Of the 12 million veterans between the ages of 21-64, 3.5 million of them report having a disability. Many of these veterans are eligible for disability benefits. However, they may not receive these benefits because they find applying for disability to be too complex and difficult.
Are you a veteran with disabilities? Then you should get what you’re owed. This article can help you get through one critical step of the process.
Have you not completed a Veterans’ Disability Benefits Questionnaire (VA DBQ) yet? If so, read on! This article will take you through that process.
What Is a VA DBQ?
A VA DBQ helps doctors accurately record the condition of a veteran with disabilities. By following the guide on the DBQ form, the doctor can gather information that makes disability approval more likely.
Not Required, But Helpful
This questionnaire is not required for a veteran’s disability claim. However, it is very helpful. It can reduce the time it takes the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to make a claims decision.
Overall, the VA DBQ can make evaluating a disabled veteran incredibly easy. VA workers can use the form to quickly evaluate the veteran’s condition. They can then determine a disability rating should they grant the veteran service.
Which Doctor Should You Choose?
You may have heard that only VA and VA-contracted doctors can fill out DBQs. That was true in the past, but it’s not true now. You can have your VA clinician or a private doctor handle your DBQ.
One With Proper Credentials
However, you should choose a doctor that you trust and who has the necessary credentials. Any doctor that you choose for your situation must at least have a medical license. Beyond that, what constitutes “proper credentials” can vary from situation to situation.
Proper Credentials Can Vary
For example, general practitioners cannot fill out mental health-related DBQs. They have to be some form of a licensed psychologist or be a licensed practitioner supervised by a licensed psychologist. You can check out the VA website for more details on this.
Where to Get a VA DBQ
You can find a VA DBQ on the VA website. There are 70 different versions of this form. Each of them matches a different disability condition.
Find the Right DBQ
To get the right DBQ form, you will need to find the DBQ that will best represent the condition you have.
Keep in mind that you can’t use a DBQ form for all disability situations. Some of these are excluded from the available DBQ types. However, this list is rather small, so it’s likely you won’t have to deal with it.
Steps to Complete a VA DBQ
Completing a VA DBQ only requires four steps. Still, you may find these difficult depending on your level of disability. If you want, you can get help when you’re applying for disability claims.
The four steps you need to complete are the following:
Print Out Your DBQ Form
You can have your physician fill out a digital copy should you wish. There are a lot of different programs that allow you to digitally write on top of a PDF. However, a physical copy will probably be more convenient for VA workers to use and may look more trustworthy.
Print out the full DBQ form on your home printer. If you don’t have one of these, stop by your local library. If that’s too far away, several different stores offer printing services.
You can also ask your doctor if he or she can print out the forms at his or her office. Some doctor’s offices have printing machines. This can be more convenient for your doctor as he or she can look over the DBQ before you arrive for your appointment.
Your Doctor Fills Out the Form
A healthcare provider will need to fill out the DBQ form. The form should have several sections for your doctor to record your condition’s diagnosis and symptoms, as well as any medication you’ve been using to treat the condition. The doctor should also describe how the condition affects your everyday life.
Make sure that the information on your DBQ is accurate and thorough. This type of information will give you the best chance of disability approval.
You can also explain the importance of the DBQ and what’s at stake for you to your doctor. This may spur them to be extra careful when they’re filling out your form.
Save a Copy
Remember that VA workers are only human. They may end up losing your form somehow. You can also lose the form while it’s traveling through the mail.
This is why it’s important to save a copy of your DBQ for your records. If it gets lost, you can send a copy of your copy to the VA. They can then have the information that they need for your disability claim.
Submit the DBQ
Once your doctor completes your DBQ, you need to send it to the VA. You can either fax it or mail it to them. You should send it to the VA Claims Intake Center rather than your local VA organization.
Here is the mailing address for the VA headquarters:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547-4444
If you want to fax your DBQ to the VA headquarters, you would usually use the fax number 844-531-7818. If you’re a foreign or utilized claimant, use the fax number 248-524-4260.
We Help Veterans With Disabilities
As you can see, filling out a VA DBQ is a relatively simple process. You just have to pay close attention to the small details, like choosing the right doctor or sending the form to the right place. If you successfully handle those details, you should be fine.
However, if you’re still struggling, consider hiring our services. We’re a team of VA coaches that can help you fill out your form right the first time. Book an initial call by filling out this form.