When you file a claim for disability, Veterans Affairs will often ask you to have an examination. These are called a VA Claim Exam or a Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam. They are very important, especially for getting disability payments and helping the VA figure out if your illness or disability is related to your military service.
Filing for a VA disability claim can be hard, but veterans need to do it to get all of their military benefits, and the thought of an exam can make things worse. But we are here to walk you through and help you understand the entire VA C&P Exam process.
It is also critical to understand that these exams are unlike regular medical appointments. The entire purpose of these evaluations is to gauge and confirm the level of your injuries, disability, or if you are experiencing an aggravated condition brought on during your active line of service.
How can you pass this C&P test, and what steps do you need to take? Let us explore this blog post to learn more.
The VA C&P Exam Process
One of the things you need to know during the VA claim exams is that they may be different from other VA C&P exams and entirely depend on the type of conditions you claim to have. As was said above, this whole process is important for figuring out how your disabilities affected your service.
For a full scope of what is happening with your VA claims, let us explore the entire eight steps.
1. Claim received
A. You will usually get an online receipt within an hour if you apply online. However, applications sent via U.S. mail take the standard mailing time plus an additional one week for the Veterans Affairs Department to process and record your claim.
2. Under Review
B. The VA will then look over your claim and let you know if more proof is needed. If no proof is necessary, then VA will jump to preparing for a decision.
3. Gathering of evidence
C. If the VA representative indeed requests evidence, they will ask for all the relevant records, such as medical or service treatment records. They will then evaluate whether further information is needed.
D. If you cannot supply the requested records, but it is evident that there is physical damage that affected you during your line of service, then an examination from the C&P worksheet will be conducted, and everything will be finalized for a decision.
4. Review of Evidence
E. In this step, the VA representative will evaluate all of the evidence, and if more evidence is still needed for your claim, another Veterans Evaluation Services C&P exam is required.
F. If the evidence is sufficient, the VA will proceed with your claim and prepare for a decision.
5. Preparation of Decision
G. The representative will then implement a decision on your claim and draft the necessary paperwork to outline the decision.
H. In this process, the representative’s decision still requires more evidence, which will bring you back to Step 3.
6. Pending Decision Approval
I. At this point, the decision is evaluated, and approval is given.
J. However, there are cases in which more proof of your claim is still needed, which institute the need to gather more evidence.
7. Preparation for Notification
K. The decision is ready for mailing.
L. The VA will send you a decision delivered by U.S. Mail that contains all the information regarding the decision.
What to expect at your VA claim exam
If you are required to undergo a VA Claim exam, you must prepare everything you might need for smooth processing.
What should you bring?
Before the exam, it is important to bring proof of your symptoms or a written account of how often they happen. It is also advisable to write down how it is affecting your daily activities. You can ask your spouse or a close friend that can assist you in keeping records of these events for a more detailed depiction of what you are going through.
How early should you be there?
Try to arrive as early as possible. If you are late for your appointment, there is a large chance that your examination will be cancelled since there are other veterans that need to be examined. Scheduling an appointment at the VA can be extremely challenging and time-consuming, and you may not get an appointment for months, so you must arrive early. It is advisable to arrive 15 minutes earlier to locate the exam area and sign in before the examination begins.
What happens at the exam, and who will examine you?
As stated above, a claim exam is different from a normal medical exam. The purpose of the exam is to gather information and evidence to arrive at a conclusion regarding your claim. Hence, your exam will be facilitated by a contractor from a VA provider. These contractors follow the medical training and licensing standards from VA’s privacy and policy to guarantee the security of your information.
What information should you provide?
Provide your symptoms and ensure that your answers are as concise as possible. Too much information throughout the examination often results in misconstrued findings that lose the significance of the information.
We understand that undergoing VA claim exams can be overwhelming, but it is a required step for you to obtain the proper compensation you are entitled to, and we are here to help you.
From filing VA disability claims to calculating the estimated rating you should have, we at Just4Veterans are here to guide you.