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Disability Examination


Disability Examination, in the context of VA benefits, refers to a medical assessment conducted by a healthcare professional to evaluate the presence and severity of a veteran’s service-connected disabilities. The examination helps determine the appropriate disability rating and compensation for the disabled veteran. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses this examination as part of their decision-making process for awarding disability benefits.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Disability Examination is a medical evaluation conducted by a healthcare professional to assess a veteran’s level of disability related to their military service.
  2. The examination plays a crucial role in determining a veteran’s eligibility for disability benefits, as it helps the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish a clear connection between a veteran’s condition and their service.
  3. The results of a Disability Examination are used by the VA to assign a disability rating, which directly affects the amount of compensation a veteran may receive as part of their benefits package.


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

Conducted by healthcare professionals, this examination evaluates the extent and severity of a service-related injury or illness sustained by the veteran during their time in the military.

The results of this examination are then used to assign a disability rating, which directly impacts the level of financial assistance and support the veteran will receive.

In essence, the Disability Examination is a key component in ensuring that veterans are provided with adequate support and resources, tailored to their specific needs, as they transition to post-service life and navigate potential challenges due to their service-related disabilities.


The primary purpose of a Disability Examination is to evaluate a veteran’s current medical condition in relation to any service-connected disabilities incurred or aggravated during their military service. These examinations play an essential role in determining the severity and extent of a veteran’s disability, which in turn informs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on the appropriate level of disability compensation and benefits that the veteran may be entitled to receive.

By obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the veteran’s health situation, the VA can gauge how the disability impacts their day-to-day life and overall well-being, thus ensuring that the proper care and support is provided to the veteran according to their specific needs. In addition to contributing to the determination of appropriate disability compensation, Disability Examinations can also assist in identifying the need for potential medical treatment or rehabilitation services that the veteran may require.

As the VA continually strives to optimize the quality of care and support services available to veterans, these examinations are an invaluable tool for the organization to assess and address the diverse health concerns faced by those who have served in the armed forces. Ultimately, the Disability Examination works to promote a smoother transition to civilian life for veterans and enables them to access the resources necessary to manage their disabilities effectively.

Examples of Disability Examination

A Disability Examination, also known as a Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam, is a medical examination that is required by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to evaluate the current severity and service-connection of veterans’ disabilities. The results of this examination help determine the veteran’s eligibility for disability compensation and other VA benefits.Here are three real-world examples of Disability Examination:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) examination: A veteran who experienced a traumatic event during military service may develop PTSD. As part of the disability examination, the veteran will meet with a mental health professional to discuss the symptoms and severity of their PTSD. The examiner may use various assessments and interviews to evaluate the veteran’s condition and determine if a service connection exists.

Musculoskeletal examination: A veteran with a history of musculoskeletal injuries or conditions during service, such as chronic lower back pain or arthritis, would need a disability examination. During this examination, the examining clinician will assess the veteran’s current physical condition, evaluate the severity of the symptoms, and identify a possible service connection. The veteran may need to complete specific range of motion tests, x-rays, or other diagnostic procedures to aid in this evaluation.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) examination: A veteran who sustained a TBI during military service may need a disability examination to evaluate the injury’s impact on their cognitive and physical functioning. The examination could involve assessments of memory, attention, and other cognitive skills, as well as a review of medical records, imaging studies, and physical examinations related to the TBI. The examining clinician will use the obtained information to determine the severity of the injury and establish a service connection.

FAQ: VA Disability Examinations

1. What is a VA Disability Examination?

A VA Disability Examination, also known as a Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam, is a medical examination conducted by a healthcare professional to evaluate the severity of a veteran’s service-connected disabilities. The results of this exam play a crucial role in determining the veteran’s eligibility for disability benefits and the appropriate disability rating.

2. How do I schedule a VA Disability Examination?

Once you have submitted a VA disability claim, the Department of Veterans Affairs will review your application and medical records. If a Disability Examination is necessary, the VA will schedule the examination for you. You will receive a letter with the exam appointment details, including date, time, and location.

3. What should I expect during a VA Disability Examination?

During a VA Disability Examination, the healthcare professional will assess your medical conditions and symptoms, review relevant medical records, and perform any necessary tests or examinations. It’s essential to be honest about your symptoms and their severity, as this information will help determine your eligibility for disability benefits and your disability rating.

4. How long does a VA Disability Examination take?

The length of a VA Disability Examination will vary depending on the number of conditions that need to be evaluated and the complexity of the cases. Some exams can take an hour or less, while others may last several hours. It’s essential to arrive on time for your appointment to avoid delays and ensure the process goes smoothly.

5. What happens after my VA Disability Examination?

After your VA Disability Examination, the examiner will submit a report to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA will then review the report, along with your claim application and any supporting documentation, to make a decision about your claim. You will receive a written decision called a Rating Decision, which will outline the VA’s determination regarding your disability benefits and the percentage of disability assigned to each of your service-connected conditions.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Compensation and Pension Exam
  • Residual Functional Capacity Assessment
  • Service-Connected Disability Rating
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Records
  • Disability Benefits Questionnaires

Sources for More Information