Disability Benefit Questionnaire

The Secret Sauce to Your VA Disability Claim: The Disability Benefit Questionnaire

In this blog we’re going to be discussing the “secret sauce” to a successful VA compensation or pension claim. That secret sauce includes utilizing the Disability Benefit Questionnaire provided by the VA. Below we’ll explain the Disability Benefit Questionnaire and why you should use it.

What is a Disability Benefit Questionnaire?

This is a downloadable form that the VA has created to use in the disability evaluation process. Completion of this form can drastically improve the time in which your claim is processed. They’re easy to find online just by searching “DBQ online VA.” You’ll find a long list of them specific to particular disabilities or conditions.

The Disability Benefit Questionnaire is meant to streamline the application process, but it is not intended to replace your medical records. It provides a road map for your medical provider and the VA reviewer to determine where your disability lies in relation to the disability rating schedule. When obtaining a Disability Benefit Questionnaire, don’t forget about secondary conditions to your primary condition.

There are over 70 DBQs available that cover a wide range of physical and psychological disabilities. I’ve heard some say that DBQs eliminate the need for the actual disability rating examination, but I tend to disagree. I’m a belts and suspenders type of guy. I prefer to give the VA everything they need, which includes the road map provided by the Disability Benefit Questionnaire. It’s not a substitute for your medical evidence, but it is a very important document to include in your application.

Completing Your Disability Benefit Questionnaire

Any healthcare professional with an active medical license can easily describe your symptoms on the Disability Benefit Questionnaire. Be sure to use the doctor that has treated your disability in the past. This helps to ensure that important medical history information is included in your claim.

I know doctors are busy and they don’t have much time to complete these forms for you. But I promise it’s worth the effort. Meet with your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physicians assistant and make sure that everything on that form is documented. While some DBQs are specific to a single medical condition, others are more general.

For example, you can find a Disability Benefit Questionnaire for high blood pressure or hypertension. That’s pretty specific. But you’ll also find a Disability Benefit Questionnaire for a “knee or lower leg” disability. That DBQ could include many conditions such as knee pain, arthritis, instability, gout, tendonitis, inflammation, etc. This is why it’s so important to find the right Disability Benefit Questionnaire for your condition.

The VA only accepts DBQs completed by a licensed medical professional. It can be completed by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physicians assistant. We strongly suggest submitting documentation regarding the speciality of your medical provider and any advanced training they have in that area. That will help to alleviate any kind of questions the VA may have.

I would also strongly caution to make sure the medical professional completing the DBQ has expertise in that area. You don’t want a podiatrist completing a Disability Benefit Questionnaire for a heart condition. This is especially important with PTSD. When completing a DBQ for PTSD, make sure it is completed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist that has the specialized training needed to diagnose PTSD. We also recommend getting a copy of their resume and attaching it with the DBQ in your application.

You can complete the DBQ online or print the form and have it be handwritten. We usually print the Disability Benefit Questionnaire for our clients so they can give it to their doctor. Just make sure that the writing on the form is legible. Stress the importance of legible writing to your medical professional so that the DBQ is easy to read.

Submitting Your Disability Benefit Questionnaire

Now that you’ve completed your DBQ or multiple DBQS, what do you do with them? We recommend that you submit all your DBQs at once as a part of your fully developed claim. This is the secret sauce! To receive the fastest claim processing time possible, submit your DBQs as a part of the fully developed claim.

What is a fully developed claim? This is all the documentation needed for your benefits application. It includes your proof of service, medical records, DBQs, stressor statements, military records — any evidence you can gather to strengthen your case. Submit all this at once to the VA. This is the best way for you, your spouse, or dependents to get the fastest decision possible on your VA claim.

Also, don’t forget your secondary conditions on your DBQs and your medical records. Having a fully developed claim won’t eliminate the need for the VA medical exam, but it will help the VA examiner more clearly identify the condition and assign your disability rating.

Contact Us So We Can Help!

If you need assistance with qualifying for VA disability benefits or assistance with your Disability Benefit Questionnaire, you can complete this form or give us a call at (229) 226-8183. If you’d like to see this blog in video format, you can watch it below. Please be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel and click the bell notification button so that you’re notified each time we publish a new video.