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I was reviewing 2015 BVA decisions regarding the New Orleans RO, and came across the following. I'm on a tablet and can't cut and paste the section, but scroll down to the second paragraph above the "Order" section. You'll find that this veteran's carriage and demeanor when she was called from the waiting room found its way into her C & P exam report and then into the BVA decision.
Always remember, your exam starts the moment you enter the exam facility. If you're there for a spine exam, your posture in the chair you're seated in, in the lobby, may very well be noted. There's plenty of literature on exams here at hadit, but I thought it would be useful to remind everyone that the exam begins upon entering the facility, not when entering the examination room.
Thanks for the info and you are so correct. I tell this to Vets all the time to always remember that the VA is looking at us the minute we are no longer Active and become Vets!!!
In this particular veteran's case, the remand resulted from some extra effort put forward by the BVA, luckily. I guess the RO expected her to show up for the exam showing visual cues of the obvious effects of incapacitating migraines in that moment. Instead, she tried to act like a person whose turn came up to be seen at the DMV. Note the statement about her wearing sunglasses, that she wore them in the examination room and suddenly complained of pain from the light. Left unsaid in the decision was whether she wore them in the lobby while she waited, and if the examiner asked her if she experienced pain from the light in the lobby when she was waiting to be called.
The crazy one here, This somewhat happened to me but I would say that C & P exams starts when the veteran pulls up in the parking lot. In one of my exams it was mention about my dark glasses given to me by VA. My glasses are polarized tented and the stay dark all the time. It was hot that day and when I pulled up to the parking lot and got out of my car my glasses got foggy and I had to take them off to wipe them so I could see and I put them back on. When I went in to see the doctor he commented on my glasses and that they were dark and did I where them all the time and the fact that it was hot that day and it would be best to stay in. No statement ended up in my rating but I believe that when a veteran has an exam, he/she is watched at the earliest point for the VA doctor to come to a conclusion before the veteran ever see the doctor.
What's the saying, Pete, "It ain't paranoia if they're REALLY after you!"
This exact thing did happen to me at a C&P exam. I went to the exam quite a few years ago. Me and the exam doctor did not get on well at all. I was an excitable boy in those days. To justify him screwing me in his exam the doctor said that my demeanor changed from the time I was in the waiting room to the time I was in the exam. This was a doctor who maintained that since I had a degree in psychology this was proof that I was faking my C&P for mental health issues. The upshot was an appeal that I won based on a biased exam.
If your exam is for a bad foot and you use a cane then you better be using it from the time you get out of your car at the VA until you get back in to go home. All the rest pertains as well. I have had VA C&P exam doctors say such outrageous things to me about veterans. Many of these doctors are jaded and cynical people who have zero respect for veterans and believe most of us are free loaders and game players. You can't give them an inch or any excuse to screw you because many will do it just for spite. You know every few decades some administration decides that most veterans on disability are faking and just getting free ride at taxpayers expense. This happened in the 1980's . It will probably happen again when we get an administration that wants to cut taxes and cut growth of entitlements. No matter what the politicos say about honoring vets they will cut your throat to save a dime.
In a similar vein, if you ARE using a cane or any other apparatus when you show up for your C&P exam, it better have been prescribed for you or suggested in writing somewhere by a doctor. If it's not, the examiner will probably assume it's a dramatic prop used to exaggerate your condition and will likely note the discrepancy in the report.
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