Once you have filed a claim for veterans pension benefits, the VA will likely schedule a Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam within a few months. Our Los Angeles veterans pension benefits attorney understands that most people have no idea what to expect. So, here are 7 important tips to prepare you for your Veterans Compensation and Pension Exam.
No. 1 – Be Sure to show up for your appointment as scheduled
In most cases, you will receive a written notice of your C&P exam. If you do not receive the notice in time and you miss your appointment for that reason, you need to submit a letter to the VA explaining why you did not appear. Otherwise, be sure to be present for your exam or it will most likely have a negative impact on your claim for benefits. If you are denied benefits because of a missed appointment, talk to our Los Angeles veterans pension benefits attorney to see if you have any options.
No. 2 – Be prepared for your examination
There are some things you need to do to prepare for your exam. First, you should have a comprehensive list of every symptom related to your claim, as well as how frequent you suffer from those symptoms and how they affect your daily life. One way to do this is to keep a notebook with you and record your symptoms as they occur. Your spouse or other family members can also log what they observe of you, as well. It may also be a good idea to bring your spouse with you to your C&P examination if you think they may be able to fill in some blanks.
No. 3 – You don’t have to dress to impress
A common misconception that many veterans have is that they should go out of their way to dress up and appear a certain way when they attend their C&P exam. The opposite is true. It is best to show up to your exam the way you would appear on any other day. Why? Because your examiner may get the wrong impression. If you report that you have difficulty showering or shaving each morning, but appear at your exam looking like you were headed to a job interview, that will give mixed signals. Worse, it may seem like you are exaggerating your symptoms which will have a negative effect on your claim.
No. 4 – Be sure not to downplay your symptoms
Some people unconsciously downplay their symptoms, pretending to be fine when they are not or not wanting to seem as though they are complaining. But you must remember why you filed a disability claim and why you are seeking Veterans benefits. When asked how you are doing at your C&P exam, don’t make the mistake of automatically responding that you are “good” or “ok.” The examiner will be taking note of everything you say. Be sure to speak up. That is the only way you can obtain the benefits you need and deserve.
No. 5 – Do not exaggerate your symptoms
It is just as important not to exaggerate your symptoms as it is to speak up about them. The best advice is to simply be honest about what you are going through. While you need to describe everything you are experiencing, if you “put it on too thick” the examiner may accuse you of “malingering,” or exaggerating your symptoms. Even if that is not the case if the examiner believes it is that will have a negative effect on your claim.
No. 6 – Bring your spouse or another close relative with you
As stated earlier, our Los Angeles veterans pension benefits attorney recommends that you bring someone with you to the C&P exam, especially a spouse. In case you do understate your symptoms or forget something vital, your spouse will be there to speak up on your behalf. That can be a great benefit to you during the process. This is also important because most of us cannot see the effects our symptoms have on us as well as someone “on the outside” can.
No. 7 – Don’t try to be a lawyer
Your only goal at your C&P Exam is to describe your symptoms and the limitations they cause to the examiner assigned to your claim. This is not the time for you to try to address your VA ratings or any other legal aspects of your claims. That is where your Los Angeles veterans pension benefits attorney comes in. It would be a mistake to try to quote the rating criteria and explain how your symptoms fit. You should never argue with the examiner. Examiners are not the ones who will make a final decision regarding your pension claim. They only serve as unbiased examiners who submit a report of their findings.
Join us for a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding veterans pension benefits, estate planning, trust contests, or any other trust administration issues, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us in Los Angeles at (310) 337-7696, and in Orange County at (562) 346-3209.
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