VA Claims Corner: What to Expect at Your C&P Exam

When I attended my first compensation or pension (C&P) medical examination several years ago, I didn’t really know what to expect  — I had little information so I was unprepared, and a little anxious before and during my appointment.

I don’t think I’m alone. For some of us, attending a C&P exam for the first time can be stressful — they’re very different from the exams we’ve had in the military or private sector. So it’s understandable how going through an unfamiliar process like a C&P exam for the first time, or even the second time, may cause anxiety.

When I was in the Marine Corps, I found having a bit of intel before entering any situation helpful in alleviating my fear of the unknown.

Here’s what I found helpful:

  1. Your examiner doesn’t decide whether or not your condition is service connected – VBA claims processors do. C&P exams are tools used by claims processors to either collect missing evidence or clarify information in your claim. A complete C&P exam is just one part of the complete body of evidence from which claims processors must consider when making their decision.
  2. Keep in mind, that not all our contentions will require VA examinations. In some cases, claims processors may have enough evidence in hand to make a decision without the need for a C&P examination.
  3. If you’re scheduled for an exam, it’s important that you make every effort to show up! Missing a scheduled exam could adversely affect your claim. You can read more about this in my previous blog ‘Claims Corner: the importance of VA exams.’

As always, if you still have questions, a VA representative or a Veterans Service Organization may be able to help.

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