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Will Missing My C&P Exam Due to COVID-19 Hurt My Case?

Published on August 14th, 2020

To stop the spread of COVID-19, the VA suspended in-person Compensation and Pension (C&P) exams at its Regional Offices and with its medical services contractors. UPDATE: In-Person C&P Exams Have Resumed At Some Locations! The VA promised veterans that their disability cases would not be affected by the canceled exams, but in some cases, they have failed to keep this promise. Veterans from around the country have receiving denial letters saying they failed to show up to C&P Exams that the VA had actually canceled.

For those of us familiar with the VA disability compensation process, these issues are not surprising. For years, VA staff have been committing clerical errors that have resulted in the denial of benefits to deserving veterans. Fortunately, these kinds of errors can usually be corrected with the help of a veterans benefits lawyer. If you have been wrongfully denied your disability compensation, call Jackson & MacNichol today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free case consultation.

The VA Is Wrongly Penalizing Veterans for Missing Canceled C&P Exams

According to an investigation by Minneapolis television station KARE 11, the VA has been denying disability benefits to veterans who failed to attend their canceled C&P exams. Former marine Harry Payne of Kemper, Texas, received a letter from the VA stating that his benefits were declined because he didn’t attend a C&P exam scheduled on April 21–well after the VA canceled all in-person exams on April 3.

The medical contractor that was to perform the exam, QTC Medical Services, specifically contacted Payne to tell him that his appointment was cancelled due to COVID-19. Furthermore, the VA policy as stated on its website is that they “won’t deny a claim solely for failure to report for an exam at this time.” Payne’s denial letter stated that QTC had reported his non attendance to the VA–an allegation that the company denied.

The absurd cases of Harry Payne and many others have caught the attention of the United States Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which ordered the VA to issue clear guidance so that “veterans are not needlessly confused or harmed during this unprecedented time.” Payne was issued an apology and quickly received his benefits, but he may be one of the lucky few because his case received media attention.

In place of C&P exams, the VA is using two alternatives: Acceptable Clinical Evidence (ACE) Exams and Virtual C&P exams. But neither of these solutions is adequate if your condition requires an in-person examination. Usually, these alternate exams are best suited for mental health conditions. If you have a condition that can only be properly diagnosed in person, you may need to wait until the VA reintroduces standard C&P exams for your case to move forward.

Call a Lawyer If the VA Unfairly Denies Your Benefits

The VA’s own policy states that veterans should not be penalized for not attending C&P exams. If you believe that your case was harmed by the VA’s failure to follow this policy, a veterans benefit lawyer can help. Call Jackson & MacNichol today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation about how to appeal the wrongful denial of your disability benefits. We get justice for veterans.

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