VA Maryland Health Care System
Compensation & Pension Examinations
If you’ve filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for compensation or pension benefits, VA may ask you to go to an examination as part of the claim process. This is known as a VA claim exam or a compensation & pension (C&P) exam. The C&P exam is different from a regular medical appointment because the examiner won’t prescribe any medicine or treat you for your disability. This exam occurs only if you file a compensation or pension claim. It is a part of the claim review process and helps VA determine if your disability is service connected, the level of your disability, or if your condition should receive an increased rating due to it worsening. The amount of time the examiner spends with you during your exam depends on what conditions you claimed and if VA needs more information to make a decision. The length of your visit could be very short, or last an hour or more.
The Examiner May:
- Ask you questions
- Observe your behavior
- Perform a limited physical exam
- Simply review your file with you
Each exam is different. Remember, your in-person visit is only one part of the claim review process. Typically, examiners spend time before and/or after your appointment reviewing your medical records. Even if your visit is short, he or she is still carefully reviewing your claim.
Scheduling of the Exam:
After you submit your claim, you may receive a phone call or a letter from VA or a VA partner asking you to come to one or more claim exams. Not every application for a benefit will require an exam; it depends on what medical evidence has been included with the application. Contact the number provided to reschedule your exam if you have a conflict with your exam time or call the Veterans Benefits Administration at 1-800-827-1000. Please try not to reschedule on the day before or day of the exam.
It is important to attend your VA C&P exam. Missing your exam could cause VA to delay its decision on your claim or rate your claim “as-is” (i.e. only using the information that is in your file), which could impact your benefits.
How to Apply:
There are numerous ways to apply for VA disability benefits depending on the type of benefit you are seeking:
- Online using an eBenefits account.
- Complete and mail your claim form to your nearest VA regional office.
- Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. To find the VA regional office nearest you, use the Veterans Benefits Administration Locator or call VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000.
- Work with an accredited representative or agent.
We also encourage you to become familiar with evidence requirements so you have a complete understanding of not only VA's responsibility, but yours as well.
For More Information
- Baltimore VA Regional Office
Hours of Operation
- Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.