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What Is a C&P Exam? Understanding Compensation and Pension Examinations

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | Disability Compensation

Once you’ve applied for VA disability or pension benefits, expect to receive a letter or phone call from the Veterans Affairs (VA) scheduling you for a Compensation & Pension (C&P) examination. A C&P exam is an appointment with a medical professional who will evaluate your disabilities. If your claim involves multiple disabilities, the VA may request that you participate in multiple C&P exams for each of your disabilities. You will not be provided medical advice or treatment and will not be prescribed any medications during a C&P examination. C&P examinations are performed by VA-employed medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or physician assistants, or by medical professionals from third-party contractors such as VES, QTC, or LHI.

If you’re claiming benefits for a physical disability, expect the examiner to ask you questions about your health, do some physical checks, and, if needed, conduct medical tests. For example, if you’re claiming a back condition, the examiner will have you bend through all the ranges of motion to see if your condition impacts your ability to have a normal range of motion.  If you are claiming compensation for a mental or psychological disability, expect the doctor to ask you more personal questions. You may also have to complete appropriate psychological tests.

Generally, C&P examinations will focus on when your disability began, how it has evolved since it began, and your current level of symptoms, so you should be prepared to answer all those questions. If your claim is an initial claim for service connection, the C&P examiner will also provide a medical nexus opinion where they will give their opinion as to whether your disability is “at least as likely as not (50% chance)” related to service.

Once you’re done, the doctor will write a report that is then uploaded into your VA claims file. From there, a VA rater will then decide the claim based on the C&P examination report plus other records in your claims file. The results of the C&P examination are very important because VA raters almost always go along with the conclusions from the C&P examiner.

Consult with an Experienced Veterans Benefits Lawyer Now

For more details about C&P examinations, contact After Service LLC today. Schedule your free case review with our experienced veterans benefits lawyers by contacting us online or calling our office at 844-838-7529.


Veterans Benefits C&P Exam FAQs

Does Everyone Need to Have a C&P Exam?

The VA will almost always request that you attend a C&P examination whenever you make a new claim for service connection or a claim for an increased rating for an already service-connected disability.

How Long Does the Exam Take?

Keep in mind that each examination is different and will depend on the veteran’s specific circumstances. But generally speaking, the exam could take anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour.

What if I Can’t Attend My Exam or Miss My Exam?

If you are unable to attend a C&P examination, you should call the VA as soon as possible and request that they reschedule the examination. If you miss an examination, you should call as soon as possible and explain why you missed the exam. VA will reschedule an examination as long as you have “good cause” for missing the exam.