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Did I Make A Mistake C & P Exam?




In order to be proactive and speed along the FDC process, I got with VA to do 12 C&P-FDQ's with the contentions I was filing. I have very extensive records and excellent evidence. Anyway, I had two appointment dates with a VA nurse for about 7 Contentions for each day. Much like during my military days, I thought that they would be done correctly and without any bias? But not so, one of the glaring problems was that the nurse took me way past the point of pain for the Range of Motion measurements? My understanding is that they're supposed to end the measurements where pain begins? Frankly, after, over about 30 years of back/neck exams, no doctor doing an exam - ever did this way? So, when I challenged her about it, she said, "don't worry, the VBA disability raters will see your "entire" file anyway and will sort it out"? Soon after, I went to her boss, the Head of the C& P Office, and he said I could write a statement of support to bring it to the attention of the raters? The other things she did was to mix an match comments from different contentions which really screwed things up? Overall, I was really flabbergasted as to the lack of detail and now wondered how many other vets ratings are being affected negatively by this one nurse? I did not expect any thing besides the exam being done correctly and by the book? I did all of this because I believed that I could speed up the FDC process for my first claim by providing all if the evidence up front-which I did. However, I'm already at 100 days and my claim is still just under "review"..so I'm not sure it sped up anything at this point by me being proactive? So, I really wonder if I should have just waited for the RO to schedule the C&P exams so there was a greater possibility of having them done correctly by the right medical people? Also, my dreams of having my FDC done during in a reasonable time are fading fast now as I've seen little movement as of yet? I understand that every claims sits on it's own merits, but I really put the effort into laying all of it out to make it very easy for any rate to rate without delay...and once again, I think, I'm in a "luck of the draw" situation with this?

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I'd sure like to know how you went about getting yourself 12 C&P exams scheduled.

To my knowledge only a vba decision maker has the authority to request a C&P exam

be scheduled.

It could help lots of claimants if they could get their C&P exam set up.

What process did you use to accomplish this ?

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If the VA really wanted a fair assessment of a veteran's medical conditions, they would not be using NPs to conduct the C & P exams. The VA is concerned about cost not fairness. The C & P exams should be conducted by physicians who specialize in the medical conditions being assessed.

My last C & P exam for cancer (multiple myeloma) was conducted by a NP. It caught me completely off guard as I was expecting an oncologist or hematologist to conduct the exam since multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood in the bone marrow. One thing I did, which worked out for me was to bring my medical records from my oncologist/hematologist with me to the exam. The NP, who knew very little about multiple myeloma, used my medical records to complete the responses on the questionnaire on her computer. She had originally planned to send me for lab work and a bone marrow biopsy but she made copies of my recent lab work and bone marrow biopsy and stated she had everything she needed. When I received a copy of my C & P report, the NPs comments were basically word for word as the language contained in my medical records. My claim was successful.

Sounds like you did just about everything right when you submitted your claim but unfortunately you had an incompetent examiner conducting your exam. With your medical records, DBQs and your statement regarding the conduct of the C&P examiner, I still think you have a chance of winning your claim without an appeal although I would not be surprised if the VA low balls you on the ratings.

Another thought. DBQs are helpful but they are not as strong from an evidentiary standpoint as IMEs and IMOs. You could try to get a strong IME and IMO from a civilian specialist to support your claim and submit these before your claim is closed. This would delay a decision on your claims since your claims would be removed from the FDC process and placed in the standard claims process. However, consider the time that will be involved if you don't go ahead and submit the IME report and IMO and your claims are denied and you have to go through a lengthy appeals process.

This is just my opinion and I may be entirely off base. Hopefully others will also voice their opinions after which you will have more information to make a decision as to what is best for you.

Good luck to you and thank you for your service.

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Sorry to hear of your troubles bud, but my current FDC claim is over 100 days and I have not even had exams. Sorry to say but this is very normal. Most FDCs across the Country are averaging 8-16 months, and that is depending upon how many issues you are claiming and what RO a Vet is using. My first FDC was filed Sep 13, and it did not move at all until I had my C&Ps in Feb 14, the claim was completed in Apr 14. Believe me bud, we are all very inpatient and want these claims to be finished as soon as possible. Just think about the old days when Vets had to wait years just to find out that their claims had been denied, and then spend years more in appeals. Good luck

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I had a similar experience with an MD. I have constant pain in my neck and she wanted me to tell her when the pain increased instead of when it started which all would have been 0. I used Doctors notes off of myhealtheVet sent a note pointing out that I am in constant 6/10 with no motion and it increase to 8-10/10 pending on the directions. The 6/10 was noted in an earlier section of the C&P exam notes. I am already going to the pain clinic and being treated for chronic pain in my neck and back. She also stated that my OSA was less likely than not from service, because she was unaware of OSA being secondary to PTSD or Depression. I sent in several studies from Military hospitals and also showed several cases that were won on appeal based on these cases. Don't know if it helped or not, should find out soon. Regardless don't give up, keep fighting the good fight.

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