It’s not at all unusual for a veteran to feel the way your friend did about the interview segment of a C&P—or Compensation and Pension—Exam.
The first thing you should remember is that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physician handling the exam is trying to obtain the best possible understanding of your situation. Because of this, the questions he or she asks will generally be with the purpose of determining or confirming the following:
- The details of your health condition
- How your health condition impacts your day-to-day life
- If and how the health condition is related to your time in the service
Many of the questions in the C&P interview might make you feel uncomfortable, vulnerable, or like the doctor doesn’t trust you. However, no matter how the questions make you feel, keep in mind the following:
- It’s important to the success of your claim that you are honest and responsive. Don’t overstate the impact of your condition, but don’t underestimate it, either. Take as much time as you need to give detailed and thoughtful answers.
- Always treat the physician with respect, no matter how you feel about him personally. Shutting down will hurt your claim tremendously.
You are allowed to bring a friend or family member with you to the exam if that makes you more comfortable. However, your friend or family member cannot answer questions on your behalf. The physician wants to hear from you.
Keep in mind that the VA encourages you to report any negative experiences with your C&P physician examiner as soon as possible. You can do that by contacting the physician’s supervisor, a VA patient advocate, or by calling the number on your appointment letter.
If you need more help in preparing for a C&P exam or any other aspect of the veterans’ disability claims process, please contact our experienced veterans disability benefits attorney for a no-cost consultation today.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.