One of the most challenging parts of the VA claims process is undergoing C&P Examinations. These exams are often intrusive, impersonal, and stressful for many Veterans. VA sometimes requires Veterans to drive to unfamiliar locations for examinations. However, C&P Examinations are an important part of the VA claims process. If VA has scheduled C&P examinations for your claims, it is extremely important that you attend the appointment. Alternatively, you must provide VA with the information they need to grant the claim.
VA schedules C&P exams because the Agency believes it needs more information before it can legally grant the claim. If you do not attend your C&P examinations, the legal effect is that VA must decide your claim based on the evidence of record. Considering VA scheduled a C&P examination because it needed additional evidence, you can safely assume VA does not have enough information to grant your claim.
Accordingly, if you miss your CPA examination, you can bet that VA will deny your claim. However, by law, no, you technically are not required to attend a C&P Examination. Unless you submit some compelling medical evidence that sufficiently answers the questions posed to the C&P examiner, you can safely expect VA will deny your claim if you miss the exam. Even if you provide a DBQ completed by an outside physician, if your physician has not answered any other specific questions that the Regional Office asks the examiner, you can expect a terse denial. Missing a C&P Examination almost always results in a denial.
Submitting Competent Medical Evidence Instead of Attending C&P Examinations
In some instances, if you provide VA with all of the required evidence to grant the claim, you might be able to have your claim granted without submitting to a C&P Examination. It is rare, but not impossible. However, providing VA with the required information instead of attending the C&P examination is nearly impossible for veterans who are not represented by attorney, accredited claims agent, or Veteran Service Officer.
Often times, only an advocate with access to your electronic claims records can determine what questions need to be asked prior to attending a C&P Examination. This information is not available for Veterans to view in E-benefits. This is fundamentally unfair for Veterans. How can you answer a question, if you do not know the question? Without knowing the specific questions that need to be answered, it is nearly impossible for Veterans to submit the required evidence. To that end, you should never skip a C&P examination without seeking the advice of counsel.
Sometimes life happens and you will miss a scheduled C&P examination. If this happens and VA denies your claims, you should appeal the denial. You should provide VA with a statement that describes your reasons for missing the appointment. So long as you present good cause, VA will typically order a new examination. However, Veterans usually can receive one “free pass” for missing an exam, if the reason is compelling. After that, if you miss another C&P examination, it can be very difficult to convince VA to order a new examination without a substantial justification. Accidentally missing a C&P Examination usually is not a big deal. Repeatedly missing C&P Exams can be costly. It is critical to make sure you show up for your scheduled examinations.
Help Is Available If You Need A New C&P Examination
If you are concerned about your due process rights surrounding your C&P examination, Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions, PLLC, can help. The firm’s founder is a United States Army combat veteran that represents Veterans from across the nation in appealing VA disability claims. He stands ready to assist with your VA benefits appeals.
Please click here to contact a veterans law attorney to setup a free consultation to discuss your C&P Exams. If you have received an inadequate C&P Examination, the firm can help you appeal the denial of your VA benefits. We offer Veteran-friendly fee agreements with no upfront costs in most VA benefits appeals.