16 Jul Disability Benefits Questionnaires
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), through Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs), provides veterans with more control over their disability claims. By using DBQs, veterans can expedite the claims process, while using their own health care providers. Filling out and submitting a DBQ to the VA is a simple and straightforward process. Further, DBQs work very well with the VA’s Fully Developed Claim program.
How do DBQ’s Work?
DBQs are forms, roughly five pages in length, applicable to various conditions that health care providers fill out. There are over 70 different DBQs, which covers almost every condition for which a veteran may receive compensation. The VA has stated that there are no plans for adding any more DBQs.
Rather than having a health care provider write long, narrative summaries describing the veteran’s condition, DBQs use a checkbox system and standardized language. This makes the process simpler for both the provider and the VA when it comes time to reviewing claims. Some DBQs are specific to a single condition (like, arthritis), though most can be used for several related conditions (like, heart conditions).
DBQs are particularly helpful in use with the Fully Developed Claim (FDC) program because they provide medical information directly relevant in determining a veteran’s disability rating. The FDC program allows for faster reviews of decisions when the applicant provides all of the information required to review the claim. The information provided by the DBQs help VA ratings specialists ensure that they have the information needed to begin processing the claim.
The use of DBQs is part of an initiative program the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is implementing under what is known as the Transformation Plan. Some of the goals of this plan are to:
- Eliminate the backlog of claims;
- Increase access to VA services and benefits; and
- End veteran homelessness.
DBQs allow veterans to use their own health care providers, which is beneficial because of the existing relationship between the provider and veteran, as well as the familiarity the provider likely has with the veteran’s condition. However, if a veteran chooses to use his or her own provider, the veteran will be responsible for any fees the provider charges. Alternatively, the veteran may choose to use a VA facility to complete the disability evaluation form.
It is also important to note that certain DBQs cannot be used by private providers. This is because the VA has determined that these DBQs require specialized training, equipment, or testing that is not commonly available through the use of private providers or, if they are available, are prohibitively expensive for the veteran. View this list of DBQs that cannot be used by private providers before you begin processing a claim.
Help for Veterans
The VA provides benefits for veterans diagnosed with disabling conditions as a result of their service to the country. For more information about obtaining these benefits, you should speak with an experienced disability law attorney at the Klok Law Firm LLC. We proudly provide representation for veterans in helping them secure these important benefits.