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What Is A Compensation And Pension Examination (C&P Exam.)?


Compensation and Pension Examination (C&P Exam.) is an examination performed for the VA by either VA staff or contracted company to document the current severity of a condition that is being considered for VA Disability and also may offer an opinion on whether it is at least as likely as not that the condition is service connected or secondary to a current service connected condition.

Who Performs A Compensation And Pension Examination (C&P Exam.)?

The C&P Exam may not be performed by a Medical Doctor, it may be performed by a Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner or a Medical Doctor. If the exam is for a Psychiatric condition, the exam will be performed by a Psychologist or Psychiatrist. For vision or dental conditions, the appropriate specialist should perform the exam. The VA is required by law to have specialists conduct the C&P Exam for any of these conditions. Each of these additional exams is also referred to as a “C&P Exam.”

How Should I Prepare For A Compensation And Pension Examination (C&P Exam.)? 

To properly prepare for a C&P Exam. A Veteran should read the appropriate Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) and understand the disability description and ratings. Also, the Veteran should gather all medical records pertinent to the C&P Exam, and provide copies to the examiner.

What Should I Expect At A Compensation And Pension Examination (C&P Exam.) For Orthopedic Conditions That Involve The Degree Of Bending?

Every time a Veteran goes for a C&P Exam for a condition that involves the neck, back, arms or legs, the examiner should use a goniometer. A goniometer is an instrument that has two arms and a scale that measures angles. It is necessary to use a goniometer to accurately measure the degree of motion. Conditions involving the spine, knees, shoulders, elbows, etc… are rated based on the amount movement is restricted. To determine the restrictions due to the condition, the movement must be measured. Often Doctors will just guess at the range of motion making an estimate, however, no doctor has a calibrated eye. The goniometer should measure at the pivot of the joint. There are many samples of measuring joints on youtube and to properly prepare, a veteran should watch how the measurement should be done.

Should I Bring A Witness To A Compensation And Pension Examination (C&P Exam.)?

Yes, any medical evaluation a Veteran goes to the Veteran should bring a witness. The witness should have a note pad and take notes when the doctor is performing the exam. Also document what the Veteran tells the doctor about the condition, such as frequency, degree of flare up, etc… If necessary, the witness can supply a declaration of what happened and was told to the doctor. May times C&P Exams result in the medical provider filling out the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) inaccurately. Documenting the inadequacies and inconsistencies between what was said and what is reported on the DBQ can make a difference in the Veteran’s rating decision and/or appeal. I recommend bringing your witness, especially your spouse or significant other when you go to an appointment concerning a service-connected condition. Often times the spouse or significant other can supply information that the Veteran forgets. Medical appointments can be stressful and C&P Exams can be even more stressful with the Veteran under stress forgetting important information.

For more information on Veteran’s Law Issues In California, a consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (916) 915-8866 today.

California Probate Lawyer Peter Cianchetta

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