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Disability Exam


A Disability Exam, also known as a Compensation & Pension (C&P) Exam, is an essential step in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims process. It consists of a medical evaluation performed by a VA healthcare provider or a contracted examiner to assess the veteran’s service-connected injuries or illnesses. The results of the exam help determine the veteran’s eligibility for disability compensation and the specific disability rating.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Disability Exam, also known as a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam, is a medical assessment performed by a healthcare professional to determine the severity of a veteran’s service-connected disability.
  2. During the exam, the medical professional will evaluate the veteran’s medical records, perform a physical examination, and document their findings, which will be used by the Department of Veterans Affairs to make a decision on the veteran’s disability claim.
  3. The outcome of the Disability Exam can directly impact the veteran’s disability rating, which determines the amount of benefits they receive and their access to other programs and services offered by the VA.


The VA benefits term “Disability Exam” is important because it serves as a crucial step in determining a veteran’s eligibility for disability benefits.

This medical examination evaluates the extent of service-connected illness or injury and assists the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in deciding the appropriate level of disability compensation.

A thorough assessment ensures that veterans receive accurate ratings for their conditions, enabling them to access the necessary medical care and financial assistance they deserve for their sacrifices during military service.

Overall, the Disability Exam plays a vital role in supporting the well-being and quality of life for those who have served their country.


The Disability Exam, also known as the Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam, serves a crucial purpose in determining a veteran’s eligibility for disability compensation and other benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This exam allows healthcare professionals to evaluate and document the level of severity of a veteran’s service-related disabilities and medical conditions.

By undertaking a thorough assessment, the VA can ensure that veterans receive the appropriate level of support and compensation they deserve, thereby enabling them to manage their health and maintain a good quality of life post-service.

During the Disability Exam, a VA healthcare provider or contracted physician conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the veteran’s medical records along with in-person examinations to understand the extent of the service-connected disability.

This process significantly impacts the subsequent decision-making process for the VA, as the results dictate the specific disability rating and corresponding benefits that will be allocated to the veteran.

As such, the Disability Exam proves to be an essential tool in identifying the needs of veterans and helping them access adequate medical care, financial assistance, and other VA benefits designed to support their transition to civilian life.

Examples of Disability Exam

A Disability Exam, also known as a Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam, is a medical assessment conducted by a medical professional to assess the severity and service connection of a veteran’s disability. Here are three real-world examples of situations in which a Disability Exam may be necessary:

Example 1: A veteran who served in the military has been experiencing chronic back pain stemming from an injury sustained during service. They have applied for VA disability benefits and, as part of the evaluation process, they must undergo a Disability Exam to assess the severity of their back pain, determine the current level of disability, and confirm that the injury is indeed related to their military service.

Example 2: A veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to experiences during deployment needs to have their condition evaluated to apply for VA disability benefits. They will attend a Disability Exam, during which a mental health professional will assess their PTSD symptoms, evaluate the severity of their condition, and confirm its relation to their military service.

Example 3: A veteran who lost their hearing as a result of exposure to loud noises during service seeks to apply for VA disability benefits. As part of the application process, the veteran undergoes a Disability Exam to establish the severity of their hearing loss, ensure that the damage is consistent with the service-related cause they claim, and determine the appropriate compensation level.In each example, the Disability Exam serves as a crucial step in the VA disability benefits application process, allowing for an accurate evaluation of the severity and service connection of a veteran’s disability.

FAQ Section: Disability Exam

What is a Disability Exam?

A Disability Exam, also known as a Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam, is a medical evaluation conducted by a healthcare provider to determine the degree of a veteran’s service-connected disabilities. The results of the exam are used by the VA to accurately assess the disability and assign a proper rating for benefits.

How is the Disability Exam scheduled?

When a veteran files a disability claim, the VA will determine if a Disability Exam is necessary. If required, the VA will schedule the appointment for the veteran and inform them about the date, time, and location of the evaluation.

How should I prepare for my Disability Exam?

To prepare for a Disability Exam, it’s essential to gather and bring all relevant medical records, including any prior military and civilian medical documentation. It’s also helpful to review your claim to understand specific conditions or issues the examiner may evaluate. Finally, ensure you arrive on time for your appointment, and be prepared to discuss your symptoms and the impact they have on your daily life.

What happens during the Disability Exam?

During the Disability Exam, a healthcare provider will evaluate the veteran’s claimed disabilities by performing a physical examination and reviewing pertinent medical history. This may include assessing the range of motion, pain levels, or any post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The provider may also ask questions to understand better how the disabilities affect the veteran’s daily activities and quality of life.

What happens after the Disability Exam?

After the Disability Exam, the healthcare provider will submit a report to the VA, detailing the findings from the evaluation. The VA will use this information, along with other evidence, to decide on the veteran’s claim. Veterans will receive a decision letter from the VA, informing them of the outcome and explaining the reasoning for the decision.

Can I appeal the decision if I disagree with the outcome?

If a veteran disagrees with the VA’s decision, they have the right to appeal by filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). The NOD must be submitted within one year of receiving the VA decision letter. The entire appeal process may include additional evidence submission, a hearing, or a supplemental statement of the case. It’s essential to consult with a Veteran Service Organization for assistance during the appeals process.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam
  • Service-Connected Disability
  • Disability Rating
  • VA Claims Process
  • Medical Evaluator (ME)

Sources for More Information