If you received a notice that your VA disability benefits were denied, you should immediately obtain a copy of the Compensation & Pension (C&P) medical exam results. In addition to your other medical evidence, a copy of these results will show what factors the doctor considered in your case and why your claim was denied.
Even if you disagree with a VA doctor’s conclusions in your C&P exam, you must be able to successfully prove that the doctor’s opinion is not accurate. In some cases, veterans may be able to prove that the C&P exam doesn’t provide a thorough picture of the disability because the doctor:
- Overlooked evidence. A VA medical examiner must read through all of the relevant medical facts in your case to provide a fair assessment of your disability. If she overlooked evidence that could make a difference in your claim, you can challenge the conclusion and ask for a new exam. For example, if you suffer from a breathing problem that the doctor attributes to your former smoking habit, but neglects to acknowledge known burn pit or chemical exposure during service, you could argue that the doctor overlooked evidence.
- Drew an inadequate conclusion. Even if the doctor has a thorough understanding of your case, she must reasonably articulate how she arrived at the opinion that led to the denial of your claim. A C&P conclusion should describe the details of your condition, address your concerns and statements about your injuries, and state why the evidence used in the conclusion is relevant or not. A stand-alone statement such as “the evidence suggests that the disability did not arise during service” is not sufficient enough to deny VA benefits.
- Failed to use the facts of your case. Doctors who evaluate veterans for disability claims may have done hundreds of similar exams in the past and may blend the facts of your case with another. Each veteran’s disability is different, and even if there are similar injuries, a medical professional cannot use the facts of another case to bear on yours. For instance, if you and another veteran both lost a leg below the knee, but he is able to work and you are not, his ability is irrelevant to the outcome of your case.
Our Attorneys Can Help You Get a New Medical Exam
If you believe that your doctor made an error in the assessment of your case, we can help. The attorneys at Cuddigan Law can help determine if you have grounds to request a new examination, and we do not collect fees from you unless we win your case. Call us today at 402-933-5405 to ask us a question about your disability case.