You will often hear that the VA is required to offer a C&P Examination to Veterans seeking compensation for a service-connected disability. It is true that, as part of the VA‘s Duty to Assist, it may have to offer an examination to the Veteran seeking compensation or benefits. However, that does not mean that they must offer a VA compensation exam in every single claim or appeal.
When is the VA REQUIRED to Offer a VA Compensation Exam?
The BVA issued a recent decision in which it found that a Veteran was not entitled to a C&P exam for the portion of his claim having to deal with leukemia – because there was no evidence of a diagnosis of leukemia.
The BVA stated the criteria that it believes require the VA to offer a C&P exam:
The BVA said: “In determining whether the duty to assist requires that a VA medical examination be provided or medical opinion obtained with respect to a Veteran’s claim for benefits, there are four factors for consideration. These four factors are:
- whether there is competent evidence of a current disability or persistent or recurrent symptoms of a disability;
- whether there is evidence establishing that an event, injury, or disease occurred in service, or evidence establishing certain diseases manifesting during an applicable presumption period;
- whether there is an indication that the disability or symptoms may be associated with the Veteran’s service or with another service-connected disability; and,
- whether there is competent medical evidence of record to make a decision on the claim. “
In this recent decision, the BVA focused on the third factor, stating that it is a “low threshold” and “requires only that the evidence indicate that there may be a nexus between a current disability or symptoms and the Veteran’s service”, including…
…equivocal or non-specific medical evidence, credible evidence of continuity of symptomatology, lay statements of pain and other symptoms, etc.
Why Wouldn’t the VA offer a Compensation Exam (C&P Exam)?
If the VA did not offer you a C&P exam, there really are only two reasons:
- the VA messed up and did not offer one when they should have, or
- the Veteran didn’t provide enough information to trigger the Duty to Assist.
If your claim for disability compensation was denied, and you did not receive a C&P examination from the VA, it is more likely than not that the VA made an error.
And then there is always the BIG problem in VA Compensation and Pension Exams….
Many VA Compensation and Pension Exams are – in my opinion and experience – “junk science”.
How do you start to find these errors – or more important…..
How does a Veteran Go About FIXING His/Her Own VA Claim?
For years, I have taught veterans the 8 Steps to Improving Your VA Claim. I can’t guarantee you will win your claim if you follow those 8 Steps.
The only way to win a VA claim is to have 5 star evidence establishing each element of a VA claim for service connection, and have the grit and resolve to stick through the appeals process until the VA gives in and decides in your favor.
If you are just looking for more information about getting ready for a VA Compensation Exam then check out my 3-part series with 10 HUGE tips to help you be ready to go for your C&P Exam.