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Compensation and Pension Exam: Why am I here?

When you file for a VA Disability or a Pension Claim, you will be scheduled by your VA Regional Claims Center (VARO) for a Compensation and Pension Exam.

The information from this examination will be used to respond to the claim you have submitted or to review the medical disability or illness for which you are now receiving benefits.

You should be aware that the examining practitioner cannot treat you or write prescriptions. If treatment of any kind is necessary, the examining practitioner will refer you to the appropriate clinic or emergency department.

What is the exam about?

You will be examined by a staff provider or a provider who is under contract to the medical center. If you have any questions about your examination, please feel free to bring them up with the provider you see. The provider will be reviewing only those conditions that the regional office has asked to have reviewed. The examining providers will not give an opinion regarding your claim or the percentage of your disability.

These decisions will be made by the VARO. If you have any questions about your examination that you feel were not completely responded to by the examining provider, please let the staff in the Compensation and Pension Office know so that the questions can be cleared up before you leave.

Note: The Compensation and Pension Exam is not to determine current medical diagnosis, which is usually part of the original claim submitted to the VARO. The exam is to determine and render an opinion to the VARA Claims Center the severity of the medical issue.

The provider who you see may have help from clerical staff, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and health technicians. Studies like lab work, x-rays, or other special tests may be requested by the provider. These tests are important in helping the provider complete your exam. Because necessary tests may need to be completed your examination may be complex and long. The VAMC will try to schedule all of your exams on the same day.

What can you do to help?

The examination process can be helped by giving a complete history of your past and present medical problems. You may, if you choose, provide additional medical information about the illness or injury for which you are being examined. If for example, you are being seen by a private provider, you should send copies of these medical records to the VARO. If you have been treated at any VA Medical Center and feel the information in those records will help your claim, please write the VARO and state the dates and place where you were treated.

Note: This should normally be part of the original Claim to VARO.

The VA Regional Office address for southern Colorado is: P.O. Box 25126, Denver, CO 80225-0126

Be sure to include both your VA claim number and Social Security number on all correspondence.

It is very important to keep your Compensation and Pension Exam appointment. If you miss your appointment, your exam will be cancelled and you will need to resubmit your claim. This will delay the decision about your benefits.

If you are unable to keep your appointment, contact the Compensation and Pension Office at the Albuquerque VAMC. A single appointment reschedule will be honored if it is made before the day of your scheduled appointment. The telephone number is (800) 465-8262, Ext. 4182.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. Durango, CO 81301 (the old Mercy Medical Center). Phone number is 247-2214.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.