New Disability Benefit Questionnaires Hope to Improve Care

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.

13 thoughts on “New Disability Benefit Questionnaires Hope to Improve Care”

  1. Michael Martin

    I spent three weeks in the VA mental health hospital over the last few months for anxiety and depression. Is it possible for me to add this on to my disability even though I’ve already been compensated 20% for psychical injures?

  2. Thanks so much for this information! Checking right into this and yes, hopefully this will help many of us! Love all your posts and thank you for all the help you send our way! It’s so hard to weave your way through all the websites and roadblocks government wise to find the things we need for help etc…so again, thank you, this is a great site for us!

  3. I got my Re-Evaluation decision letter in the mail today, they increased me to 50%, but then another letter came saying they are going to decrease me to 30%. I am very confused, can anyone explain why they would do that?

    1. The information provided by someone involved in the assessment process did not indicate enough symptoms for the 50%. More likely who did the evaluation is one of the recent hires with less than 10 months working in the VA. The American Legion has been fighting this trend, the VA hires new people and expects them to properly rate and evaluate the claims after 6-8 weeks of training. It doesn’t work. File a De Novo claim ASAP, you can find Legion Service Officers at any VA facility or Post. They know what needs to be done.

    2. U need a vetrans advacacy lawyer, There the ones that help the most, im dav 100% its not easy but ive not seen decreases, but im on gi bill pre 9/11 i was granted back to 77

  4. You would still be better off getting with a Disabled American Veteran Service Officer to file your claim for you. Trust me, it works so much better and easier.

  5. if your looking for more info on benefits look up the CFR title-38. these are our federal benefits. there are more than you can comprehend. it helps to have a good advocate
    on your side. this is there law book.

  6. Josh: If the 50% award precedes the reduction to 30%, then they can’t just arbitrarily reduce you. File an appeal through one of the Service Organizations or a competent VSO. That should block the reduction.

  7. Josh, See a DAV representative about your rating decisions. They can explain this process to you. DO NOT FILE AN APPEAL! Just because you file an appeal doesn’t mean that VA will stop the reduction. This is the last thing you would want to do!
    Are you rated 50% and only being paid at the 30%, that could be possible. I have been a service officer over 6 years, and I have seen this many times. Please consult with a VSO before proceeding!

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