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Arthritis Diet and Exercises

VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Exams

Christian: Good afternoon and welcome to another
edition of Facebook live at Chisholm Chisholm and Kilpatrick. My name is Christian McTarnaghan, I’m an attorney
here at the firm. Today, joining me to talk about C&P examinations,
is Jenna Zellmer who is also an attorney and Michael Lostritto who is another attorney
at the firm. So, I think we’re just going to jump right
in. First question, what is a C&P exam, what do
I mean when I’m saying that? Jenna: Yeah, Christian, so C&P stands for Compensation
and Pension Examination and it’s the exam that VA will order when it’s deciding a veteran’s
claim for service connection or for an increased rating for your disability. Christian: So, is there any problem that
veterans should be aware of if the VA deny a claim without getting a medical examination
at all? Jenna: Not necessarily, VA is allowed to deny
a claim without getting an exam. Generally, for a service connection claim,
we say it’s a really low threshold for getting an exam, but in certain circumstances, VA
doesn’t have to give an exam. Usually, if you are trying to get a service
connection claim, the VA is going to need to get an exam to determine what the cause
of your condition is and to determine whether or not it’s related to service. And so, in order to get an exam in that scenario,
there has to be at least some evidence that indicates your disability is related to service
somehow. If there’s no evidence that your disability
is not related to service, VA can deny your claim without getting you an exam. But, for the most part, I would say 90% of
cases, VA is going to get an exam either to determine whether or not your disability is
related to service so that they can grant service connection, or whether to determine
if your already service-connected disability warrants a higher rating. Christian: It’s gotten worse. So, let’s say a veteran has filed for service
connection for a left knee condition and a psychological condition, would they get two
separate exams for those two separate disabilities? Jenna: Yes, so they’re going to get two separate
exams because the medical question is a little bit different based on whatever disability
you have. And so, for the knee disability, they would
probably get some sort of orthopedic doctor. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a doctor. It could be a nurse practitioner or a physician’s
assistant. That physician, that medical professional
will be focused on orthopedic condition, whereas if there’s a psychiatric disability then they’re
going to get a psychiatric professional. Christian: So, you just sort of alluded to
this, the exams can be conducted by a medical doctor or sort of some other sufficiently
qualified person, right? Jenna: Right, and usually they’re VA medical
professionals, but every once in a while, VA will also contract out with a third-party
professional. So, sometimes it’s a private examiner who’s
not affiliated with VA, but just has a contract with VA. Christian:Okay, would those exams be any different than a VA conducted exam? Jenna: No, so there is something called disability
benefits questionnaires, but for the most part the exams, regardless of whether or not
they’re conducted by VA or a by a third-party contractor, they’re supposed to be answering
the same questions, the forms that they’re on might be a little bit different. A DBQ is a Disability Benefits Questionnaire,
it’s mostly just a form that a professional can fill out, check boxes, provide some sort
of narrative, but the contents of the exam should be the same regardless. Christian: So, if a veteran has filed a service
connection claim and VA decides to get them an examination. How important is that examination? Jenna: It’s really important. So, in most cases we’re dealing with pretty
complex medical issues, and so VA is going to require some sort of medical evidence in
order to properly adjudicate the veteran’s claim and hopefully grant a service connection
or grant a higher rating, and so, it’s really important that veterans go to their exams. Christian: It’s incredibly important. So, that was just a little by way of background
and now we’re going to move into a discussion of some of the do’s and don’ts of VA examinations. So, I’m going to start with Mike. What’s something that you would recommend
a veteran do in relationship to C&P exam? Michael: Sure, one of the most important things
for veterans to do, when they relay their symptoms to the C&P examiner it’s to just
be honest. You know, there is a record of medical records
from the past that the adjudicator will take a look at in addition to the result of the
C&P exam. So, it’s very important that whatever you
state doesn’t conflict with something maybe that has been already recorded in the past. So, you know, it’s extremely important for
the veteran to be honest and that means not downplaying the symptoms as well. If a veteran’s condition truly has worsened,
he or she should state that and make sure that it’s recorded properly for VA to know. If things that the veteran knows has happened
previously in the file, they feel free to reiterate those things. But like I said before, it’s really important
that they don’t conflict, maybe something that they said in the past with something
that they are saying now, provided of course that the situation hasn’t changed. Christian: Sure, or there’s not some sort
of explanation for that, right? When I’m looking at my client’s files, I notice
something changes, I’m really hoping that there’s a reason why that I could use to try
and help explain why it’s not inconsistent. Michael: Absolutely. Christian: Because I think that’s what you’re
getting at, VA will look for any inconsistencies in the veteran’s story to do a number of things
and sometimes deny the claim. Michael: Absolutely. Like I said, be expressive and if your condition
truly has worsened, it’s perfectly acceptable to say that, and in fact, would help your case
if you are to relay that information to the C&P examiners so they can record it properly. Christian: So, what should the C&P examiners
know? Should a veteran go into the room assuming
that the examiner knows everything about their case? Michael: Absolutely not. This is really not an opportunity to ask about
the status of your case. The C&P examiner, I’m sure has a lot of examinations
that they do on a daily basis. They don’t really have any unique knowledge
about any specific veteran’s case. In all likelihood, they haven’t reviewed anything
in the file, which is another reason why it’s important for veterans to go in and be expressive,
say what’s going on and make sure that the C&P examiner is recording things that they’re
saying, because if it’s not recorded, it’s tough to prove that it actually ever happened
during that examination. Christian: Absolutely. So, one thing that we also want to highlight
is it’s really important to attend these examinations right? Michael: Oh, absolutely. In our practice here, we’ve unfortunately
seen VA deny, whether it be service connection or a claim for an increased rating, solely
based on the fact that the veteran did not attend their most recently scheduled C&P examination. It’s really critical that, even if the veteran’s
afraid of what the result may be, that they attend the exam because VA will oftentimes
view a veteran that has missed the exam or refused to go to an exam as low hanging fruit
and kind of just a quick way to, you know, deny the claim and move on to the next client. Christian: In some instances that would be
a completely legal result. Jenna: Right. Christian: VA has the right to deny service
connection claims and things like that, or increase rating claims if the veteran fails
to attend the examination. So, one point I want to make before we move
on to some of the thoughts that Jenna has is, this isn’t your treating doctor. They’re there to evaluate whether your condition
was caused by service or how severe it is at that point in time. So, a common thing that I see in some of my
cases is, especially in the psychological evaluation context, “So, how are you doing
today Mr. X?” “Oh, I’m doing well.” Common pleasantry, first thing recorded in
the examination, veteran states he’s doing well. So, you know, obviously, be cordial, be polite,
but just know everything you say in there is going to to be recorded in that examination. Michael: Yeah, that’s a great point because
it’s oftentimes hard to put things into context. A few years down the road, if you need to
review the exam, when you may have been saying something not even thinking that’s the way
it’s going to be written down or intended for it to be put down. Christian: “I had a fantastic day at my niece’s
birthday party,” right? Just opening up the conversation but, then
you have that as an advocate, 5,10,15 years later, and you don’t understand that that
was just common pleasantries. It’s hard to see that from the file itself. Michael: And, it’s 100% accurate, and VA really
puts a lot of weight on their own exams, and so, despite the fact the veteran can maybe provide
outside medical opinions or outside medical evidence, VA really holds the exams that they
provide kind of in high esteem if you will. So, it’s very important that you attend them
and that you know, you think carefully how you say things and what you say and how you
express your symptoms when you attend an exam. Jenna: And, I think an overarching theme that
we’ve kind of touched on, is the fact that VA has this duty to assist a veteran in substantiating
his or her claim. That’s why VA is getting these examinations. But, you know, as part of that duty, what
VA will often say is that duty is not a one-way street, and what that means is that you know,
if a veteran is afforded an opportunity to go to an examination and they don’t attend,
that’s what VA is going to use. They’re going to say, “Well, we completed
our part of the duty to assist.” But veterans still have their own obligations
to meet us halfway and actually come to the exam and provide information about their claim. And so, that kind of all goes back. Even though it’s VA’s duty, the best thing that
you can do as a veteran is to make VA’s job as easy as possible. Christian: Absolutely. Don’t give them a reason to deny the claim. Jenna: Yeah, so, you know, that’s the duty
to assist. Christian: Well, just some other thoughts
that you might have Jenna about things that veterans should be aware of. Jenna: Yeah, so I think it’s really important
to kind of understand the context of the exam is. We mentioned before is this an examination
for an orthopedic condition? Is this an examination for PTSD or another
psychiatric disability? And it’s also important to know are you claiming
service connection or are you claiming an increased rating? Because the focus of the exams is going to
be different in all those different contexts. You know, for example, if you’re trying to
get a service connection of a left knee disability, you’re going to go to some medical professional
who hopefully has some sort of orthopedic background. Hopefully is the key word there. I think we’re going to get to that in a little
bit. But, you know, that examiner, because it’s
a service connection claim, is going to be focused on what happened to you in service,
what’s been going on since service, and trying to figure out what the cause of this left
knee or right knee or whatever orthopedic condition it is. That’s going to be a little bit different
than if you were going for an increased rating claim. Because, in an increase rating claim, the
doctor isn’t really going to be concerned about what happened to you in service. If you want to get into that, the doctor is
probably going to refocus you. A lot of times veterans are upset because
they feel that the examiner isn’t listening to them or isn’t really concerned about their
service history, but the real focus of the exam, in that case, is what the current condition
is, not really what the past was about. Christian: It’s not that they don’t care what
happened to you in service, it’s that it’s not what your claim is about right then and
there. You’re sort of wasting precious minutes that
you have to sort of tell your story if you’re focused on something that’s not very good. Jenna: Right, so it’s really important to
kind of understand going into it. Figure out what condition this particular
exam is for because a lot of times veterans have multiple different conditions and they
might get them confused. They might think they’re going for one exam
and they’re actually going for another. Christian: Or some on the same day. Jenna: Exactly, So, write down everything
that you want the examiner to know about that particular condition, about why you think
it’s related to service, why you think it’s worsened, why you think you are deserving
of a higher rating, and make sure that the examiner has that in mind when they’re asking
the questions. You can kind of hopefully try to direct the
exam in the way that you want it to go. As the examinee, you can volunteer a lot of
information that an examiner may not otherwise ask. And so, it’s really important to be prepared. Christian: And so, we’ve been talking a lot
about symptoms in this whole discussion. Is that the only thing that’s important in
the context of let’s say an increase rating claim. Jenna: No. Do you want to take it? Michael:I was going to say it’s also important
for the veteran to relay how the symptom impacts their daily work life, you know, just making
their daily life in general. It’s really important to link, you know, “I
have increased pain in my knee and therefore I’m unable to lift, I’m unable to walk”, those
things. Taking that next step to show really how the
disability impacts the daily aspects of life. Jenna: And if eventually, you stopped working because
of your disability. That’s definitely really important to volunteer
in the exam too Christian: Or how it impacts work. Jenna: Mm-hmm, yeah. Even if you didn’t stop working, but if it
limits your ability to work certain types of jobs, you know, if you can only work a
certain amount of days or hours in a day, things like that. Michael: And just a practical tip, I think
it’s perfectly acceptable for you to go in with a list of things of questions. Christian: Oh yeah, absolutely
Jenna: Yes definitely Michael: Things that you want to make sure
that you say. A lot of complaints that we hear from veterans,
they’re surprised at how quickly their exam goes and how they weren’t really able to convey
everything that they wanted to convey. So, I would always recommend veterans go in
with a list of things they want to hit specifically with the examiner and make sure that before
the examiner leaves the room, you’ve covered everything that you want to. It’s your exam, make sure you cover everything
you want to convey to the examiner. Jenna: Exactly. Christian: What’s a way Jenna that you, as
a veteran, or a veteran can make sure that what they’ve conveyed was actually put down
on paper? Jenna: Right, so veterans are entitled to
a copy of the examination. So, after you go the exam you can write to
your regional office and request a copy of the exam and you can read exactly what the
examiner wrote and what VA is reading when they are deciding your claim. When you look at that exam, that’s when having
that list that Mike suggested is really important because you can see, “Oh I told the examiner
this, but the examiner didn’t write it down”, or “I told the examiner X and he actually
wrote down Y.” You can compare the two and make sure that
whatever the examiner is reporting to VA, which is what VA is going to use in deciding
the claim and as Mike said, hold in really high esteem. You want to make sure that all that information
is accurate. Christian: Yep. Jenna: If it’s not accurate then the veteran
can write to the regional office and dispute everything that the examiner said and say
“This is what the examiner said, and this is why it’s wrong,” or “The examiner said
I have flare ups once a month, I actually have them twice a month or once a week,” or
something like that, you know, just to make sure that VA has all the information before
it, before it makes its decision. Christian: And as an advocate, when your case
gets to court or when you’re making arguments at the agency, those sort of responses can
be incredibly helpful to help correct the record or supplement the record or anything
like that. I know when I work in our court practice also
when I’m appealing a case to court and I’m trying to attack an examination, I’ve had
some clients that have had some really detailed responses that have been the basis of the
arguments that I’m going to make, and it’s also what’s most important for them which
I think is really helpful to understand, sort of, what really affects this person day to
day because of their service-connected disability Michael: Yeah, that’s a great point and I
think it’s important for veterans to respond to the exam as soon as they can, once they
receive a copy of it. It’s fresh in your mind at that point and
it also shows when you’re looking at a record that could be several years old, that the
veteran responded within the first couple of weeks after the exam, pointing out that
this is inaccurate. This is different. This wasn’t conveyed that way. So, I think just responding to those exams
is always a good idea. Christian: So, what are some other thoughts,
Mike, that you have, some advice you have for our veteran watchers? Michael: So, oftentimes veterans will receive
a copy of their exam and unfortunately it will be unfavorable. And so, I think at that point they need to
keep in mind that they can certainly submit a response as we were just speaking about. Either pointing out any inaccuracies or pointing
out problems with the process, perhaps maybe the exam didn’t go into a lot of detail or
support any of the conclusions that were included in the exam. But also, I think it’s important for veterans
just to keep in mind that while VA does hold the C&P exam, the VA exam, or give it a lot
of weight, it’s only one piece of evidence. And so, I think veterans should feel like
they can and they should go out and obtain, you know, treatment records, maybe their private
treatment records, a separate opinion that contradicts the findings of the C&P examination. So, I think if you get a decision, or rather,
if you get an examination report and it’s unfavorable, it’s not the end of the world,
but I think a veteran should look to supplementing the record with other evidence that is favorable. Christian: Sure. Michael: And, trying to show this evidence
does exist that contradicts what’s in the examination. Christian: Because VA isn’t supposed to just
be giving more credence or more weight to a VA examination simply because it was performed
by a VA examiner. Michael: Exactly, unfortunately, I think sometimes
in practice they do, but absolutely, you’re a 100% right that they’re not supposed to. That’s why the outside evidence and that’s
where the outside evidence comes into play. So, getting a private examination from maybe
your treating physician, have them review the C&P examination if they’re willing to
do so and submitting a response on your behalf. I think that’s a good, practical piece of
advice. Christian: So, Jenna alluded to this a little
earlier. So, let’s say you show up to your Compensation
and Pension examination, right? You have a left knee disability and you’re
being seen by a Toxicologist or someone in the Cancer treatment department at a VA medical
hospital. Is there a problem with that? Michael: So, first thing you should do is
still attend the exam. Michael: Don’t walk out just because that’s not a specialist in the area in the disability that you are claiming. But yeah, that can be a problem. Christian: Yep. Michael: And so, if that is the case, veterans
should afterwards either request a copy of the C&P examiner’s CV or resume to see exactly
what the qualification of that C&P examiner is. If you find that the qualifications really
don’t seem like they would meet the disability or relate to the disability that you’re claiming,
I would suggest submitting your response to the C&P examination just pointing that out. Because, really the VA is required to provide
someone to evaluate the condition that has some medical background or expertise in that
area, generally speaking. Christian: So, what about a nurse practitioner
or a physician’s assistant? Michael: So, those are examples where that
would likely be– Christian: — probably be okay, right
Michael: Yeah, unless the nurse practitioner or the physician’s assistant had wholly unrelated
experience. Christian: Or was this very specific medical
concept, like– Jenna: Like TBI, traumatic brain injury, sometimes,
some types of psychiatric conditions, the examination instructions explicitly lists
the type of specialist that is needed for that particular opinion. You know, the thought process is, like I mentioned
earlier this is a complex area, medically, you know, complex question, the Board member
or VA employee, you know, probably went to college, probably got a job, but is not a
medical expert, does not know how to answer and so that’s why they want an expert. But if you’re getting a medical professional
who has completely unrelated experience in a very complex area of law, they’re no better
at making that opinion than the Board member or the VA employee. They’re similarly situated and so you really,
you can read the VA exam instructions and if they say that you need, you know, I believe
it’s like a neurologist sometimes a neuropsychiatrist, certain things like that, then that’s when
you want to challenge it if it has just a PA or an NP.
Christian: It would more likely be a successful challenge. So, something you had mentioned Mike, maybe
getting some of your own evidence. We had mentioned DBQs before. Would it make sense for a veteran that wanted
to submit some of their own evidence to have someone fill out a DBQ form on their behalf? Michael: Sure, I think if a veteran has
a treating physician that is willing to do so that it’s always better, well, not always,
but many times it’s better for the veteran to have a physician who they’re familiar with,
presumably, the physician knows the history, the veteran’s history. So, if the physician or nurse practitioner
has experience with the veteran and they’re willing to do it I think having them fill
out a DBQ form in place of maybe another exam would be a great thing. Michael: For them to do. Christian: And then again, just a reminder
that although it’s your treating physician that doesn’t automatically, there are some
different areas of law where a treating physician’s sort of trumps all other medical experts or
medical opinions, that doesn’t happen in veteran’s law. The VA is supposed to consider it, give it
as much weight based on how probative it is, how well explained, things like that, how
thoroughly done, that’s sort of what probative value means. So, we’ve been talking a lot about medical
experts, but there’s another sort of main type of expert in VA law and that’s a vocational
expert. So, what is a vocational expert? Michael: A vocational expert really is an
expert in employment issues, if you will. They’re able to better translate a veteran’s
disabilities into how those disabilities impact the veteran’s ability to work. The key term for veteran’s law is substantially
gainful employment. So, they’re really looking at how all the
service-connected disabilities, in particular, translate into limitations, functional limitations
on the veteran’s ability to work in different capacities. And so, vocational experts are not medical experts. They have a separate of expertise and so they’re
really looking at the case as a whole in terms of all the service connection conditions instead
of maybe one in particular and translating that into ability to work. Christian: Where does one find a voc expert? Michael: So vocational experts can be found,
you know, there are several people that are really specialized in this area and you know,
different offices and representatives have contacts with those offices. But, if a veteran’s unrepresented, if they’re
on their own and they wish to seek out vocational experts, you know, a lot of times they can
do so. I would recommend by using the internet. You know, just practically speaking, there
are a lot of good resources out there for veterans to take a look at and a lot of times
the interviews don’t need to be done in person they can be done over the phone. And so, but I think it’s really important
in cases dealing with unemployability issues, for veterans to seek out those type of experts
because they’re just going to be able to provide an opinion that is far more probative and
on point than say your regular medical examiner. Christian: Yeah, because they can say because
your knee pain makes it difficult for you to sit and stand you can only do so for so
long this equates to this amount of occupational impairment or potentially complete occupational
impairment or certain limits, which would narrow you job abilities. Michael:That’s exactly right. It’s important too that, these experts really
are able to look at all service-connected disabilities, because maybe, you know, an
orthopedic expert opinion would only be able to focus very narrowly on those type of disabilities. A vocational expert is going to be able to
look at a wide array of different types of disabilities and, as you said, translate that
into their impact on the veteran’s ability to be employed. Jenna: I think it’s important to highlight
too, you know, especially situations that deal with individual unemployability, trying
to get that 100% rating based on your inability to work. It’s really helpful to have a representative. If you are a veteran who is unrepresented
and trying to find a vocational expert on your own and navigate that whole veteran’s benefits
system, can be really overwhelming. It’s really important to reach out to your
VSOs, reach out to any of the number of really well-qualified attorneys who can help you kind of
figure out the best way to make that argument and find the best vocational expert for your
particular situation. Michael: Yeah, that’s a great point. When you do find somebody, it’s good to keep
in mind that they’re allowed to and it’s a good idea to have them review any previous
Compensation and Pension examination. They can take a look at it and offer findings
that may contradict what the VA examiner found and that can help and benefit your case for
sure. Christian: So, thus far we’ve been talking
about a lot of the things that a veteran should do in the context of the C&P examination,
what’s “don’t” Jenna? What’s something that a veteran shouldn’t
do? Jenna: Yeah, so I think the first thing you
shouldn’t do is you shouldn’t downplay your symptoms. I think a lot of veterans, particularly some
of the older veterans were raised or were brought up in this culture of being stoic. We see a lot of cases come through our office
where veterans were taught not to complain about anything, to really pretend like everything’s
okay even though they are in a lot of pain, or even though their disability really affects
their daily life. I think that Mike raised this earlier when
he was talking about being honest and being expressive. The flipside of that is, don’t downplay, don’t
pretend like you’re okay. Don’t tell the examiner that you can manage
when you’re really struggling. I was looking at a veteran’s case today and
he mentioned something called the warrior ethos and so it’s really this, you know, this
mindset that veterans are really tough. That’s not going to help you get higher compensation. That’s really important. Christian: Any thoughts Mike? Michael: Yeah, we touched on this a little
bit earlier. Just in terms of making sure that what you
say is an accurate reflection of what’s actually happening. You don’t want to exaggerate your symptoms
just because you think that maybe the VA won’t understand the severity of them. Because that’s going to be reflected on the
record. If there’s something previously that was recorded
that contradicts with what you’re saying now that can cause a problem in terms of credibility
issues in the future. Don’t downplay your symptoms, don’t exaggerate
your symptoms. Really, I would say, be as honest as possible
during the examination and I think you’ll be okay. Jenna: It’s hard because exams are conducted
on a single day. And so, you might be feeling okay on that one day
that you go to an exam. But, the examiner isn’t your treating physician
and so they really only have the information that you’re giving them. If you go to an exam on a Wednesday, but that
past Monday was a really, really bad day, you want to explain that. You kind of want to talk to the examiner about
the whole history of your particular disability and “Do you have flare-ups?”, “Is it really
worse in the morning? Is it better in the afternoon?” A lot of veterans, especially ones with physical
disabilities, have changes in severity with seasons. It’s really important to, you know when we’re
saying, “Don’t exaggerate, don’t downplay,” but also explain kind of how it goes up and
down if it does. Christian: Yeah, be as truthful and as comprehensive
as possible, I think that’s the name of the game. So do you guys have any final thoughts on
advice that you’d have for veterans navigating the C&P process? Michael: I would just say that it is, unfortunately,
we see veterans frequently that understandably are frustrated, that they have to get scheduled
for yet another C&P exam, they’ve had a C&P exam on the same condition many times before,
“Why do I need to attend another exam on the same condition?” But as we spoke to earlier, it really is important
that you go to the examination and that you are there to be able to accurately relay any
information, any additional information, new information, or just repeat the same old information. You know, VA really will use a missed examination
as an opportunity to deny your claim. I just can’t stress that enough. Jenna: If you’re going to multiple exams,
there is a couple of different reasons for that, either VA has decided that the previous
exams you went through weren’t adequate or they’re trying to get an updated understanding
of how your disability has changed since that past exam. It’s always good to look at it as it’s better
to go to a new exam and make sure that VA has the most accurate information rather than
get a denial. I think that’s the best thing — Michael: Yeah, an unfavorable C&P examination
is not the end of the road, there are a lot of options that you have to deal with that. As we said, either adding additional evidence
or making legal arguments against the sufficiency of the examination. But, it’s more important to get the examination
done and completed than not go out of fear of an unfavorable examination report. Christian: Absolutely. Well, thank you very much, guys. Again, my name is Christian McTarnaghan and
I’m here with Jenna Zellmer and Michael Lostritto, we’re three attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm
and Kilpatrick and thanks for joining us today.

20 thoughts on “VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Exams

  1. I had couple C and P exams done And the nurse practitioners they put whatever they want I reported with the VA I Send a letter to them explaining that they messed up purposely and I got ahold of the 3rd party companies so when everything was said and done the va Told me we pretty much don't care you need to show new medical evidence and the 3rd party company's could not do anything. It made me so mad but I kept fighting and I got my increases by the end of the day

  2. What about when the VA goes and gets a medical opnion with out the veteran being seen. I went to a C&P exam, it was a great one, but the RO went and got a another opnion, then denied me,

  3. c&p exams are the deciding factor in service connection if you get a good one they connect you if not they deny outside doctors have no weight at all

  4. I had one claim deferred and have since had a C&P exam. It was for chronic sinusitis, with 5 surgeries. They sent me to a sports medicine doctor and NOT an Ears, Nose and Throat doctor. Still haven't heard the decision on my claim.

  5. What happens after the C&P exam? Do I need to click the button that says “no further evidence process my claim”? Or do mother and wait?

  6. So I have a question. What if a veteran has suicidal ideation and has been taking zoloft. The veteran has evidence from the hospitals and was put in a mental institution by court order. How much will the VA rate that person usually? Thank you CCK and all the veterans.


  8. It is imperative that the veteran submit a statement asap to the evidence intake center if he/she disputes exam results. On average it is taking between 4 and 8 weeks for the information sent to Janesville to be uploaded into VBMS. That means if you wait a month to submit your rebuttal, the RVSR at the regional office who is initially adjudicating your claim will likely never see your statement but will make a decision based on the C&P exam and anything of record to that point. You can fix this later on, but then you are into the appeals process and trying to undo something that has already been done. Dealing with the VA requires you to be 2 or 3 steps ahead of the VA if you want a favorable outcome. It is nothing except a chess match, and you must master the game if you want to be successful in this process.

  9. Is it frowned upon if you ask the medical examiner of the C&P what is their medical speciality/background..e.g. NP, general practice, ortho, etc. ?

  10. I had my C&P interrogation a couple of days ago, it did not go well. Would it be premature to send my claim evidence to this firm for an evaluation?

  11. Can I print the same DBQ that I’m being examined for at my comp and pen appointment, and have a outside doctor preform it on me before my comp and pen appointment? Will they accept it if I give the doctor at my comp and pen appointment? Thank you for your time.

  12. What if I already went through the MEB process, and am currently getting out. When I go to my C&P exam, will they just examine the unfit conditions that got me medically retired from the Army?



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