A Disability Benefits Questionnaire or DBQ is a form the VA uses as part of their evaluation process for VA disability benefits. Using this form allows veterans to visit a primary care provider for their medical evaluation as an alternative to a Compensation and Pension Exam at a VA clinic or facility. Sometimes, if the veteran submits this information early in the claims process they can completely avoid a C& P examination. Because the form uses standardized language and check boxes to help provide critical information, an accurate disability rating can be made quicker and more easily.  

The VA says the DBQ speeds up the disability claims process.  While there is no statistical evidence to back up this up, we have had vets tell us that they have been satisfied with the processing time when they have used the DBQ.

Here are four things to keep in mind concerning the DBQ:  

First, if you choose to see your own doctor for a medical evaluation instead of a reporting for a C&P exam, you are responsible for all related charges, co-pays, and travel costs. Your doctor also may charge extra for their time in filling out this form.
Second, there are more than 70 DBQs which cover many medical conditions, but there is not a DBQ for every condition.
Third, DBQs for some conditions are not available to your private doctor or healthcare provider including DBQs for the initial exam for PTSD, hearing loss, the residual effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury and several others.
And fourth, if the VA believes your DBQ is incomplete they will try to collect all the necessary information and they may schedule you for C&P exam.

Like most situations involving the VA, there are numerous exceptions affecting BDQs and they can get complicated.  If you are a vet and you’re unsure about how to handle this form, contact our office for free advice about your situation.  At Cuddigan Law we have accredited VA lawyers and we’re here to fight for your rights.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska