Before you continue reading this, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder… because I’m about to tell you how you can cheat on your Department of Veterans Affairs’ claim exam.
Cheating may not be the best word for this, but you are being told exactly what to expect out of the exam. And all you need to do is go to VA’s Compensation & Physical Exam webpage and see exactly what will happen when you head to the doctor. This page is basically crib notes made by the VA for you.
If you’ve filed a claim with the VA for either a disability compensation or pension benefits, you may be asked to go to an examination as part of the claims process. This exam is different from a regular medical appointment because you won’t be treated and won’t be prescribed any medication.
To help take the mystery out of this type of appointment, VA has created several short videos that walk you through each type of exam. The videos talk you through everything from how you should dress to even how to tell the examiner that you don’t want to be touched.
Not everybody has to take an exam, though. After you file your claim, you can expect either a letter or phone call asking you to come to your claim exam. If you’ve applied for benefits based on several disabilities, you may be asked to have several different exams. These can last anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours for mental health exams.
The in-person portion of your exam is only part of what the examiners do as part of their evaluation. Depending on the information in your claim, the examiner will figure out what additional information is needed to complete your claim.
This step of the process can be speed up by fully completing the Disability Benefit Questionnaires (DBQs). It should be noted that the VA will not pay for, or reimburse, any expenses that come out of completing and submitting the DBQs.
Once the exam is done, the examiner completes a report that includes a breakdown of test results, if any were performed. You do have a right to copies of your test results, which can be obtained by contacting your VA regional office.
Once the VA is done reviewing your claim and a decision has been made, the results are sent to you in the mail. The amount of time it takes to complete a claim depends on several things, like the type of claim that was filed, complexity of the disability, number of disabilities you are claiming and the availability of the evidence required for the decision.
One last tip — the VA does recommend that you work with an accredited representative, like a VSO, to help you manage the entire claims process. These reps will help you gather information and evidence that supports your claim.
They can also help to file your claim and address any issues that come up during the entire process. You can search for a representative here on eBenefits.
Watch the video below for tips to prepare you for the exam: