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January 14, 2022

How Do I Know If My C&P Exam Went Well? Here’s 3 Signs You Had a Favorable C&P Exam

Last updated on January 15, 2022

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After completing your C&P exam, you might be wondering: “How do I know if my C&P exam went well?”

The short answer is you won’t know for sure until you see a copy of your C&P exam results.

However, there are a few telling signs that you had a favorable C&P exam.

In this post, we’ll cover 3 signs your C&P exam went well as well as what to do if you had an unfavorable C&P exam.

Let’s dive-in.

How Do I Know If My C&P Exam Went Well?

Generally, there are 3 signs your C&P exam went well:

#1. The C&P examiner displayed a positive attitude toward you and your claim.

Doctor and Veteran at VA C&P Exam

From the moment your C&P exam began, you should have had a “feeling” from the examiner.

What was his/her attitude like toward you?

Was it positive or negative?

Was the C&P examiner on-time and prepared?

Did he/she review your VA C-File and any supporting evidence?

Did the examiner have an emotional response to your physical pain or mental health struggles?

#2. The accuracy and completeness of the C&P exam.

Did the C&P examiner use a goniometer

Sometimes the C&P examiner will show you or tell you their write-up—this is a clear indicator that your C&P exam went well.

For mental health claims, did the C&P examiner ask you questions about your life before, during, and after the military?

Did he/she ask about your mental health symptoms and how those symptoms are negatively affecting your work, life, and social functioning?

Did you use specific examples of how your mental health condition adversely affects your day-to-day activities?

For non-mental health claims (musculoskeletal conditions, etc.), did the C&P examiner use a Goniometer to measure your range of motion?

Did the examiner ask you about any painful motion?

Did he/she ask about any limitations because of your disability?

Were X-Rays, MRI results, or any other objective evidence reviewed by the examiner?

Did the examiner conduct an accurate and complete exam, answering all pertinent questions on the electronic version of the DBQ for your condition, and asking you if there’s anything you’d like to add to the record?

An accurate and complete mental health C&P examination should take a minimum of 30 minutes, with some initial exams lasting 2-3 hours.

A non-mental health exam could take 15 minutes or so and still be adequate for rating purposes.

#3. The medical opinion is favorable and includes the words “at least as likely as not.”

How Do I Know If My C&P Exam Went Well

If you filed a claim for a new primary or secondary disability condition, the C&P examiner is required to give their medical opinion regarding service connection.

A favorable medical opinion will include the words “at least as likely as not,” (which means a 50/50 chance) whereas an unfavorable medical opinion will say “less likely than not” (which means less than a 50% chance).

  • “At least as likely as not” means your condition will be service connected and the VA Rater will then assign the appropriate rating based on your severity of symptoms.
  • “Less likely than not” means your condition will NOT be service connected and your claim will be denied.

On occasion, a C&P examiner might not give a medical opinion at all, and instead state something like: “no conclusion can be reached without resorting to speculation.”

If the examiner does this, the “no medical opinion” must be “based on sufficient facts or data.” See Nieves-Rodriguez v. Peake, 22 Vet. App. 295, 302 (2009).

If the examiner presented no sufficient facts or data, we recommend requesting a new C&P exam that adequately addresses the contended etiological relationship without resorting to mere speculation.

Bottom line: The VA has a duty to assist veterans, and it should request a new C&P exam with a medical opinion that’s sufficient for rating purposes.

c&p exam favorable medical opinion

For direct service connection, the C&P examiner must approximate the etiology of the claimed condition:

  • The claimed condition was AT LEAST AS LIKELY AS NOT (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event, or illness.
  • The claimed condition was LESS LIKELY THAN NOT (less than 50 percent probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event, or illness.

For secondary service connection, the C&P examiner must approximate the likelihood that the claimed condition was proximately due to, or the result of the veteran’s service connected condition:

  • The claimed condition is AT LEAST AS LIKELY AS NOT (50 percent or great probability) proximately due to or the result of the veteran’s service connected condition.
  • The claimed condition is LESS LIKELY THAN NOT (less than 50 percent probability) proximately due to or the result of the veteran’s service connected condition.

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What Is a VA C&P Exam?

What is a VA C&P Exam

A VA C&P exam is a medical examination scheduled by the VA as part of the disability compensation claim process.

The primary purpose of the C&P exam is to determine whether a veteran’s claimed disability condition is service-connected, and if so, how severe it is, based upon frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms.

For VA disability increase claims, the C&P exam’s purpose is to determine if your symptoms are worse and warrant the higher rating criteria.

How Much Weight Does a C&P Exam Have?

How Much Weight Does a C&P Exam Have

The C&P exam carries a ton of weight in determining whether your condition should be service connected as well as your severity of symptoms.

In our experience, the results of your C&P exam will literally make or break your claim.

Why?

Because VA Raters rely (almost) solely on the results of your C&P exam when determining key issues such as medical etiology, service connection, and severity of symptoms.

  • A good C&P exam with a favorable medical opinion (“at least as likely as not”) will result in a VA claim approval.
  • A bad C&P exam with an unfavorable medical opinion (“less likely than not”) will almost certainly result in a VA claim denial.

How Do I Get My C&P Exam Results?

How Do I Get My C&P Exam Results

If your C&P exam was performed by a VA-doctor at a VA-facility, the results of your C&P exam will be in your VA medical records on MyHealtheVet in 48-72 hours.

If your C&P exam was performed by a contracted doctor at a private facility, the results of your C&P exam will be uploaded to the Veteran Benefits Management System (VBMS).

The fastest and easiest way to get your C&P exam results from a contracted provider is to have your Accredited VSO download a copy for you from VBMS.

Finally, you can get a copy of your C&P exam results (and entire VA claims file) by filing an online FOIA request for a copy of your VA C File.

Where Can I Obtain LHI C&P Exam Results?

LHI C&P Exam Results

LHI C&P exam results will be uploaded to the Veteran Benefits Management System (VBMS), which is an internal VA system that veterans do not have access to.

To get a copy of your LHI C&P exam results fast, have your Accredited VSO download a copy of your C&P exam results from VBMS.

You can also get a copy of your C&P exam results by filing an online FOIA request for a copy of your VA C File (note this can take 10-12 weeks to complete).

How Do I Get VES C&P Exam Results?

VES C&P Exam Results

VES C&P exam results will be uploaded to the Veteran Benefits Management System (VBMS), which is an internal VA system that veterans do not have access to.

To get a copy of your VES C&P exam results quickly, have your Accredited VSO download a copy of your C&P exam results from VBMS.

You can also get a copy of your C&P exam results by filing an online FOIA request for a copy of your VA C File (note this can take 10-12 weeks to complete).

What Should I Do If I Get an Unfavorable C&P Exam?

VA Hotline at 1 800 827 1000

If you suspect you’ve had an unfavorable C&P exam, there are two actions you should take immediately:

  • #1. Call the VA hotline at 1-800-827-1000, speak to a representative, complain about your exam, and ask him/her to make a note in your record that you want a new C&P exam.
  • #2. Write a Memorandum for Record (MFR) and upload it to VA.gov. Stick to the facts: Who, what, when, where, why, how. Document your complaints about the examiner, questions about the examiner’s qualifications, assertions that records or other relevant information or evidence was not considered, and/or requests for another examination or opinion.

If these don’t work, you can always write your state congressman and/or file a complaint with the White House VA Hotline.  

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About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Founder & CEO

Brian Reese is a VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned, and founder of VA Claims Insider – “The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.

Brian is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

His eBook, the “9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim” has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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