If you’ve had or are scheduled for a compensation and pension exam (C&P) by a VA doctor, you may be wondering if you really need an independent medical examination (IME) and whether it will do you any good. The answer is yes. There are many reasons why an IME can help you receive the full VA disability benefits you deserve and may help you get them more quickly.
Why is an IME Different?
The doctor who performs your IME is not your doctor. It’s someone who has never seen you before. And that doctor doesn’t work for the VA, either. The IME doctor is “independent” and impartial.
The C&P doctor works for the VA. The result of your C&P may be unfavorable for many reasons, and can hurt your claim. Even though C&P doctors are supposed to follow the rules and complete your exam properly, there is a high rate of incomplete C&P exams, and the veteran typically suffers for it. An incomplete C&P can cost you time or result in an unfavorable rating.
The IME is trained to complete the exam and the paperwork properly. A properly completed IME will override an incomplete C&P.
Even more important, the IME should carry more weight than the C&P. The VA is required to determine the probative value of the evidence and make its decision based on the best evidence. What makes the IME more valuable is the doctor’s background. The IME doctor’s CV should be included in the report. The credentials for the doctor who performed the C&P will typically be very minimal.
To learn more about IMEs, please contact an experienced VA disability lawyer right away.