DBQ or Disability Benefits Questionnaires are used to evaluate a service-connected disability for Veterans and we at VACI recognize the importance of a DBQ. While it does not take the place of a C&P exam, it is an essential piece of evidence for your claim.
The process was developed to solidify what you already told your C&P examiner and speed up the time until you receive your claim decision.
What is a DBQ
A form that describes your symptoms. The VA has created the DBQ to streamline and gain more control over the process for Veterans. The DBQ form consists of boxes to quickly check for an accurate evaluation.
A doctor fills this out to show the level of impairment you are currently facing
Can be done by your personal doctor who has been evaluating your changing symptoms throughout the year. There are also doctors you can call to fill out a DBQ for you.
For example, for our VA Claims Insider members, we encourage our team to have a DBQ done with one of the doctors we currently have on our team.
Why you need a DBQ
The main advantage of a DBQ is to prove to your VA examiner how this disability has changed your life. The C&P’s purpose is to determine your service connection.
There are cases where the C&P examiner is not able to adequately see the impairment your disability has on your life. Through the DBQ, another outside source can be on your side and vouch for you. We have had Veterans go from a rating of 0% to 100% because they included the DBQ,
“DBQs are a game-changer for our veterans. It’s a way to level the playing field with the VA raters, standardize the diagnosis/rating criteria, and have your claim decided faster and more accurately.” – Brian Reese
The DBQ is especially essential when you are filling for a service increase. This document is another crucial piece of evidence to stack the odds in your favor.
Additionally, a doctor is likely to quickly submit the completed DBQ which will help with the speed of your claim.
During your exam
First of all, do not over or under exaggerate your pain.
One of the most significant problems we see is that Veterans are underexaggerating their pain. They will go to their doctor who they have seen for years, and who knows their symptoms but the Veteran simplifies his or her symptoms. In this situation, the doctor has to publish what the Veteran describes to them, even if they may know their circumstance is different. Simply tell the truth. Explain to your examiner how this has changed your life.
Find out if your doctor wants you to bring in a paper copy of the DBQ or if they will fill out the exam electronically. If it is done on paper, then the handwriting needs to be legible. If the DBQ is filled out electronically, ensure that the exam is printed out and then printed.
After the exam is completed, get a copy for yourself and decide if you want the examiner to submit the claim for you. The Department of Veteran Affairs is where these claims will be filed.
Filing your DBQ could be the difference you need to get to that 100% rating.
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About the Author
VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.