Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ)

Understandably, it is difficult for veterans to trust the sincerity of the VA benefits program for some veterans. Especially veterans that have been fighting their claims for years and end up in the same place: denied; no new and material evidence. It’s actually Congress’ intent to help you by making it easier for you to prove your claim. Every time your claim is denied because it is not timely appealed, you will always be denied again if there is no new and material evidence. New and material evidence may mean a medical opinion. Most physicians don’t know how to write medical opinions for veterans; at the same time, most veterans don’t know how to write their own opinions. Therefore, in order to assist with that problem the VA has developed DBQ’s to cover almost every disability. If your physician fills out the DBQ in a manner to prove that your disability occurred, was caused or aggravated by the military or is secondary to a service connected disability, then a DBQ completed and signed by your treating physician is a helpful tool. It’s also a helpful tool for disabilities that are alleged to have been aggravated beyond the normal progression of the medical condition while in the military, and for injuries which occur during medical treatment and/or rehabilitation at the VA.

What you must know as a veteran is that you need to give your treating physician some credibility. Therefore, he would need to review relevant portions of your military personnel and treatment records, civilian medical treatment records, unit records, buddy statements and/or civilian continuity statements; anything that is relevant to you. You may have problems with your physician completing the DBQ’s. Even more disappointing, your VA physicians may not be willing to complete the DBQ’s at all. Nevertheless, you as a veteran need to know what needs to be done in your behalf. Many times if you can’t find a physician to help you, attorneys and/or non-attorneys may be able to line up a physician to review your file for an opinion. There is a cost in obtaining medical records and opinions while you are receiving help from a representative. Therefore, you might want to look at what you’re capable of doing yourself.

You will find the DBQ’s at the va.gov website: www.va.gov; click on ***. You can download or find a friend or loved one to download it and print it for you in your behalf. DBQ’s are especially helpful for those who have problems with obtaining medical opinions. Give the VA credit; they are trying to find ways to assist you with your claims. The VA realizes what you’ve went through in behalf of your country.

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