The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the release of 68 new forms in an effort to help speed the processing of Veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims. These new forms bring the total of disability benefits questionnaires (DBQ) to 71, a number that sounds more daunting than helpful.
The new forms hope to streamline the process for the VA by allowing veterans to share the exact medical information needed to make a prompt decision. The VA will also provide free medical examinations for the purpose of gathering the necessary medical evidence, just one more effort made in order to provide proper care to individuals and their specific claims.
Veterans may also choose to have their private physicians complete the medical examination, while using the same form a VA provider would use, but the VA is unable to pay for a private physician to complete DBQs or for any costs associated with examination or testing.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki has high hopes for this change. He recently stated that, “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. Disability benefits questionnaires are just one of many changes VA is implementing to address the backlog of claims.”
DBQ’s can be found at http://benefits.va.gov/disabilityexams.
Photo thanks to Truthout.org.