Matthew Hill: Hello and welcome to another Hill and Ponton video blog. I’m Matthew Hill here with Carol Ponton and today we’d like to talk to you about C&P exams, specifically psych C&P exams. For those of you who haven’t had a C&P exam yet. Basically this is the compensation and pension exam that the VA uses to determine, one, if you have a disability that’s connected to service and two, what the rating for that disability is. We help a lot of individuals with mental health conditions and so we’ve seen over the years many, many exams. We’ve started to see lately a new trend that we’ve been concerned about and that’s the trend of doctors in the C&P exams using facial recognition testing. Carol, can you tell us?
Carol Ponton: Well, the problem is they’re trying to discredit the veterans. So they’ll say, “I’m going to show you a series of pictures of faces and you just need to identify are they smiling, are they frowning,” or whatever it is that this picture shows, but just before you start they’ll say, “But people who have PTSD probably can’t see these, or they may have trouble seeing these.” In other words, if you’re there for PTSD, they’re trying to get you to lie to show that you are a malingerer, that you’re not telling the truth. I find this very disturbing and it seems to be growing. So sometimes it’s the doctors that at the actual VA where the test is, and sometimes it’s these QTC or VES doctors. Those are doctors that are set up by the VA when they can’t handle them in their own medical center or hospital. So they’ll send you out to an one that’s paid for. They pay for it-
Matthew Hill: Private exam by private … Or an exam by private docker.
Carol Ponton: So if you go to an exam and somebody starts telling you, first of all, I’m going to have you show … I’m going to show you a series of faces, for instance, and you describe what they are, but then they warn you that be careful if you have PTSD or whatever, that you may not be able to understand or see these, don’t fall for it. Tell them the truth. Tell them what you see. Don’t ever let anybody mislead you because then that destroys your whole claim because now they’ve established that you can’t be believed.
Matthew Hill: Right. And this goes back to something we’ve talked about before as far as having a witness in the room. A lot of times during these exams, they will not allow a witness.
Carol Ponton: And there’s a reason.
Matthew Hill: But even if they don’t, this is something that you could go out and report to that witness right away and say, “He made me do this and it was strange.” And that way that person knows before the results are even published. And if they come back and try to say you’re a malingerer, or faking basically, then you already have somebody who can basically also help your story or add to your story as far as what was done in that room and what was not done.
Carol Ponton: Right. But you want to tell the truth. You want to identify faces, whatever it is. And that should get your attention immediately. If some examiner tells you something like that because you have PTSD, you may not be able to see these. That’s a real warning. Okay?
Matthew Hill: Thank you for joining us today and look forward to seeing you more on this space.