Any doctor appointment can be stressful. But reporting for a Compensation and Pension exam as part of the evaluation process to receive disability benefits from the VA can be especially nerve-wracking. It is actually the step in the claims process that creates the highest level of anxiety in veterans. Knowing what to expect and following some simple tips can help make the exam less stressful and move you closer to winning your claim.

The C and P exam is an appointment that allows the VA doctor to evaluate your physical or psychological condition and determine your level of impairment caused by your disability. Their report is used by the VA to help approve or deny your disability claim. You don’t receive treatment or medication at this appointment.

During your C and P exam you will likely meet with a medical or mental health professional to discuss your illness, injury, or psychological disorder. It’s also likely that the doctor will perform a physical exam and may order lab tests. It’s important when reporting for the exam to keep this objective in mind—to communicate your situation as precisely and accurately as you can, being as complete as possible.

You probably won’t have a great deal of time to explain your case, so it’s critical that you come prepared for this appointment. It’s your opportunity to present your situation, in detail, and all that you’ve been experiencing.

Here are a few tips which make the appointment go smoothly and give you the best opportunity for a favorable outcome of your claim.

Be prepared to answer. Open up to the doctor and tell the truth, even if it’s painful. If you don’t tell the truth, the doctor won’t have correct information for the report, and the Regional Office will never know about it. Be prepared to give dates and details, discuss symptoms and treatments you’ve received, and how your disability is impacting your work, home life, and relationships.

Prepare to be judged. It’s the doctor’s job to judge you and your condition. You’re there to be assessed fairly and accurately. Consider that you want to leave a credible impression: a veteran faced with a disability who is doing the best they can.

Stick to the facts. The doctor is meeting with you to get facts that will help them determine the severity of your impairment. Don’t ramble on.  Be precise in describing all the symptoms related to your condition.

Be honest. It may seem obvious, but it’s important that you don’t enhance, embellish, or lie about your condition. If you’re caught in a lie, your claim will likely be denied.

Be punctual. Being on time or even a bit early can help make you seem responsible and concerned about the outcome of the appointment. Most importantly, don’t miss an exam. If you do, it’s often cited as a reason for a claim denial.

At Cuddigan Law, we understand how critical it is for veterans to get disability benefits. That’s why we offer you a free and honest evaluation of your claim. Call or email us today for an appointment. 

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska