Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions and their Answers

VSO’s (Veterans Service Officer) are typically those who work for a Service organization such as Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and so on.  CVSO, also known as County Veteran Service Officer are employed by the State and your tax dollars with your State Department of Veterans Affairs (don’t confuse this with VA).

An Accredited Represntative is someone who has gone through formal training and has applied with the Department of Veterans Affiars.  They must pass a test administered by VA in order to be recognized by VA to become Accredited.  By doing this, they can represent you (the veteran or family of a veteran) with the claim process.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses many acronyms and abbreviations for VA terms.  An accredited Veteran's disability attorney, VSO or Claims Agent will be very familiar with “VA speak.”  We have compiled the following list of VA abbreviations to help you read VA records and understand VA shorthand.


The date given on eBenefits is just an estimate. It will often change and is subject to go back and forth between steps, even back to gathering evidence.

There is no easy answer to that one. It all depends on your individual conditions and whether or not they can be service connected. Getting from 80 or 90 % to that 100% mark is even harder, since there is so little to work with.

Again, that is an individual answer and depends on a lot of different factors. If you are retired from the military than DFAS has to do an audit before backpay can be received and that process can take over 6 months. Most of the time backpay is payed within a few weeks after you receive your letter.

NO. The actual award letter can only be obtained from the regional office or from the VSO that you have been working with. However, you can log on to eBenefits and generate a letter in the 'VA Letters' section that will tell you what your current % and monthly payment is. This is often how people find out about their claim before a letter is ever received.

Very, Very common.
Ebenefits goes down a lot for maintenance. It is nothing to be concerned about. It seems to be most often on weekends. If you continue to have a problem logging in than it is an individual account issue and you need to contact technical support for eBenefits at:

Again, individual answer. I know I keep saying that. Truth is, there is no way of knowing how long your appeal may take. An average appeal is around 2-3 years and in many cases up to 5-7 years; and that’s just average. Many, many people have waited much, much longer. If you do not have a Board date consider filing using new evidence under RAMP->'Supplemental Claim'.

If you’ve filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for disability compensation or pension benefits, VA may ask you to go to an examination as part of the claim process.

No, not everyone will be requested to attend a VA exam. After you have applied for disability compensation and/or pension, you may receive a phone call or a letter from VA or a VA partner asking you to come to a claim exam, also known as a C&P exam.

A VA medical center or a VA partner is responsible for contacting you about scheduling a claim exam. They may either mail you a letter with the date and time of your appointment(s) and/or call you to find a time that fits with your schedule. If you are receiving treatment at a VA medical center, make sure they have your current address, phone number and email information.

If your scheduled exam date or time does not work with some other life event, immediately call the number provided and try to reschedule. Unless it is an emergency situation, try not to reschedule the exam the day before or on the day of the exam.

It is helpful to be at least 15 minutes early to your scheduled exam time, leaving enough time to arrive at the facility location where your exam will take place. Once you check in with the exam staff, they will be able to answer questions on how long you will have to wait.

Unlike a typical medical exam or other healthcare appointment you may have with VA, the claim exam will not give you any treatment or prescribe any medicine. The examiner’s job is to review your medical records related to your disability claim, including the claim file, also known as your c-file/e-file.

Each exam is different depending on the information and needs of each Veteran. Exams can range anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more. The examiner may ask you questions, observe you, perform a limited physical exam or simply review your file with you.

VA schedules the claim exam at the end of the “Information Gathering” stage, which is about 60% of the way through the claim decision process. After your exam, the examiner will complete a report that includes a review of the exam and any clinical test results.

No, the examiner is only involved in performing the exam and providing the results to the claims processor. They are not part of the rating process, and do not make the rating decisions. They will never know the outcome of your pending claim. Only a VA regional office can answer questions regarding rating decisions.

Yes, if you have any medical documents that were not previously sent to VA, you can bring them to your claim exam. However, the examiner may not be able to submit that information on your behalf.

Yes, at your request and the approval of the examiner, family members, caregivers, and significant others may be allowed to join you during an exam, but may not participate in and/or interfere with the exam. Service animals are also permitted. The request must come from the Veteran without prompting.

If you were unable to attend your exam and did not contact VA in advance, your appointment will be considered a “no show.” You will have to request a new exam appointment by calling 1-800-827-1000. If you fail to show up to any claim or C&P exam(s), it is likely that your claim decision will be delayed while VA tries to reschedule your exam.

Yes, if you are scheduled for a claim exam or C&P exam, you can request travel reimbursement. Mileage is calculated from your door to the exam facility. Your travel pay request will be submitted to the beneficiary travel office. Contact the C&P Office if you need overnight accommodations.

Think of the claim exam, or C&P exam, as a medical review. Unlike a typical medical exam or other healthcare appointment you may have with VA, an examiner will not provide you any treatment, make any referrals to other medical providers or prescribe any medicine.

If you attend your claim exam and have a negative experience with a VA examiner or a VA partner examiner, VA encourages you to share feedback immediately.

VA may use contractors or VA partners who are medical experts with experience working with Veterans to speed up the claim process. They support the timelier scheduling of claim exams and evidence gathering in support of your claim. You may get scheduled for a claim exam with a VA partner.

VA recommends you work with an accredited representative, such as a VSO, to help guide you through the entire claims process. These representatives can help you gather evidence in support of your claim, help file your claim and address issues as you move through the claim decision process.

Don’t exaggerate your symptoms, but don’t diminish them either. When the doctor asks you questions, be truthful. Explain to the doctor exactly how your symptoms impact your life. This can be uncomfortable, since this will be your first visit with the doctor, but it is important to your claim that you be as open and honest as possible.

Usually the VA does send the claims file to the doctor in advance of the exam, but sometimes the agency neglects to. If the VA doctor hasn't received the records, he or she may not even be sure of the reason for your visit. If this happens, tell the doctor you’ve been treated at the VA, and the doctor should be able to pull up your records on the computer.