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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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