va COMPENSATION AND PENSION
Veterans Affairs Compensation & Pension Evaluations (commonly referred to as “C&P evaluations”) are typically conducted to determine if a military service member has a psychological condition because of their services experiences or as a result of an already service-connected physical problem (i.e., secondary service connection). Although combat trauma is a common cause of compensable mental health conditions such as PTSD, it is also common for service members to develop a variety of psychological problems in response to other military stressors, including during peace time and in response to military sexual trauma (MST). Dr. Tarescavage has published peer-reviewed research on individuals undergoing compensation & pension evaluations. Apply for VA Compensation through Veterans Affairs.
The most important factor for a favorable C&P evaluation (assuming the presence of a service-related disability) is an objective, well-supported psychological assessment. Prior to their Compensation & Pension Evaluation with Dr. Tarescavage, the Veteran will complete a brief history questionnaire. They will be encouraged to gather relevant medical records (if possible) to bring with them to their appointment as well as to identify a short list of people who know them well and could provide information on their recent functioning. The in-person component of the evaluation lasts approximately 2.5 hours and begins with an overview of the purpose of the evaluation as well as a review of the limitations on confidentiality. Dr. Tarescavage typically develops rapport with service members quickly and normalizes that they may experience anxiety when discussing their service experiences. After introductions, the Veteran typically completes one-hour of psychological testing. This testing generally includes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3), a widely-used and well-validated psychological test. While the Veteran is completing testing, Dr. Tarescavage will review available treatment and service records. He will also attempt to contact others who know the Veteran well (with their permission). This testing, record review, and collateral information provides a comprehensive and objective foundation for a well-informed and impartial diagnostic interview. After testing and record review is completed, Dr. Tarescavage conducts the clinical interview. The first part of the interview involves the collection of background information (family, educational, medical, employment, military, legal, and substance use). The second part of the interview is the diagnostic assessment. This is by far the most comprehensive area of inquiry during the interview. Dr. Tarescavage will assess the Veteran’s symptoms, the course of their problems, and functional impairment. Finally, Dr. Tarescavage gives the Veteran preliminary feedback on their assessment results. However, Dr. Tarescavage will never give feedback on his opinion regarding service connection and/or disability ratings during the evaluation. After the in-person evaluation is completed, Dr. Tarescavage will finish the record review and collateral contact process (if applicable) and write a 6 to 8 page report detailing his findings and opinions. The referral source will receive the report within three business days of the evaluation (assuming additional records do not need to be requested).