The Compensation and Pension exam (C&P exam):
When you file an original claim for disability compensation, claim for an increase in evaluation, or sumbit "new and relevant" evidence for a supplmental claim, and VA determines they need to evaluate your claimed disabilities, they may schedule you for what's called a Compensation and Pension exam (known sometimes as a "C&P exam) with one of their physicians or a contractor.
These exams are designed to obtain the needed information required to evaluate the disability in question correctly according to the 1945 Rating schedule by the RVSR (Rating Veteran Service Representative). They are not for medical treatment! These exams generally either take place at the local VAMC or out-patient Clinic nearest the veteran's residence, or through a contract company (VES-Veterans Evaluation Services or LHI). When the VAMC or VES/LHI contacts you to schedule any needed exams, ensure you move heaven and earth to attend the scheduled exam(s)! If at all possible do NOT try and re-schedule any exam(s). Many times the VAMC or VES will say it isn't a problem and will tell you they will call you back with another appointment date, but then turn around and notify VA's regional office who requested the exam that you were a "no-show"! Then VA makes decision based on the evidence of record without the exam, which in many cases results in a denial of benefits because you failed to report for that scheduled exam! If this does happen you just can't call the VAMC or contractor to re-schedule the exam. You'll have to file a supplemental claim and have VA re-adjudicate it on that basis (i.e. the willingness to attend the needed exam as the needed "new and relevant" evidence). They will, generally, re-adjudicate the claim on the basis of your willingness to attend their exam and re-authorize the exam with the VAMC or contractor. Then the VAMC or contractor will again contact you to re-schedule the needed exam(s). To avoid this hassle and major headache, just attend the first scheduled exam.
When you go to these exams do not over exaggerate your condion! These examiners have been doing this for awhile now and can see right through it! Just ensure you portray your disabilities accurately, and ensure the examiner is aware of all your current symptoms. Remember, VA evaluates, or assigns, the disability percentage based on your current symptoms. So it is essential that VA is aware of all of your current symptoms. If you have any private treatment records outside of VA, you can bring these with you to the exam. However, be aware that the examiner is not obligated to look at them. They are there to make their own objective, independent, findings. If you want VA to consider your private treatment records when they make their decision, then simply submit them to VA as evidence.
If you're undergoing a C&P exam for any orthopedic condition, then make sure that when the doctor has you do any range of motion of the joint in question, you stop that movement at the point any pain, weakness, and/or fatigue starts, not after you cannot move the joint anymore! VA evaluates most orthopedic disabilities based on the objective limited range of motion of the joint at the point where pain, weakness, and/or fatigue starts (called the DeLuca criteria at VA) in degrees. You may be able to flex and extend your knee all the way with pain, but that is not what VA needs to know; they need to know at what point in this movement any pain, weakness, and/or fatigue starts! Although the C&P examiners are suppose to be trained to know this and to know at what point to measure any limited range of motion, many still do not and simply take any measurements at the point where the veteran cannot move the joint anymore because of the pain, weakness, and/or fatigue. To ensure your range of motion is recorded accurately make sure you follow this, so the RVSR can make an accurate evaluation on your claimed disability.