Psychologist and Psychiatrist C&P Examiners

Resources for psychologist and psychiatrist comp and pen (C&P) examiners—Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability exams for compensation and pension benefits.

Psychologist and Psychiatrist Resources

Education & Training

Recommended Reading List for Psychologist and Psychiatrist C&P Examiners - Regularly updated list of peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, and more.

Specific Exam Guidance

Endorse Suicidal Ideation? - When should C&P psychologists and psychiatrists endorse suicidal ideation on the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ)? - C&P psychologist and psychiatrist examiners should be familiar with the Bankhead v. Shulkin decision issued by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) in 2017.

Financial Capacity AssessmentFinancial capacity assessment refers to an evaluation conducted by a psychologist or psychiatrist to determine if an individual possesses the capacity to manage their finances appropriately.

Mental Disorders Secondary to Service-Connected Medical Conditions - How to conceptualize and evaluate a mental disorder which the veteran claims is "proximately due to or the result of a service-connected disease or injury..." (38 C.F.R § 3.310).

Professional Competence & Ethics

C&P Exam for PTSD - Political, institutional, and economic forces exert pressure on examiners to conduct inadequate—even unethical—C&P exams for PTSD.

Ohio Board of Psychology Notice - Well-written and researched notice emphasizing that VA C&P exams require "foundational competencies in both general and forensic psychology".


Disability Exams Research - Curated list of recent research on topics relevant to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation and pension examinations (C&P exams).

PTSD Clinical Research - Curated list of recent research on PTSD treatment.

See also Traditional Masculinity, PTSD Symptom Severity, and Treatment - Narrow, rigid adherence to traditional masculine norms can make overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) more difficult. But let's not throw out the masculine baby with the bathwater. My article includes sections titled, Don't Talk About Masculinity Like This and Masculinity Is Not "Bad". is an educational site with no advertising and no affiliate links. Dr. Worthen conducts Independent Psychological Exams (IPE) with veterans, but that information is on his professional practice website.

Terminology for Psychologist and Psychiatrist Examiners

C&P exams for PTSD and other mental disorders are forensic mental health evaluations conducted with United States military veterans who have filed a disability benefits claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

While "C&P exam" is the most common term, there are other phrases used to describe these evaluations such as:

φ VA claim exam

φ PTSD exam

φ VA disability exam

φ VA comp and pen exam

φ compensation and pension examination

φ nexus letter or nexus opinion

φ DBQ - Disability Benefits Questionnaire

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