A U.S. senator introduced in late July a bill that would expand the number of health care providers who are allowed to perform the compensation and pension, or C&P, exam for veterans with the aim of reducing the backlog of veterans who are waiting for their benefits.

The C&P exam is a requirement for veterans who are applying for disability benefits. Unfortunately, due to the limited number of health care providers who are eligible to provide the exam, the Department of Veterans Affairs is experiencing a backlog of hundreds of thousands of veterans.

C&P exams are typically held at Veterans Affairs facilities across the United States. The exams were put on hold in April due to the coronavirus, but the exams have recently started again. Thousands of veterans are still waiting for their exam so that they can apply for veterans’ benefits. Senators have questioned the VA about the backlog and have introduced similar bills to combat the issue.

A companion bill also has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives

If the bills pass, more health care providers will be able to perform the exam, including doctors, nurse practitioners, psychologists and more. Ideally, this will ease the strain on VA facilities and reduce the growing backlog. The bill is also intended to help veterans get their disability benefits as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How veterans can apply for disability benefits

A veteran looking to apply for veterans benefits might find it beneficial to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer may help them determine if they’re eligible for veteran’s benefits. Qualifying events might include being injured in the line of duty or experiencing injury or disability that was caused directly by their military service. If the client qualifies for benefits, the lawyer may be able to help them navigate the application process for the full amount of benefits that are owed to them.