What to expect during your respiratory, cardiovascular, or ear, nose, and throat claim exam. If you’re a veteran who has a disability related to your heart, lungs, ears, nose or throat due to your military service, you may decide to submit a disability claim with VA. These claims would fall under one of the following categories: Respiratory which relates to your lungs and breathing, cardiovascular which relates to your heart and blood vessels, or ear, nose, and throat. If you’ve submitted a claim to VA for one of these types of disabilities, you may be asked to come in for a claim exam, also sometimes called a Compensation and Pension, or C&P exam. Claim exams help VA gather or confirm medical information needed to make a decision on your claim. What happens during your exam will depend on what medical evidence is already included in your claim application, such as your medical records. Exams can be different for everyone. Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your exam in case you need to move around. Don’t be afraid to ask the examiner what will happen during your exam. For the most part, the examiner may ask you a series of questions about your condition, like how it affects your daily life and job, and any treatments you’ve had. The examiner is asking you specific questions for a reason: they relate to what’s in your file and VA’s rating criteria. Answer the questions as best you can. The examiner may also need to do a physical exam or perform a few tests. If needed, a separate appointment may be scheduled for some of the tests. For cardiovascular, respiratory, and ear, nose and throat disabilities, the examiner may perform simple physical exams. They may ask you to blow air into a tube, or listen to your lungs to check your breathing, or check your heart rate and pulse. Exams for ear, nose, and throat conditions may include giving you a hearing test, or doing a pressure test to examine the eardrum for fluid. They may examine the inside of your nose to check your nasal passages, or look at your neck carefully examining your lymph nodes, salivary glands, and thyroid gland. These exams are generally not painful, but are important to better understand your condition. Your exam could last a few minutes, or an hour or more. But no matter how long or short it is, the examiner is getting exactly the information they need. Once your exam report is complete, it is sent to a VA rating specialist who will use it, along with other information you’ve submitted in your application to rate your claim. Don’t forget: examiners do not make a decision on your claim. They’re one part of a larger VA team working with you to process your claim. Any specific questions about your claim should be directed to your local VA regional office, or accredited Veteran’s Service Officer. VA is committed to ensuring you know what happens during the claim process, and that your VA claim experience goes as smoothly as possible. Have more questions about the VA Claim Exam? Go to the website listed below, or search “VA Claim Exam” on VA’s website.