Matthew Hill: Hello and welcome to Hill & Ponton video blog. I’m Matthew Hill, here with Carol Ponton. Today, we’d like to talk to you about compensation and pensions exams, also known as C&P exams, how they fit into your claim and how the VA uses them or as sometimes we see, uses them against you. So Carol, what do you see with these exams? You can explain this first.
Carol Ponton: A compensation and pension exam is when the VA sends you out to be examined by their doctor or by a contract doctor to see whether the claim you filed for a service connected, or what the wage should be. And this is done at the VA mostly, but there also some private people like QTC and I think there’s DES that also do it when the VA is overloaded. So first of all I want to make sure when people talk about C&P exams, they know it’s compensation and pension exams. Unfortunately, I say, unfortunately, these are very important because 90 percent of the people who make the decisions at the VA only seem to use these compensation and pension exams. They seem to ignore all the other evidence, and that’s why they’re so important.
Matthew Hill: The assumption we see some of our vets make is that they go to these exams and they assume the doctor has read all the VA medical records, private medical records, or statements by loved ones, their friends, and those can be critical to the case. If they haven’t read it, well, you can get a negative opinion that shouldn’t be negative because it was not complete. They didn’t look at all the items.
Carol Ponton: Right. We have a lot of suggestions about what we do for the compensation and pension exams and for when you should and should not go to one at the VA.
Matthew Hill: But we just really want to talk about what is was, how it fits to your claim. It’s an exam that the VA sends you to, you don’t pay for, and it’s when they determine there’s not enough medical evidence to make their decision. It’s important when you go that you are your own advocate, you bring whatever evidence you think is important. Any people, like your wife, a parent, someone who can tell the doctor what they see day to day.
Carol Ponton: Although we have to say, unfortunately, most of the time they will not let that person in the room with you. Sometimes if you insist they’ll let you but most of the time they won’t. I suggest you bring them so they can know how long you were in there and help you-
Matthew Hill: Meaning how long you were in the exam even if they can’t, because they’re not allowed in.
Carol Ponton: And just a little bit about what went on.
Matthew Hill: Well thank you for joining us today and as Carol said, we’ll be talking more about when they assign you for an exam, if you have to go, what you should do if it’s a contractor, if you have to go to that vs. the VA doctor. Thanks a lot. Bye.