Understanding the VA Claim Process

Have you filed a claim for disability compensation or pension benefits? If so, you might have received or will receive, a letter or phone call requesting you to go through a claim exam.

A claim exam also goes by the term Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam. This is a normal part of any VA claim process and helps the VA gather enough information to accurately make a decision on the claim you submitted. It is usually completed by a VA examiner or a partner of the VA.

These exams aren’t designed to make you feel insecure about your disability. Instead, they are designed to ensure that the decision of your claim is based on a completely accurate account of your disability. Without a claim exam, the VA would have only your medical evidence and not your personal account of your pain and symptoms related to the disability.

While the claim exam might feel daunting, it shouldn’t be too bad. However, there are a few tips that will help you feel more comfortable and prepared for your claim exam day.

In this article, we’re going to go over 5 of the best tips that you can use to get ready for your claim exam and help you feel relaxed for the big day.

1. Attend your VA Claim Exam

It may sound like an unspoken rule, but you should try your hardest to attend your VA claim exam when it’s scheduled. If it comes down to it and you do need to reschedule your claim exam, you should make sure that you do it immediately once you realize it needs to be done. You should also try to only reschedule the exam if it’s an emergency – otherwise, make it work.

By missing or rescheduling your VA claim exam time, you delay the decision of your claim,or VA can mark your claim “as-is,” which means that they will only evaluate your claim solely on the information already in your file.

2. Submit all your Medical Evidence Prior to your Exam Time

To ensure that your VA claim goes along smoothly and quickly, make sure that you submit all of the necessary medical evidence before you have your VA claim exam. This makes it so that the records will make it so that the examiner will have a complete picture of your disability before starting the exam.

While it’s okay for you to submit information during your exam, the examiner can’t submit the new information into your claim file on your behalf – which makes it untouchable during the whole exam. So, to make sure that there aren’t any issues with getting your claim finished with little issues, try to get all of the medical evidence required for your claim before the exam happens.

3. Have Multiple Disabilities to Claim? Prepare for Multiple Exams

While it doesn’t always happen, VA may request more than one claim exam if your VA claim contains more than one disability. If they end up wanting to deal with each of your disabilities separately, they will try their hardest to schedule all claim exams on the same day to limit the amount of time that you have to spend talking with an examiner. This might sound incredibly annoying, but it helps ensure that all of your claims will be taken care of properly and with little issues.

4. Be Truthful & Honest

Be Truthful & Honest

The examiner is going to be asking you a lot of questions regarding your disability during the claim exam. Make sure that you are completely truthful and honest when answering the questions; don’t exaggerate your symptoms and pain, but don’t downplay them either. The examiner isn’t going to judge you for any of your answers or invalidate how you’re feeling – they are only there to gather information regarding the disabilities you’re claiming.

By being completely honest and truthful about your symptoms and pain in terms of your disability, the examiner will gather all the information they need to get you the most accurate rating possible for your claim.

5. Don’t Ask About your Claim Status During the Exam

The examiner that is doing your exam isn’t there to give you a result. They are there just to conduct the exam and gather as much information as possible so that the VA claims processor can give you the most accurate rating. They don’t give your claim a rating and, more often than not, they don’t know the full claim process to even qualify them to give your claim a rating. After the claim exam, you can contact the VA or your accredited representative to check the status of your claim.

You should also note that the length of time that it takes for the claim exam to happen does not reflect what the decision of your claim will be. A claim exam can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more depending on how many claims you have submitted and your disability.

Again, the examiner doesn’t decide the rating of your claim. The amount of time the exam takes is dependent upon how many questions they need to gather as much information as possible to understand your disability.

Final Thoughts

These 5 tips are a great way to help you start thinking about and preparing for your VA claim exam.

While these are 5 of the best tips about your claim exam, these aren’t all the tips that will help you. If you’re wanting to read over all the tips and tricks that the VA recommends, take a look at their Helpful Tips link to give you a better understanding of what your claim exam is going to consist of and how to prepare it.

If you have any more questions regarding your claim exam, make sure to reach out to your VA accredited representative – no matter what questions you might have, they will be able to help you out or direct you to someone else who can.