Department of Veterans Affairs: Claims Process and Compensation and Pension Exams by Contracted Physicians [June 22, 2022] [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Introduction: "The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a wide range of benefits and programs for veterans and their families. Some of these benefits and programs include disability compensation, pension and fiduciary services, education assistance, vocational and employment training, and survivor benefits. Two divisions within VBA specifically address monetary benefits for disabled veterans: The Compensation Service oversees disability compensation for veterans who have disabilities, illnesses, or conditions that resulted from military service, and the Pension and Fiduciary Service oversees the needs-based benefit program for wartime veterans such as veterans' pensions. To apply for these benefits, specifically disability compensation or a pension, the veteran submits an application, either via paper or electronically, to his or her local VA Regional Office (VARO). The application then goes through VA's adjudication process, and at that point VA has a 'duty to assist' the veteran through the claims process. VA's 'duty to assist' ranges from informing the veteran of missing information from the application to assisting the veteran in gathering evidence from private and federal entities to providing the veteran with a compensation and pension (C&P) exam when necessary. [...] A C&P exam is a medical examination conducted by a licensed physician to evaluate the veteran's disability, illness, or condition and determine the level of severity [...] This report provides an overview of both VA's claims process and C&P exams, as well as other topics of interest to congressional staff and constituents."
CRS Report for Congress, R47163
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/