* This site is privately owned and is not affiliated or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

Disability Medical Examination


The Disability Medical Examination, in the context of VA benefits, refers to a medical assessment conducted by a healthcare professional to evaluate a veteran’s service-connected disabilities. This examination helps determine the severity of the disability and its potential impact on the veteran’s overall health and daily functioning. The results of this examination are crucial in determining eligibility for disability compensation and other related VA benefits.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Disability Medical Examination is a medical examination conducted by a VA-approved healthcare professional, aiming to assess a veteran’s disability claims related to their military service.
  2. This examination not only helps in determining the presence and severity of a disability but also establishes a nexus between the veteran’s military service and the claimed disability, which is crucial for awarding VA benefits.
  3. The outcome of the Disability Medical Examination plays a significant role in the VA’s decision-making process for granting compensation and benefits to veterans suffering from service-connected disabilities.


The VA benefits term: Disability Medical Examination (DME) is important because it plays a crucial role in determining a veteran’s eligibility for disability compensation and benefits.

Conducted by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or a contracted medical professional, the DME assesses the severity of a veteran’s service-connected disabilities, illness, or injuries.

The results of this examination help the VA to accurately evaluate the claim, establish the level of disability rating, and determine the appropriate compensation to support the veteran’s physical and mental health needs.

Consequently, the DME serves as one of the key components to ensure that veterans receive the necessary support and benefits that reflect their sacrifices during service.


The Disability Medical Examination is an essential aspect within the VA benefits system, as it plays a critical role in determining veterans’ entitlement to disability benefits. The purpose of this examination is to evaluate the level of disability that resulted from the veteran’s military service or from injuries sustained during their service.

This information is vital in ensuring that veterans receive the fair and appropriate compensation for the challenges they face due to their service-related disabilities. Furthermore, it serves as a foundation for the VA to establish a service connection for these disabilities, and to determine the proper compensation levels that are in line with the severity of the disability.

The process of a Disability Medical Examination generally includes a thorough assessment of the veteran’s medical condition, followed by a detailed evaluation of the condition in relation to their military service. The examination itself is conducted by a qualified medical professional, either a VA physician or an outside provider contracted by the VA.

They’ll review the veteran’s medical history, conduct a physical examination, and potentially order additional tests or request documentation to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of the condition. This examination not only helps determine the ongoing impact of service-related disabilities, but it also allows for re-evaluation of the disability percentage over time, ensuring that the veteran’s benefits and compensation reflect the current state of their condition and their ongoing needs.

Examples of Disability Medical Examination

A Disability Medical Examination, or Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam, is an essential part of the VA benefits claim process for veterans with service-related disabilities. This examination helps the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to determine the severity of a veteran’s condition and establish their eligibility for compensation. Here are three real-world examples of situations in which a veteran would need a Disability Medical Examination:

A veteran returning from deployment has developed chronic lower back pain due to an injury sustained while on active duty. To apply for VA benefits and receive compensation for this disability, the veteran must undergo a Disability Medical Examination. An examiner will assess the severity of the back pain, document its impact on their daily life, and determine if it is related to their military service. The exam results will help establish the veteran’s eligibility for benefits.

A Vietnam War veteran has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and believes that their exposure to Agent Orange during the war is the cause of their condition. In order for the VA to determine the veteran’s eligibility for compensation, the veteran needs to undergo a Disability Medical Examination. The examination will include a thorough medical assessment, which will help establish whether the diabetes is connected to their military service and exposure to Agent Orange.

A Gulf War veteran struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the traumatic events they experienced while on active duty. The veteran decides to apply for VA benefits to seek support and compensation for this mental health condition. A Disability Medical Examination would be required as part of their claim process. The examination would include a comprehensive evaluation of their PTSD symptoms, including interviews and possibly psychological testing, to ascertain the severity of their condition and the connection to their military service.

FAQs: Disability Medical Examination

What is a Disability Medical Examination?

A Disability Medical Examination, also known as a Compensation and Pension (C&P) Examination, is a medical assessment performed by a healthcare professional to evaluate the nature and severity of a veteran’s disabilities. This examination helps the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) make accurate decisions about a veteran’s eligibility for disability benefits and compensation.

Who conducts a Disability Medical Examination?

A Disability Medical Examination is usually conducted by a VA healthcare provider or a contracted medical professional with experience in evaluating disabilities related to military service. The healthcare professional is an unbiased evaluator who provides an objective medical assessment of the veteran’s condition.

How can I request a Disability Medical Examination?

If you are a veteran and have filed a claim for disability compensation, the VA may request you to undergo a Disability Medical Examination. You do not need to request an examination yourself, as the VA will schedule it for you if it’s required to assist in determining your eligibility for benefits.

How should I prepare for the examination?

Before attending the examination, make a list of all your disabilities and their symptoms, as well as any relevant medical records you may have, such as healthcare provider notes, hospital records, and diagnostic test results. You should also arrive on time for your appointment and bring a valid ID for identification. If you have any questions about the examination process, don’t hesitate to ask the healthcare provider conducting the exam.

What can I expect during the examination?

During the Disability Medical Examination, the healthcare professional will review your medical history, discuss your disabilities and symptoms, and perform a physical examination. They may also conduct additional tests, such as imaging or lab tests, depending on the nature of your disabilities. The examination typically takes 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of your case.

What happens after the examination?

After the examination, the healthcare provider will submit their findings to the VA. These findings will be used along with your claim information, medical records, and other supporting documents to make a decision on your eligibility for disability benefits and compensation. You will receive a notification about the outcome of your claim in the mail.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Disability Rating
  • Compensation and Pension Exam
  • Service-Connected Disability
  • VA Claims Process
  • Medical Evidence

Sources for More Information