TDIU C&P Exams
Christine Clemens: Hello, my name is Christine Clemens. Today’s topic is C&P exams for veterans seeking TDIU. C&P stands for compensation and pension exams. TDIU stands for total disability based on individual unemployability. Essentially, it offers veterans who do not meet the qualifications for a 100% disability rating for their service-connected conditions based on the percentages that VA has assigned. To receive compensation at the 100% level based on their inability to maintain substantially gainful employment. To be eligible for TDIU, you must have one service-connected condition rated at 60% or higher or two or more service-connected conditions one of which is rated at 40 percent or higher with a combined rating of 70 percent or higher. This is what is called scheduler TDIU. What extra scheduler means is that you do not meet the two criteria that I mentioned before but you may still qualify for unemployability TDIU based on the fact that your service-connected conditions still render you unable to obtain or maintain substantially gainful employment. VA often likes to rely on C&P exams, those compensation and pension exams. Essentially, what they are looking for is to determine if the service-connected conditions are severe enough to preclude a veteran from obtaining substantially gainful employment. They are not there to simply evaluate the severity of the disability itself, but rather to consider how it interferes with employment and employability. A C&P exam is a medical examination of a veteran’s disability. It is performed either by a VA healthcare provider or a VA contracted provider. VA uses these exams to help them gather more evidence that is essential for them to adjudicate or to process the claim for unemployability. The C&P examiners use what are called DBQs or disability benefits questionnaires. For unemployability, it is really important that the examiners provide information, rationale, and examples as to how someone’s disability really affects their ability to work. Because that evidence is crucial to the veteran’s disability case, these exams are often provided by VA at no cost to the veteran. It is really important to attend these exams. VA can deny the claim if somebody skips an exam. If you find out that you have missed an exam, reach out to VA. Try to reschedule. It is also important to be honest and thorough when explaining your symptoms, your level of impairment, your work history, explain how your condition impacts your ability to partake in substantially gainful employment. The other thing that is often advisable is to get a copy of the examination after you have it and review it. Did the examiner include everything that you said? Was it accurately reported? If not, you might want to let VA know. The other thing that you might want to consider is getting an expert opinion yourself. VA relies on doctors to make these TDIU assessments, but TDIU is really not a medical assessment. It is a vocational assessment. There are vocational experts out there who are able to provide reports and opinions that could be helpful to the outcome of your claim. I hope this was helpful. If you have any additional questions, we have a lot more information on our website. Please feel free to visit us at cck-law.com.
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