Understanding the VA Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ)
A Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) is a VA form that gives veterans a way to submit medical evidence from their physician to support their disability benefits claims. The DBQ speeds up the processing of disability claims for compensation connected to service. DBQs give veterans control over the disability claims process and guides physicians through all the information needed to provide a correct disability rating to a veteran’s condition.
The VA has a Duty to Assist veterans in gathering all of the information that is helpful for their disability cases. The process includes conducting Compensation and Pension Examinations (C& P Exams), and DBQs help to streamline this process.
How Disability Benefits Questionnaires Work
DBQs are downloadable forms for veterans to use in the VA disability benefits evaluation process. The forms were created to answer questions about the disability, including severity, causes, symptoms, and relation to other conditions or disabilities. They also collect the information required by the VA’s Schedule of Disability Ratings (found in the Code of Federal Regulations).
Because a disability rating determines the amount of compensation and benefits you receive from the VA, you want your rating to be as high as possible and accurately reflect the extent of your disabilities. DBQs help to do just that.
Types of DBQs
There are more than 70 different DBQs available, and each one is adapted to a specific condition or body part. The public DBQ forms for each specific condition can be found here.
There might not be an exact matching DBQ for your specific condition. In that case, the VA uses the form that is the most general and comprehensive DBQ for that category.
How to Use a DBQ
In order to have a private physician or healthcare provider complete a DBQ for you, you will need to follow these steps:
- Download the form you need from the VA’s website.
- Have your doctor/healthcare provider completely fill out the DBQ.
- Review the DBQ to ensure the findings are reported accurately.
- Keep a copy of the DBQ for your records.
- Submit the form to the VA.
While in some cases, the DBQ and supporting medical evidence could provide the VA with enough information to decide on a disability rating without a C&P Exam, most claims will require this examination in order for you to receive the highest rating possible.
What to Do if Your Claim is Denied
For all denied claims, the VA will note the reason on the Rating Decision. Most often, claims are rejected for lack of medical evidence. If this is the case, you can file an appeal and offer further evidence to support your disability claim.
Although it is discouraging to receive a low rating or claim denial, you shouldn’t give up. It is possible to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us for help.