Because they win VA Disability Claims!
I will be explaining in detail WHAT a DBQ is, WHY they are so important, and HOW you as the Veteran can get them to strengthen your VA Disability Claim.
- What Is A DBQ?
- Why are DBQ’s important?
- What do VA Claims Insider Doctors need to compose a winning DBQ effectively?
- About the Author
What Is A DBQ?
The definition from va.gov of a DBQ is “Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) are downloadable forms created for Veterans’ use in the evaluation process for disability benefits. DBQs will help speed the processing of Veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims.
DBQs allow Veterans and Servicemembers to have more control over the disability claims process. This is done through by giving them the option of visiting a primary care provider, at their expense, instead of completing an evaluation at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility. The streamlined forms use checkboxes and standardized language so that the disability rating can be made and quickly.”
This is a way for medical professionals to let the VA Rater know WHAT your condition is, HOW bad it is, HOW it affects your QUALITY OF LIFE, and WHAT percentage your symptoms fit in for a specific rating.
Why are DBQ’s important?
DBQ’s are known as a time saver. The compensation you get is totally dependent on how your disability affects your quality of life. Typically Veterans are under the assumption that a VA Rater will go through the medical records submitted and be able to see what the doctor(s) have put in their official medical file.
While this would be great, it is simply not true. I have to imagine a VA Rater sitting in their cubicle thumbing through a stack of medical records trying to find the proof to support the claim in front of them, how many claims are piled up next to them, and a timer on their desk monitoring their performance. They do not have the time, manpower, or incentive to do this. It is the Veterans responsibility to put a simplified report in front of them to quickly skim, stamp approved, and move onto the next claim. The solution to doing this – a DBQ!
What do VA Claims Insider Doctors need to compose a winning DBQ effectively?
When preparing for a review of your conditions, keep in mind what I mentioned earlier. What is your condition, how bad is your condition, and how and to what extent is it affecting your quality of life? Using these questions, we can clearly show the VA Rater what your rating should be. Keep mind, it is relatively simple to figure out what you need to provide the medical professionals with for their review.
Here is a list of what to gather and upload to your HIPAA compliant Google Drive folder, with the “Why’s”:
A clear diagnosis
This tells the VA Rater what you have. Any past and important present medical records to prove “what you are applying for
Medical records that show a history of progression
These will show the VA how the condition has progressively gotten worse over time. Why? Being specific with the frequency of the symptoms reveals how the condition is affecting your quality of life.
Personal Statement In Support of Claim
This form is important for your claim and your DBQ. However, it is only useful when completed correctly.
Including this document will give the doctor and the VA Rater an inside view of your life. Remember, you are the only person who can tell your story and fight this battle for your health. Don’t leave it to someone else’s interpretation.
Give someone else in your life the chance to tell the VA Rater what it is like from their perspective. What does your life look like? What have they witnessed? What are some of your struggles? How is this affecting your daily life? You can read more about buddy letters here, and you can use our buddy letter template which is available here.
This letter can be completed by a battle buddy, your spouse, a child over 18, employer, friend, or anyone who has seen what you’re dealing with and can write on your behalf.
This is the document which will show the doctors and the VA Rater what your duties included and where you were stationed. This is more linked to the Nexus Letter you will need; however, it helps with a DBQ to show the validity of the condition.
A screenshot or photo of your Ebenefits Summary Page
Your summary page can be found on your Ebenefits dashboard under the disabilities tab. Having this will assist your doctor in what your current rating is and why you may have been previously denied. The doctor wants to ensure they cover all of their bases with the information provided.
In-service medical records
These documents prove to the doctor and the VA rater when the condition started, how it happened, the length of time this has been affecting your life, and that it did happen due to your service.
An important aspect to note: The VA does not set limits on the time frame of records to prove the severity of your conditions.
There are over 70 DBQ Forms the VA website offers to assist with proving claimable conditions.
For even more information on DBQ’s, check out this video.
With both memberships we offer, we give you access to licensed professionals, a service that is not easily found nor easily afforded. Unfortunately, the VA doctors typically will not compose DBQ’s to assist with getting your compensation. There are processes set in place to apply for compensation, but these doctors will not fill out the DBQ’s themselves. Because of this continued frustration is why we are proud to be able to provide this service affordably.
Keep that in mind moving forward with any conditions you wish to claim, look at the processes the VA imposes, and follow their directions to a “T.” It is clearly stated that DBQs win claims. This means get your DBQ’s!
When you’re ready to get started with the med team and the tools for success, this is the fastest way to get started!
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About the Author
About VA Claims Insider
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.