If you are making a service connection or increased rating claim with the VA, a disability examination is typically required before they will decide on your claim. Due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 200,000 examinations accumulated, delaying many Veterans' claims.
It's important to note that the VA must order a disability exam for you if it is warranted in your case. You cannot schedule your own exam if the VA has not authorized one for your claim. If you believe a disability exam is essential to your claim but the VA has not authorized one, an attorney may be able to help ensure the VA fulfills its duty to assist you with your claim by ordering a medical exam or opinion.
What is the current status of in-person and virtual disability exams?
The VA has released information confirming that in-person exams have safely resumed everywhere in the country. In addition, the VA has implemented policy changes that expand virtual services that enable broader use of virtual exams.
Most VA examinations are now done by contract examiners. A new Medical Disability Examination Office is providing oversight of the contract examination program to include monitoring contractor production, timeliness, quality, and invoicing.
What does this mean for your VA disability claim?
If your claim has been delayed due to the lack of a Veterans Affairs examination, you should follow up with the VA about getting an exam scheduled now. The VA has a dedicated website related to its resumption of in-person disability examinations. Visit this link for information about what to expect at a VA examination, how to schedule an examination, and what happens after an examination.
In our office, Veterans Affairs attorneys work closely with our clients to make sure America's vets are ready for their disability exams, regardless of if they are in-person or virtual. In some cases, the VA won't even order a disability exam until certain evidentiary requirements are met, and you may need an attorney's help to ensure you reach that threshold. Contact our law office today to learn how we might be able to help with your VA disability appeal and exam.