The good news is that not every veteran who files for disability benefits needs to have a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam. When you initially submit your claim, you will need to include a current diagnosis from a competent medical expert, evidence of a service connection, and a “nexus statement” tying your disability to your service – usually a part of your medical expert’s report. Evidence may also include hospital records, test results, and buddy statements.
If the evidence is sufficient and strongly supports a service-related connection, you could receive a rating without a C&P exam. The exams cost the VA money. Therefore, efforts of cost containment are often a consideration for not requesting superfluous exams. However, if your claim is complex, or if there are questions in the mind of the claim reviewer based on your documentation, you may be required to get a C&P exam.
The VA will send your file to a VA doctor (or a local doctor with whom the VA partners) assigned to examine you, and you will receive a letter from the doctor regarding your C&P exam. Be sure to contact them and arrange a convenient time for the exam. If the VA requires a C&P exam and you don’t get one, your case will be denied. If you miss your exam, call the VA right away to inform them that you still intend to comply, then reschedule with the examiner as soon as possible.