Veterans Disability Info Blog

What to Expect at a C&P Exam for Military Sexual Trauma

One of the main worries of individuals who have suffered through military sexual trauma (MST) is that they will have to undergo a Compensation and Pension Exam, often referred to as a C&P Exam. The fear of having to recount the experience of sexual trauma can lead victims to fail to report their experiences. It is essential to understand that this is not the case and that you are able to receive MST-related VA services in a way that is less inhibited than for other service-related disabilities, as we’ll explore extensively below. 

For support through the initial application for an MST-related disability, you are able to receive free assistance from a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) MST coordinator, one of whom is present at every VA medical facility. These coordinators will serve as your primary contact person for your MST-related issues. If your initial application for VA disability is for an MST-related disability, you have a right to appeal, and a VA disability attorney can help you throughout the appeals process. 

The VA disability percentage rating assigned to MST-related PTSD or anxiety is as follows:

  • 0 percent – You have a current diagnosis of a condition; however, it does not require medication or interfere with your ability to maintain steady gainful employment 
  • 10 percent – Medication may be needed to control your symptoms, and your ability to perform consistently at work is impacted 
  • 30 percent – Your symptoms are significant enough to impact personal and professional performance and require medication
  • 50 percent – You are largely unable to maintain steady gainful employment, and your ability to engage in day-to-day situations is markedly impacted
  • 70 percent – You are generally unable to work at this rating and may be eligible for TDIU, or total disability for individual unemployability, which entitles you to VA disability payments at the 100 percent rate that exceeds $3,000 in tax-free payments monthly 
  • 100 percent – your personal and professional life is impacted severely by your symptoms, and oftentimes, in-home care is necessary to ensure that necessary daily functions are performed 

Treatment is Available To Victims of MST Immediately and Free of Charge 

You do not have to submit a VA disability application to begin collecting compensation for your MST-related disabilities. As noted above, mental health services and treatment may be received immediately through your local VHA’s MST counselor. This means that you do not have to go through a C&P exam and are eligible for mental health and medical services regardless of how far along the VA disability application process you might be. 

You are able to submit your own medical examinations and reports with your VA disability application for any condition, including those that are MST-related. In addition to medical evidence, you can also submit statements in support of your claim to provide the VA with additional evidence to make an informed and accurate decision concerning your VA disability rating. These statements can include statements from fellow service members who were aware of the MST you suffered at the time or afterward. It can also include statements from your friends and family who are familiar with your current symptoms of MST. When the medical evidence and buddy statements are comprehensive enough, a C&P Exam for any VA disability may be omitted. 

Your MST is Rated in a Similar Way to Other VA-Rated Mental Health Disorders

It is important to understand that your VA disability rating for MST depends upon the VA disability rating that you receive from related conditions. MST is rated in the same manner as depression, PTSD, and other mental health disorders. If there are physical symptoms or injuries, those too are rated in line with the VA disability scale applied to them. 

The VA disability scale is used for all VA disabilities, and your disability rating is the sum of all your rated disabilities. This means that a veteran could have a primary condition of back pain as a result of a sexual assault, and due to the back pain, the veteran must take pain medications. The experience of MST can lead to a variety of mental health issues like anxiety or depression that can receive individual VA disability ratings, as well as secondary conditions that develop from the back injury. Pain medication can lead to weight gain, which can in turn lead to obesity, which is related to depression. When a veteran is suffering from a service-related condition that has a current diagnosis, they are entitled to medical and mental health coverage, and when that condition impacts their ability to work, they are entitled to tax-free disability payments. 

Discuss Your MST VA Appeal with an Experienced Veterans Attorney 

If you need to add your MST-related condition to your VA disability rating or believe that you received an inaccurate MST VA rating in your application, you have a right to appeal. One of our experienced VA disability benefits lawyers can help you throughout the entire process. 

For a brief chat on how we can help with your MST-related claim, reach out to us by phone at 888-878-9350 or visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation

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If you are having trouble obtaining benefits, contact us online or at 888.878.9350 to discuss your case.