C&P exams, or Compensation and Pension Exams, will be required by the VA in order to process your claim. Our blogs have dealt with this subject previously. But here’s a couple of reminders and a few Do’s and Don’ts to help you through this exam.
- Do be on time.
- Do take a list of your symptoms. Even the ones you’d really rather not talk about, or that may be embarrassing. Ask a spouse or friend to help you compile the list. Often, a spouse may notice that when you bend down to pick up something, you are always holding your back, or that at the end of the day, you check the locks on the house and window three or four times before going to bed.
- Do be polite. Being rude or profane will not help your claim at all.
- Do be honest and forthright. When you first walk in the room, and the examiner asks you how you are, this is the time your exam really starts. Tell the examiner exactly how you are. If your back hurts, say so. Most veterans are conditioned to not complain. If you have trouble stating how you are, it’s safe to say, “I’ve had better days.” After all, if you were “okay”, you wouldn’t be at a C&P exam.
- Don’t lie. Don’t embellish your symptoms. Referring to your list that you brought, explain to the examiner what your symptoms are, without resorting to exaggeration. Lying will just cause more problems.
- Don’t be afraid to tell the examiner when something hurts or if you have trouble with performing an exercise.
- Don’t complain about the VA system in general. Your C&P exam is not the time to air grievances. (For example, how long you waited, how long you’ve had this claim in, what the nurse said to you when you called…)
- Do remember that anything you say in the exam room may be written into your C&P exam. For example, if you are asked about your hobbies, it’s always safer to say that you can’t participate in them as much as you used to. Your C&P exam is not a social occasion where you are exchanging information with a friend.
- Do write down your impressions after the exam. If you felt ignored, or felt something did not go well, document it while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Don’t lose your cool with the examiner if you think the exam went badly. Again, document what you remember and what bothered you as soon as you can.
For more information on what will go on during your particular C&P exam, many find the disabilities benefits questionnaire that is provided by the VA to be helpful.