If you file a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the VA requires that you attend a Compensation and Pension Examination (C&P exam). The C&P exam is done by a VA-appointed physician and used to verify the diagnosis of PTSD and to determine if the condition is service-connected. It can also be used to assess the severity of the condition. There are several things to do prior to the exam that can help you prepare for answering questions about your condition and providing the necessary documentation to support your claim, so you have a higher chance of a favorable outcome.
Scheduling the C&P Exam
Once you file a claim for VA disability benefits for PTSD, you will be scheduled for a C&P exam. This exam is scheduled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is conducted by an outside physician, even if you have a diagnosis by your own physician. You will be required to attend the C&P exam in person and will be notified either by mail or over the phone. The VA will give you a specific date and location for the exam. If you are unable to make the appointment set by the VA, you will need to contact them immediately to reschedule the exam. Failing to attend the exam will result in a denial of the claim.
The purpose of the C&P exam is not to give you advice on your condition or recommend treatment options. It is done to provide insight into the severity of your condition and the history behind it. The examiner will provide their opinion based on the evidence you provide.
Items to Bring to a C&P Exam
- Letter from your physician that addressed the severity of the PTSD and that it was due to your time in service
- Social security earning statements
- Notes about your condition and how it has impacted your life and daily activities
Other Tips to Consider
The C&P exam is used to assess your condition and how it affects your life and ability to work. It is important to be honest with the examiner and to give enough information to support your claim, no matter if it is embarrassing or not. A PTSD diagnosis is based on specific criteria and the more information you provide, the more likely the chance of a favorable outcome. The opinion of the examiner will be used as a basis for your claim, so you will want to let them know how much PTSD has affected you and your ability to enjoy life.
Another tip to consider is to bring a witness to the C&P exam. This can be a family member such as a spouse or a close friend. Having a witness can help with your claim since they can attest to the impact that PTSD has had on your life. They can help provide details about the condition, relieve stress, and give insight into the severity of the condition.
After the C&P exam, you may want to write down notes from the day to be used if there is a hearing regarding your claim. You can also request a copy of the exam report.
Contact Our Office Today
If you have been denied PTSD disability benefits after a C&P exam or have questions about a claim, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can help you with the appeal process for any disputes you may have with a claim determination and help protect your legal rights. Call us at 877-629-1712 or use our online contact form to find out more.