Most Vets know better than to miss a C and P exam, or even to show up late. Missing an exam is often cited as a ”reason for denial”, as the vA makes the assumption you have abandoned your claim. Showing up late shows the examiner disrespect, puts him in a bad mood, and does nothing to promote your cause. If you did miss the exam, and had a great reason, by all means contact the vA and try to get it rescheduled. If you take the following 6 suggestions, the outcome will likely improve:
1. Remember the 5 P’s, they will serve you well. Proper Preperation Prevents Poor Performance. Also remember this: ”If caught in a lie, you will be denied”. Dont take a chance on getting caught, but instead be on the look out for when the VA lies to you, like Mr. Cushman, where the VA tried to alter the Veterans records in order to deny him.
2. Know what you are going to say when the C and P exam doc says, “How are you?” While many of us automatically respond, “fine”, to this question, you may have to do lots of backpedaling if you do this. If you were thrown in jail last week for domestic violence due to PTSD, then dont tell him you are “fine” today. You are not in the military any more, and your C and P exam is not the time to “suck it up” and pretend everything is ok. To reiterate, do not lie or exaggerate as that will bite you later. Instead, simply tell your doc about your worst day, as opposed to the day you felt fine.
It isnt the examiners fault if you failed to tell him about your “incidents” and instead told him you were “fine”. He reports to the VA there is nothing wrong with you and you get denied.
3. Ask your examiners qualifications. While the examiner may not tell you, make sure you know the correct spelling of his/her full name and you can likely find out later.
4. Bring your medical records with you. Offer them to the examiner. An incomplete or inaccurate exam is a time burner.
5. Remember what the examiner stated, and write it down if necessary. Review your C and P exam at your earliest convienence, and compare it to what he said, noting any discrepancies.
6. There are obviously at least two possible results from your C and P exam: Favorable or Unfavorable.
A favorable exam would be one where:
a) where the doc provided a nexus,
b) gave his medical rationale as to why he thinks your condition is related to military service
c) the doc had reviewed your records and so stated in his exam,
d) the doc was well qualified
e) the exam was accurate, complete (answering all the questions the VA had), had all the necessary testing done, and the exam report was “Veteran friendly”.
If your C and P exam was unfavorable, that is, it was lacking in one or more of the above, then you can first try to point this out to the doc, and ask him to change it. However, since you probably wont be getting any benefits based on a highly unfavorable C and P exam, the sooner you get an IMO/IME to refute this exam, the sooner you can expect your benefits. Waiting until AFTER a denial to refute an unfavorable C and P exam, will likely add another 4-5 years to your claim.
As a last rejoinder, Nod adds that a VA Medical Examiner is going to make the final decision regardless of what the C&P doctor states. This is because the C&P doc will not have the whole military file (and indeed the whole C-File) showing any possible UCMJ violations which were determined to be not LOD (line of Duty). His pronouncement will focus only on what he can see medically and the possible age or etiology of it.