VA Compensation for PTSD

Dr. Worthen is not accepting new referrals as of 17 October 2016.
This notice will be removed when he is able to accept new referrals for evaluation or consultation. Thanks!

VA Compensation for PTSD

Independent Psychological Evaluations, IME, Medical Opinions (“Nexus Letters”), Attorney Consultation, C&P Exam Report Critiques

Hello, my name is Dr. Mark Worthen, a clinical-forensic psychologist specializing in VA compensation for PTSD, as well as VA disability benefit claims for other service-related mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, which often develop secondary to a service-connected medical condition such as chronic pain or Parkinson’s disease.

Front cover of the academic journal, Psychological Injury and Law

Front cover of the academic journal, Psychological Injury and Law

I worked as a full-time Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation and pension (C&P) examiner for over five years, but I am now (happily) in private practice. I was the lead author of the first article ever published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal (Psychological Injury and Law) describing how to conduct compensation and pension examinations for PTSD and other mental disorders.

You are welcome to read a brief summary of my professional experience, or review my curriculum vitae (CV).

I am a licensed by the North Carolina Psychology Board as a Healthcare Service Provider Psychologist (HSP-P), license #1835 (verify).

I offer the following psychological services for veterans, and those seeking to help vets, such as veterans law attorneys, claims agents, family members, and veterans service officers. I offer both paid and free assistance.


Paid Services

Initial Consultation

An initial discussion, via encrypted email, telephone, or secure video conference, with the veteran, family member, and/or veterans service officer regarding an original disability benefits claim, a request for reconsideration, or an appeal of a previously denied disability compensation claim. 

I review relevant background information, such as mental health and medical treatment records; C&P exam reports; or VBA Rating Decisions, and offer feedback, from a psychological perspective, regarding the strength of existing evidence, and provide advice regarding:

  • if additional records, statements, or other potential pieces of evidence might bolster the claim’s chance of success;
  • whether or not an IPE (Independent Psychological Evaluation), also known as an IME, might prove helpful;
  • whether or not a C&P Exam Report Critique might prove persuasive, particularly for reconsideration requests.

Click here for detailed information about an Initial Consultation.

Click here for the payment page for an Initial Consultation.

Independent Psychological Evaluations (IPE)

Most commonly referred to as an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME), an IPE is a comprehensive psychological evaluation of the veteran, including interview(s) with family members or friends if requested, followed promptly by a cogent report and an independent medical opinion2 designed to support a veteran’s claim for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits.

C&P Exam Report Critiques

If you have received a compensation and pension examination (C&P exam) from a VA psychologist or psychiatrist, or from a contracted IME company examiner, and you believe the exam report conveys inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete information, a C&P Exam Report Critique can provide persuasive evidence to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) that a reconsideration of your claim is in order.

Such critiques can also provide evidence to support an appeal to a VBA Decision Review Officer (DRO), or to the Board of Veterans Appeals.

Consultation to Veterans Law Attorneys

I provide information and recommendations to lawyers representing veterans suffering from service-related PTSD or other mental disorders who are appealing their claim to the Board of Veterans Appeals, or to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Note: If you require an independent evaluation or consultation for a non-psychiatric medical claim, Craig N Bash MD has a sterling reputation among veterans and their representatives. See Dr. Bash’s Requesting a Consult and New Patient Information pages for important info.

Free Services Blog

I publish a blog on this website with advice for veterans who have an upcoming compensation examination for PTSD or other mental disorders, including military sexual trauma (MST). I also publish blog posts about:

  • New research on posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and other drug dependence, and related problems.
  • Proposed or recently enacted VA regulations affecting veterans disability claims.
  • Developments in case law, i.e., decisions by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims or the Federal Circuit related to veterans affairs claims for disability benefits.
  • Suggestions for Veterans Service Officers helping vets with disability compensation claims for PTSD and other mental disorders.

I always respond to comments (replies) to my blog posts, including answering questions posed by veterans, professionals, service officers, and family members.

Pro Bono Services

I can provide a limited amount of pro bono3 clinical-forensic psychological services for Veterans Law Clinics, i.e., Veterans Legal Clinics or Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinics housed in a law school; or for established pro bono legal assistance programs such as the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, and the National Veterans Legal Services Program.


For further information, please contact me via email or phone, and I will be happy to answer questions about my services, including fees, logistics, records required, etc.

1. Worthen, M. D. & Moering, R. G. (2011). A practical guide to conducting VA compensation and pension exams for PTSD and other mental disordersPsychological Injury and Law, 4(3-4), 187-216. doi:10.1007/s12207-011- 9115-2

2. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) refers to expert witness opinions as ‘medical opinions’, whether or not the expert is a physician, i.e., the professional could be a psychologist, audiologist, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. To be clear, I am not a physician. I have a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree in clinical psychology. Some VA-employed and VA-contracted C&P examiners who evaluate veterans for PTSD and other mental disorders are psychiatrists, who are physicians, but the vast majority are psychologists with either a PsyD or PhD degree.

3.  Latin prō bonō (publicō), for the (public) good : prō, for + bonō, ablative of bonum, the good. [Citation: “pro bono.” American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. ]

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