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What to Expect in a Shoulder Pain C&P Exam

shoulder pain va rating

Shoulder pain or conditions can be debilitating, affecting various aspects of a person’s life, especially for veterans seeking compensation and pension (C&P). Let’s see what to expect during a shoulder pain C&P exam, breaking down the process and shedding light on crucial aspects of the Disability Benefit Questionnaire (DBQ).

Understanding the Disability Benefit Questionnaire (DBQ)

The C&P exam for shoulder conditions generally revolves around the Disability Benefit Questionnaire (DBQ). The examiner will go through this form while evaluating you, and it plays a pivotal role in providing information to adjudicators determining your disability rating.

Primary vs. Secondary Service Connection

Before we talk about the C&P exam specifics, it’s essential to understand how you can be service-connected for shoulder issues. This can occur either on a primary or secondary basis. Primary service connection implies that the shoulder condition originated during active duty or related to a specific event that happened in the line of duty. On the other hand, secondary service connection relates to a shoulder problem caused by another service-connected disability.

Exploring these connections is crucial, and veterans should provide detailed information about their circumstances, including any relevant medical history.

Initiating the C&P Exam Process

After filing a claim, veterans receive notification of a scheduled C&P exam. This notice, typically either via mail or phone call, provides details such as the exam location, time, and details about the medical professional conducting the examination. It’s essential to note that the examiner should be a qualified healthcare provider, typically a medical doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.

The DBQ and Its Sections

Upon arriving for the C&P exam, the examiner will fill out the DBQ. Let’s break down some key sections:

Personal Information

  • Name, social security number, and date of examination.

Examiner Details

  • Clarifies whether the examiner is a VA healthcare provider and if the veteran is a regular patient in the clinic.

Medical History

  • Examines the veteran’s medical history, including the cause of the shoulder issue and any intermittent care received.

Flare-Ups and Functional Loss

  • Inquires about flare-ups, asking veterans to describe the factors influencing pain levels. Questions cover functional loss and impairment, especially during repeated use over time.

Range of Motion

  • Measures active and passive range of motion, emphasizing the importance of accurate measurements using tools like a goniometer.

Special Tests

  • Tailored to the specific shoulder condition, these tests may include evaluations for rotator cuff issues, instability, and labral pathology.

Humerus Conditions

  • Addresses impairments of the arm bone, inquiring about surgeries, complications, and assistive devices.

Diagnostic Testing

  • Queries about diagnostic tests like MRIs, X-rays, or CT scans and their results.

Impact on Job and Remarks

  • Explores the impact of the shoulder condition on employment and provides space for additional remarks from the examiner.

Certification

  • The examiner certifies the information provided, finalizing the DBQ.

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) Considerations

The DBQ includes questions about assistive devices and details that help determine SMC eligibility, highlighting the potential for additional compensation based on specific criteria.

Conclusion

Navigating a C&P exam for shoulder pain can be anxiety-inducing, but understanding the process and the significance of the DBQ can alleviate some concerns. Veterans should approach the exam with a clear understanding of their medical history, providing comprehensive information to aid the examiner in accurately assessing their condition. By demystifying the C&P exam process, veterans can better advocate for themselves and ensure a more informed evaluation of their shoulder issues.

Also read: VA Disability Tips for Navy Divers

At Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting, a veteran-owned company, we specialize in Independent Medical Opinions (IMOs) known as Nexus letters.

Our purpose is to empower YOU, the veteran, to take charge of your medical evidence and provide you with valuable educational tools and research to guide you on your journey.

Understanding the unique challenges veterans face, our commitment lies in delivering exceptional service and support.

Leveraging an extensive network of licensed independent medical professionals, all well-versed in the medical professional aspects of the VA claims process, we review the necessary medical evidence to incorporate in our reports related to your VA Disability Claim.

Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting is not a law firm, accredited claims agent, or affiliated with the Veterans Administration or Veterans Services Organizations. However, we are happy to discuss your case with your accredited VA legal professional.

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Danielle McClaskey

Client Relations Specialist U.S. Navy Veteran

In her active-duty service in the United States Navy, Danielle undertook a variety of responsibilities, ranging from essential administrative duties to providing crucial medical care. Her multifaceted contributions played a pivotal role in enhancing her fellow service members’ operational effectiveness and well-being.

As a disabled veteran, she developed a profound understanding of the unique challenges faced by her fellow service members. Now, in her civilian role, Danielle is a valued member of the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team, where she continues to leverage her extensive background and educational achievements to provide exceptional support to veterans.

Leticia

LETICIA

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Leticia has been in the medical field for nearly 14 years. She has always had a passion for medicine and caring for her community. Leticia has spent the last 4 years caring for veterans and first responders with alcohol and substance abuse in a medical rehabilitation setting whilst continuing her education working towards a degree in software development.

Someday she hopes to develop medical software that further enhances the patient’s experience in medical care. Leticia has a deep respect and love for those who have served as she comes from a family of law enforcement and military veterans.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Julie Pereira

JULIE PEREIRA:

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

During her Active-Duty time in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman, Julie provided medical administration
and patient care services in the field, the hospital, and base medical office settings.  This military medical and
administrative background has given Julie the hands-on experience and extensive knowledge necessary to
provide unparalleled service to her fellow Veterans through the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team.

Julie’s educational achievements include a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in Human Services and a pre-nursing associate in arts and science.

Julie has been inspired by her firsthand knowledge of navigating the VA Benefits process. She has dedicated
most of her adult life to serving Veterans through her knowledge derived from her military and civilian medical
education and training.

Jennifer Januta

JENNIFER JANUTA

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

During her Active-Duty service in the Army, Jennifer supported various research efforts centered on combat casualty care and Soldier performance. Her military background gave her unique insights into veterans’ distinct challenges, ultimately inspiring her to join the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team.

Jennifer’s educational achievements include a master’s in molecular biology from George Washington University and a master’s in data science from Texas Tech University. Jennifer wholeheartedly dedicates herself to utilizing her knowledge and expertise gained from 15 years of healthcare experience to impact the well-being of those who have served positively.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Leah - Meet the Team

LEAH BUCHOLZ, PA-C

U.S ARMY VETERAN, MEDICAL EXPERT & FORMER C & P EXAMINER

Meet Leah, the founder, and leader of our organization. ​​A combat veteran herself, she understands the unique challenges veterans face, making her mission about much more than running a successful business. It’s about the opportunity to provide a legacy of exceptional service for our heroes.​

​“It is essential to remember that there is no greater honor than caring for service members on the battlefield. Continuing to care for Veterans after separation is an opportunity that I have been afforded to extend that care in this new battlefield related to service-incurred disabilities.”

Her inspiration comes from years of military experience working alongside her fellow servicemembers, particularly key leaders who have influenced her journey, applying their wisdom to her path. She values her team deeply, most of whom are also disabled combat veterans, each member a trusted individual sharing her vision.

 “Driven by passion and purpose, I aim to create a sustainable change that empowers veterans and future generations.”

Leah’s journey hasn’t been without challenges. From overcoming and living with her service-related disabilities to navigating work-life balance, she’s learned to face each hurdle head-on with resilience.  Like many of her veteran brothers and sisters, her early background consisted of limited resources and opportunities. Her military service has helped shape her into a steadfast leader, offering relatable inspiration to others.

Join us in celebrating Leah, a compassionate leader, and resilient veteran, driving our mission to serve those who served our nation.