Veterans Medical Advisor



                                Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Bash is a veteran of

What if the VA Compensation and Pension exam disproves my claim?

Unfortunately, the C & P examination system is not designed in the veterans favor. Many times, the VA denies a veterans claim based on the medical evidence the VA itself has provided. The primary care and specialist providers at the VA clinics are restricted in what they can say about your condition. These doctors work for the VA; therefore, they must follow VA guidelines and internal policies.

The C & P examiners are supposed to decide whether you are disabled. Further, they decide just how severe the disability is in your case. The problem is, the C&P doctors usually must see several veterans in one day and do not have time to completely review medical records and do a proper exam. A VA-ordered exam that disproves your claim means it is even more important to have an Independent Medical Examination (IME) that could offset that opinion. If the veteran presents evidence that raises an element of doubt, then, by law, the VA must rule in the veterans favor.

NOTE: If you are notified that the VA has ordered an exam, it is imperative that you show up. Failing to do so can cause immediate denial of your claim. If your health would be jeopardized by any VA-ordered test or procedure, you should notify the VA and send evidence of your doctor's advice against it.

Note: If you have records from an outside (non-VA) doctor, please be sure to pass those on to Dr. Bash, as they are often helpful to your claim as supporting evidence.

 What success rate does Dr. Bash have?

In almost two decades, Dr. Bash has seldom told a veteran he could not help with a claim or an appeal. With those he has assisted, he has an 80 - 90% success rate in helping establish or increase disability compensation and other benefits.

 What are the fees for using Dr. Bash?

Dr. Bash charges a flat fee (to be prepaid). The fee is based on the number of medical problems and complexity of the case.

  How soon should I contact Dr. Bash?

You can first submit an opinion from Dr. Bash when you make the initial claim. If your claim is denied, or if the decision falls short of your expectation, VA allows you time to submit a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). It is in your best interest to submit a supporting medical opinion with the NOD as well. The VA will then respond with a Statement of the Case, an outline of the reasons, and the evidence used in its decision. With an additional medical opinion, it is possible the VA could give you a more favorable decision then.

If the decision still is not in the veterans favor, the DRO will state exactly what evidence is needed to approve the claim. Then this evidence must be taken before the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). The BVA will take a further look at all the evidence and decide about the claim. It can decide to approve the claim, remand the claim (send it back to the regional office with instructions about what to do differently), or deny the claim. If the BVA denies a veterans claim, the veteran then can hire a lawyer and go through the courts. At any of these stages, you can have Dr. Bash submit more medical evidence. For further details about this process go to BVA Appeals Process.

 What if I need him to appear before the board?

Dr. Bash is a seasoned medical expert witness for hearings at the BVA level. If your claim goes to Washington, D.C. on appeal, Dr. Bash is available (with enough advance notice) to attend the hearing and orally present your medical evidence. An extra fee is charged for in-person representation.

 Fly in Expert Witness at Hearings

I have done many VA hearing as an expert witness concerning complex medical issues because the Judges, DROs, raters (Deciders), service officers and patients are not physicians.  The issues involved in any typical veteran claim (that makes it to any level) are usually complex as the medical problems extend often over decades and are thus associated with both primary and secondary complications.

The following is a list of ways that the medical expert can be beneficial at any hearing;

  1. Expert can order additional medical nexus testing prior to the hearing.
  2. Expert can review the most recent copy of the claims file.
  3. Expert can examine the patient at the hearing in front of the Deciders.
  4. Expert can decipher medical records and CP/QTC/private examination reports.
  5. Expert can comment of the value of other medical nexus opinions in the file (referee).
  6. Expert can present and explain medical imaging
  7. Expert can address real time any questions that the Deciders might have.
  8. Expert can address any questions that the service officer or patient might have.
  9. Expert can explain the pathophysiology, anatomy and diagnoses involved in the rating under sworn testimony.
  10. Expert can, after the hearing, provide a written explanation of issues disused
  11. Expert can, after the hearing, order any tests needed to satisfy quarries by the Deciders.



  1. All veterans with complicated cases should consider having an expert witness fly to their hearings for a professional medical nexus explanation.
  2. I am available to fly to hearings depending on my schedule.

     Craig Bash M.D.  Associate Professor  cell 240-506-1556

Independent Veteran Medical Opinion (IMO)Veteran Medical Nexus Opinion (VMNO) based on Veterans medical records 




Craig N. Bash M.D., M.B.A.

Neuro-Radiologist and Associate Professor

Uniformed Services School of Medicine


4938 Hampden Lane
Bethesda, Md 20814

Cell/Text 240-506-1556
Fax 301-951-9106