What is a C&P Examination?
Three things must be shown for a veteran to be eligible for disability compensation benefits from VA.
1) The veteran must have a current disability.
2) The veteran must have been injured or developed a disease in service, or have had a pre-existing condition which was made worse by service.
3) There must be a nexus between the in-service event or injury and the current disability. This usually means that a veteran needs to provide medical evidence that his or her current disability was caused or made worse by something that occurred during military service.
If a veteran is seeking service connection for a disability, the Compensation and Pension Exam (C&P Exam) is used by VA to establish the above requirements. The exam can be used to determine whether the veteran has a current condition and whether that condition is related to his or her service.
If a veteran is seeking an increased rating for a disability because it has gotten worse, a C&P exam can be used to determine the severity of a current condition.
Along the same lines, if VA believes that a veteran’s condition has improved or if the condition is one that requires reevaluation, VA can order an examination to determine the current severity of the condition.
If you are applying for disability compensation for multiple disabilities, each disability will be separately evaluated. Some facilities will complete all of the examinations at once; others will require you to report for multiple exams. It is important that you report to all of your scheduled exams.
What happens if I don’t go?
It is vital that you attend any scheduled C&P examinations. Failure to attend an exam can result in denial or termination of benefits.
• Newly filed claim for compensation
When a veteran fails to report for an examination, without good cause, the claim will be rated based on the evidence already contained in the file.
• Reopened claim or Claim for Increase
When a veteran fails to report for an examination, without good cause, the claim will be denied.
When a veteran fails to report for a reexamination, VA will issue a pre-termination notice advising the veteran that payment will be terminated or reduced. The veteran will be provided with 60 days to indicate his or her willingness to report for the reexamination.
Good cause may include the illness or hospitalization of a veteran or the death of an immediate family member.
What if the date doesn’t work for me?
If you have a conflict with the scheduled date and time of your VA examination, contact the individual listed on your exam notification letter. C&P exams can be rescheduled on a one-time basis when the veteran requests that the examination be postponed for a valid reason. You should reschedule your examination as soon as you realize you have a conflict. Remember, if you do not reschedule your exam and you fail to attend, your benefits may be denied or terminated.