So you feel your C&P exam did not go well. What to do now? You left your C&P exam and you have a bad feeling about it. What can you do? You, as a veteran, have a few outlets to examine.
First of all, let’s not panic. To start, before you leave the VA facility, make sure you have the name of your doctor. If you do not want to ask the doctor as you are leaving, inquire at reception or with one of the nurses. “I just want to make sure I have his name correctly; was that Dr. Bob Smith? Was Smith with an “I” or a “Y”?” Even if you just get the last name of the doctor, you’ll be able to compare this name to the one on your C&P exam. You would be shocked to learn a lot of times that the person that saw you is not the doctor that signs off on the C&P report.
As soon as you are able, write down your impressions of the exam and what you think went wrong. It is so much easier to get these feeling down now than trying to recreate them at a later time. Here are some questions to try to help formulate your impressions:
- What do you feel went wrong?
- Was it the way the examiner treated you?
- Did the examiner ask competent questions relating to your disability?
- Was the examiner interested in your answers?
- Did you feel your examiner has his/her own agenda?
Use these questions as a guideline to fill out your own rebuttal to submit to the VA.
Next, you are entitled to know about the examiner who performed your exam. This is why you asked for the name of your doctor. Did you have an examiner who is a specialist in your field? For example, a general practitioner should not be giving a PTSD exam.
So how do you find out if your examiner is a specialist in your field? Well, now you need to ask for a copy of your C&P exam. You may not be able to get one right away, but the C&P exam should be available within a few weeks. You can always check for the posted copy on your on-line ebenefits account, or call the office in which you had your exam and ask them how to go about getting a copy.
If you have the name of your examiner, you can google him to see if there is anything on line about him. Or you can request a FOIA for his/her Curriculum Vitae. This will help you ascertain your examiner’s competency.
You can always request another C&P exam. The VA is not required to provide another one, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, and often, very often, you can get another one.
If you have seen your own doctor for the same issue for which you are getting a C&P, ask your own doctor to fill out a DBQ for your disability. The VA is required to examine your own doctor’s opinion on your disability, and give it as much weight as they would give their own examiner.
All the above listed examples allow you to formulate your own rebuttal to a C&P exam that made you uncomfortable. You are not powerless against the VA and do not have to swallow a negative C&P like bad medicine.
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