If you are a disabled veteran and are submitting a claim, you will want to know about the VA DBQ (Disability Benefits Questionnaire)
Here is a little bit of advice and assistance to help you perfect your claim.
If you need additional help, please reach out to us at the contact form in this article.
What a VA DBQ is
A VA DBQ is a Veterans Disability Benefits Questionnaire. They are not required in your initial claim or appeal but can be very helpful.
A DBQ documents your medical conditions. It’s an opportunity to provide the VA with information on your claims that meets their needs for adjudication and is convenient for you and your health care provider to complete. As a bonus, using a DBQ is supposed to help reduce the time it takes the VA to make a claims decision.
You can fill out a DBQ with your private doctor or health care provider.
Where to Find a VA DBQ
You can find 70 different VA DBQs on the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs website. You will want to find the VA DBQ that matches your condition. You can either search by DBQ List by Form Name or DBQ List by Symptoms.
Not all conditions have a DBQ available. For example, you will not be able to use a DBQ for the following:
- Initial Examination for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
- Residuals of Traumatic Brain Injury
- Cold Injury Residuals
- Prisoner of War Examination Protocol
- Gulf War Medical Examination
- General Medical Examination for Compensation Purposes
- General Medical Examination for Pension Purposes
Who Needs to Fill Out a VA DBQ
You can either have a VA clinician fill out your DBQ if you are using a VA doctor – or, if you are being seen by a private provider, then you will have them fill out the DQB and either fax it to your regional office or send it in the mail to the VA.
Either provider must have an active medical license and must sign and attest to a medical condition on your completed DBQ. Your provider can print out the appropriate DBQ and fill it out, or they can fill out the PDF on the computer and then print it out.
Mental health DBQs cannot be filled out by a general provider.
According to the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs website:
To conduct an initial examination for mental disorders, the examiner must meet one of the following criteria:
- a board-certified or board-eligible psychiatrist;
- a licensed doctorate-level psychologist;
- a doctorate-level mental health provider under the close supervision of a board-certified or board-eligible psychiatrist or licensed doctorate-level psychologist;
- a psychiatry resident under the close supervision of a board-certified or board-eligible psychiatrist or licensed doctorate-level psychologist; or
- a clinical or counseling psychologist completing a one-year internship or residency (for purposes of a doctorate-level degree) under the close supervision of a board-certified or board-eligible psychiatrist or licensed doctorate-level psychologist.
To conduct a review examination for mental disorders, the examiner must meet one of the following criteria:
- any criteria from above; or
- be a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a nurse practitioner, a clinical nurse specialist, or a physician assistant, under the close supervision of a board-certified or board-eligible psychiatrist or licensed doctorate-level psychologist
VA DBQ Process
The DBQ process has four steps:
- Access the appropriate form online.
- Have your healthcare provider (VA or private) complete and sign the form.
- Save a copy for your records.
- Submit the DBQ to the VA either by fax or mail.
For more information on DBQs, you can see the VA’s DBQ frequently asked questions, call 1-800-827-1000, or Ask a question on the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs website.
You can also talk to a VA advocate by contacting us below.