Saturday, March 31, 2012

VA Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) streamline veteran claims

by The Major

Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) are medical examination forms used to capture essential information for evaluating disability compensation and/or pension claims. You can download these from the Va website:

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today the release of 68 new forms that will help speed the processing of Veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims.

“VA employees will be able to more quickly process disability claims, since disability benefits questionnaires capture important medical information needed to accurately evaluate Veterans’ claims,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Disability benefits questionnaires are just one of many changes VA is implementing to address the backlog of claims.”

The new forms bring to 71 the number of documents, called disability benefits questionnaires (DBQs), that guide physicians’ reports of medical findings, ensuring VA has exactly the medical information needed to make a prompt decision. 

When needed to decide a disability claim for compensation or pension benefits, VA provides Veterans with free medical examinations for the purpose of gathering the necessary medical evidence.  

Veterans who choose to have their private physicians complete the medical examination can now give their physicians the same form a VA provider would use.  It is very important that physicians provide complete responses to all questions on the DBQs.  VA cannot pay for a private physician to complete DBQs or for any costs associated with examination or testing.  

“By ensuring relevant medical information can be found on one form, we will cut processing time while improving quality,” added Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.

DBQ’s can be found at  The newly released DBQs follow the initial release of three DBQs for Agent Orange-related conditions

Veterans may file a claim online through the eBenefits web portal at  The Department of Defense and VA jointly developed the eBenefits portal as a single secure point of access for online benefit information and tools to perform multiple self-service functions such as checking the status of their claim.

Servicemembers may enroll in eBenefits using their Common Access Card at any time during their military service, or before they leave during their Transition Assistance Program briefings. 

Veterans may also enroll in eBenefits and obtain a Premium account in-person or online depending on their status.

Rightradia had a small part to pay in the development of the DBQ. We sent an email to more than 2 years ago suggesting it provide vets with a checklist of the medical evidence a vet needs to start a claim. 

The first DBQs were used for the Agent Orange presumptive conditions like ischemic heart disease. 

We also pointed out that the VA C&P exams were redundant for people who have medical insurance and the C&P exams should only be primarily used for the indignant as the C&P physicals were originally designed. 

The Major has a serious endocrine condition and asked his primary care doctor to complete the Endocrine Diseases DBQ. Note that this DBQ does not cover thyroid/parathyroid or Diabetes Mellitus. 

Next week The Major has a medical appointment with his endocrinologist and he will get the Thyroid/Parathyroid DBQ signed. 

Be aware that Pituitary shortfalls related to lutenizing hormone and follicle simulating hormone can cause anosmia: the loss of smell. See

Of interest, there is a DBQ for the loss of smell an taste. 

In addition, Hypothyroidism can also cause gall bladder disease leading to a Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal). There is a DBQ for gall bladder conditions as well. 

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