Why Are DBQ’s Important?

Terrell Murrell here, when I got out of the Navy six and a half years ago, I had never heard of the term “DBQ.” I sat around for about four years hoping that my VA claim would just be done out of thin air. Once I finally found the courage to fire off a claim, I did so without any guidance. While going through my claim on Ebenefits, I added items I thought I should be rated for. Once I got near the end of the claim building process, I saw all of these documents I should download for the conditions called “DBQ’s.”


What are DBQ’s? You might ask. Well, DBQ stands for Disability Benefits Questionnaire. The DBQ is a questionnaire that asks you specific questions about a ratable condition that you are seeking compensation for. They were created to streamline the process of your claim. It offers the most relevant information about your conditions that can be provided.  These are filled out by your health care provider, or they are filled out during your C&P exam.


Examples of questions that are asked on the questionnaire are:


  • Diagnosis of the condition
  • The past and current medication being taken for the condition
  • Findings, Signs, and Symptoms
  • Functional Impact of the condition


Now, the truth of the matter is you don’t need to prepare a DBQ for all the conditions that you are filing for because the C&P examiner will fill out one during that time. If you have medical documentation from your in-service records and you are currently being seen for the condition, then you warrant on at the C&P.

On the other side if you are having trouble with a particular condition and you have only buddy letters and current diagnosis, then you may want to ask your Primary Care doctor to fill out one or seek the help of VA Claims Insiders Medical Team to complete a DBQ for you. DBQs are also EXTREMELY helpful for Fully Developed Claims (FDC).


In my experience, I have used the VCI Medical Team for two of my five conditions because my cases warranted them (PTSD and Migraines). The other 3 I had good notes from my in-service treatment records that I am currently being treated. Don’t be SHOCKED that your health care WILL NOT fill out your DBQ. The reality is that some of them have never heard of it and they may have a hard time understanding why you may need it. It is one of the biggest hurdles for us Veterans to get over. The reality is some people who are supposed to help us fail to realize its importance to your claim. You may get lucky to live in a Vet-friendly, area but if you don’t, a DBQ may be a foreign and scary document for a provider.


The DBQ functions as the “road map” to your condition. It can make or break your claim because if it is not filled out correctly then the VA Rater could say that you’re not entitled to compensation. It is always best that you seek the assistance of a VCE (Veteran Claims Expert) for the best options.


Overall, DBQ’s are extremely important to your claim and a valuable asset to prove your service connection or NEXUS. Do not submit a claim without including DBQs for necessary conditions. Don’t know which conditions need a supporting DBQ? Send us a message

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