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VA C&P Exam Preparation: A Nurse’s Guide to Success


Bottom Line Upfront

  • The Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam is a crucial step in the VA disability claims process, as it allows the VA to evaluate the current severity of your conditions and assign an appropriate disability rating
  • To prepare effectively, make a comprehensive list of all your conditions, obtain proper medical diagnoses, understand secondary service connection, gather relevant medical evidence, and be ready to honestly and thoroughly discuss how your disabilities impact your daily life.
  • Additionally, rehearse explaining your medical history and symptoms clearly, and organize your medical records to reference during the exam for accurate information.

VA C&P Exam Preparation: A Nurse’s Guide

If you’re a veteran seeking VA disability benefits, one of the most important steps is attending your Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam. The exam helps the VA understand the severity of your conditions and decide on your disability rating.

Understand the Purpose of the C&P Exam

The C&P exam is not a regular medical appointment. Its main goal is to gather evidence to determine your disability rating. To prove this further, the VA states “A claim exam isn’t like a normal medical exam. The provider won’t treat you for any illness or injury, give you referrals to other providers, or prescribe medicine. That’s because the purpose of the exam is to gather information that will help us make a decision on your claim. ” The examiner will review your records, ask questions about your conditions and symptoms, and perform an in-person evaluation.

Always Attend Your VA C&P Exam

It’s crucial to attend your C&P exam. Missing it can lead to a denial of your claim. Check out the Code of Federal Regulation( 38 CFR 3.655)for more information. The key point, however, is “If the exam was for an original compensation claim, the claim will be rated on the evidence of record. If for any other original claim or claim for increase, the claim shall be denied”.

However, there are instances where attending the C&P exam may not be possible. The M21-1 chapter reference, Failure to Report and Rescheduling Examinations states” Examples of good cause for missing an exam include illness, death of a family member, natural disaster, etc “. If you can’t make it, inform the VA as soon as possible to reschedule.

Make a List of All Your Conditions

Before your exam, make a list of every condition you have, even if you aren’t currently claiming it. The examiner needs to evaluate all of your conditions, including those caused by your primary disabilities. *Note: If you would like a free template, click here to schedule a free 30 minute consult*

Get Your Conditions Properly Diagnosed

For the VA to grant service connection, your conditions must be officially diagnosed by a medical professional. If you haven’t received a diagnosis for all of your claimed conditions, make an appointment with your doctor before the C&P exam.

Understand Secondary Service Connection

Secondary service connection allows you to get rated for conditions caused or aggravated by your already service-connected disabilities. Be prepared to explain to the examiner how your secondary conditions are related.

Bring All Relevant Medical Evidence

Bring any medical records, test results, doctor’s notes, or other evidence that documents your conditions and their severity. Having this documentation can help the examiner fully understand your disabilities. You may receive advice that the VA may already have your medical records. Just understand that this is your disability claim. If you feel the need to bring your medical records for you to reference during your exam, do so!

Be Honest and Thorough

During the exam, answer all questions honestly and don’t understate or exaggerate your symptoms. The examiner needs an accurate picture of how your conditions impact your daily life. Provide as many details as possible.

Rehearse Your Medical Story

Practice explaining your medical history and symptoms. This will help you clearly communicate your conditions during the exam. Be ready to discuss how your disabilities affect your daily life and work.

Organize Your Medical Records

Have an organized set of medical records to reference during the exam. This can include your military, VA, and private medical records. Being organized will help you provide accurate information quickly.

Prepare Your Medical Records For VA Disability Inspection

Final Tips

  • Arrive Early: Get to your appointment at least 15 minutes early.
  • Stay Calm: The examiner is there to help gather information, not to judge you.
  • Ask Questions: If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.

By being well-prepared for your C&P exam, you increase the chances of getting a fair and accurate VA disability rating. The exam is a crucial step, so take it seriously and advocate for yourself.

Being prepared for the VA C&P Exam starts well before you enter the exam room. The first step in being prepared is reviewing your medical records. Book a free 30 minute consultation where we provide you with tips for review your medical records. You got this!!!