
Knowing what your C&P exam covers and how impairments impact it is essential for preparation. You may be asked to attend more than one C&P exam if you claim multiple disabilities. It is possible that a VA notice about upcoming exams does not specify the condition being evaluated. You should ask the VA if you have any questions.
Understand how your condition is rated.
VA disability claims are governed by CFR, Title 38, Part 4, Schedule for Rating Disabilities (also known as VASRD). There are more than 900 ratable disabilities listed on the VA disability claims list. Before your C&P exam, you should review the general schedule, which will help you understand your disability and how your symptoms relate to your keywords.
As a result, you have much more control over your claim. Ideally, you should submit all your medical evidence, including any DBQs (Disability Benefits Questionnaires) that you got completed on your own, at the time of your initial claim application or at least before your VA C&P exam.
Be aware of your medical records that relate to the condition being examined.
The Service Treatment Records (STRs), VA medical records, or private medical records will be discussed during the examination. You should be prepared to discuss your medical conditions, diagnosis, and any subjective symptoms in your STRs. Also, remember to tie your condition to your military service logically. Be prepared to answer the most common questions, such as
- Can you tell me when the symptoms of the disability began?
- Was it while you were on active duty or after you left the service?
- Are you still experiencing symptoms of your disability?
Describe the severity of your symptoms
Make sure you explain how your military service contributed to your illness or disability when facing the examiner. Realistically describe your disability and explain your struggles. Don’t forget to submit the new non-VA medical records related to your health conditions. Before your appointment, you must submit the paperwork online through an accredited representative or by mail to a VA regional office. Contracted examiners often will not submit medical evidence to the VA on your behalf.
Prepare your answer
The majority of people answer incorrectly, resulting in poor disability ratings. For example, when the doctor asks, “how are you?” Don’t answer just okay, or fine. If you were fine, you would not be seeking disability compensation. You need to open up and explain how painful your life is.
Doctors cannot write an accurate report if they don’t tell the truth. Discuss symptoms, treatments, and how your disability impacts your work, home, and relationships.
The examining healthcare provider will review your claim file, including your medical records. Bring a copy of any submitted DBQs when you applied for the claim. Using it as a guide will help you prepare for the examiner’s questions.
Don’t be afraid to be judged
It’s the job of the C&P Examiner to provide an opinion on whether your condition should be connected and determine what the severity level is. With that said you may feel like you are being judged and naturally can respond defensively on this. Remember the examiner is just doing his/her job. It’s important not to take things personally. Be respective and avoid having the exam become confrontational.
Don’t go off-topic
Veterans often tell stories about their service in the exam room. The examiner may have no idea about the war experience or have an idea about military service difficulties. You must stay on topic and tell the difficulties you are experiencing due to your disability.
Bring a family member or caregiver with you.
If it helps you to be more comfortable at the exam,bring someone close to you at the C&P exam as long as the examiner approves of it. An examiner can often better understand a veteran’s disability when he hears from someone close to him. A close third party can provide additional insight regarding your condition.
Keep a Daily Journal of your Life
The C&P exams are typically not meant to be an all encompassing examination. They are meant to be focused on the condition being assessed only and may at times feel rushed and somewhat vague to the veteran. To help the examiner get a clear understanding of your conditions in a quicker manner, leverage a journal or notebook to explain your condition.. For example, list your symptoms and explain how each affects your daily life. Besides you can also include information regarding pain, depression, and sleep problems.
Your comprehension may be impaired if you lie about your condition. The truth about your health should not be enhanced, embellished, or lied about. Lying will likely result in your claim being denied.
Your C&P exam will likely include a meeting with a medical or mental health professional about your illness, injury, or psychological condition. The team of Vet Claim Solutions can help you with every process of your claim. With years of experience, the organization can assist you in obtaining your desired VA compensation rating. You can also count on the team of Vet Claim Solutions to help you gather all the evidence you need to support your claim.