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Disability Examination


A Disability Examination, in the context of VA benefits, refers to a medical assessment conducted by a healthcare professional to determine the severity, existence, and connection of a veteran’s disability to their military service. This evaluation helps the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) establish the veteran’s eligibility for disability compensation and support services. The examination’s results aid in assigning a disability rating, which ultimately influences the level and extent of benefits received by the veteran.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Disability Examination is a crucial part of the VA disability benefits process, where a medical professional evaluates the severity of a veteran’s service-connected disabilities.
  2. Examinations can be conducted by either a VA or a private healthcare provider, and results are used to determine both eligibility for benefits and the level of compensation a veteran may receive.
  3. It is important for veterans to thoroughly prepare for their Disability Examination by gathering all relevant medical records, understanding their service-connected conditions, and being prepared to discuss how these impairments affect their daily life.


The VA benefits term “Disability Examination” is important because it serves as a critical evaluation process to determine the nature, severity, and eligibility of a veteran’s claim for disability benefits.

Conducted by a VA-approved medical professional, this examination assesses the direct link between a veteran’s medical conditions and their military service, enabling the Department of Veterans Affairs to accurately establish the level of disability compensation and support required.

Ultimately, the Disability Examination serves to recognize and address the physical and mental health-related needs of veterans, ensuring they receive the appropriate assistance that acknowledges their service and enhances their overall quality of life.


The Disability Examination is a crucial process within the framework of the VA benefits system, which aims to evaluate and document a veteran’s service-connected injuries, illnesses, or conditions. It serves a dual purpose: assessing the extent of the disability in question, and ascertaining its relationship to the veteran’s time in service.

By performing this examination, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can accurately determine the appropriate level of compensation for the individual, ensuring that they receive the benefits they are entitled to for their sacrifices in service to their country. To achieve this objective, the Disability Examination is conducted by a qualified medical professional who meticulously examines the veteran’s medical history, diagnoses, symptoms, and any treatment records.

Based on the findings of this comprehensive evaluation, the examining medical professional subsequently provides the VA with a detailed report, complete with evidence and clinical assessment of the disability in question. This report is a seminal piece of documentation that is pivotal for the veteran’s disability claim, as it ultimately informs the VA’s decision to grant or deny their request for benefits.

Consequently, a thorough, accurate, and well-documented Disability Examination is critical in upholding a central tenet of the VA benefits system: ensuring appropriate recognition and compensation for veterans living with service-connected disabilities.

Examples of Disability Examination

A Disability Examination, also referred to as the Compensation & Pension (C&P) Exam, is a medical evaluation conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to determine the severity of a veteran’s service-connected disability. Here are three real-world examples relating to the VA Disability Examination:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A veteran who experienced a traumatic combat event during their military service may develop PTSD. During the Disability Examination, the VA will assess the severity of the PTSD and the impact it has on the veteran’s daily life and ability to work. This assessment could include clinical interviews, questionnaires, and a review of the veteran’s medical records.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A veteran who sustained a TBI in a vehicle accident or explosive blast during their service may require a Disability Examination to assess the extent of their brain injury. The examination might include neurological tests, cognitive assessments, and an evaluation of the veteran’s emotional and behavioral functioning. The results of this exam will help determine the rating for TBI-related disability compensation.

Amputation or Limb Loss: A veteran who lost a limb or had an amputation due to a service-related injury will undergo a Disability Examination evaluating the functional limitations and impact on the veteran’s daily activities and ability to work. The examination will assess the range of motion, strength, and mobility of the affected area, along with any associated pain or phantom limb sensations. Based on the assessment, the VA will assign a disability rating and determine appropriate compensation.

FAQ – Disability Examination

What is a Disability Examination?

A Disability Examination, also known as a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam, is a medical evaluation carried out by a healthcare provider to assess the extent of a veteran’s disability. The examination assists the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in determining the appropriate service-connected disability compensation for veterans.

Who conducts Disability Examinations?

Disability Examinations are conducted by VA-approved healthcare providers, which can include private healthcare practitioners, as well as doctors and clinicians working in VA healthcare facilities.

How do I schedule a Disability Examination?

The VA schedules Disability Examinations after a veteran has submitted a claim for disability compensation. Once the VA receives your claim, they will determine if a Disability Examination is required. If an examination is needed, the VA will send you a notice of the appointment date, time, and location.

What should I bring to the examination?

You should bring your government-issued ID, any relevant medical records not already submitted, and a list of medications you are currently taking. Additionally, if you use any medical or adaptive devices such as hearing aids or walkers, bring them with you to the examination.

What should I expect during the examination?

During the examination, the healthcare provider will review your medical records and discuss your medical history, as well as any current symptoms related to your claim. The provider may also conduct a physical examination or perform diagnostic tests as needed. The examination process varies depending on the nature and complexity of the reported disability.

How will the Disability Examination affect my disability compensation claim?

The results of the Disability Examination are used by the VA to determine the severity of your disability and assign a disability rating. This rating then determines the amount of monthly compensation you may be eligible to receive.

What happens after the examination?

After the examination, the healthcare provider will submit a report to the VA detailing their findings and assessment. The VA will then review the report, along with any other relevant documentation, to make a decision on your claim. You will be notified of the decision by mail.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Disability Rating
  • Compensation and Pension Exam
  • Service-connected Conditions
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Disability Benefits Questionnaires

Sources for More Information