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Veterans Law

Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs): Evidence for your VA Disability Claim

June 24, 2020
doctor standing looking at clipboard

What are DBQs?

As part of VA’s Duty to Assist claimants in developing information helpful for their disability cases, VA often conducts examinations called Compensation and Pension Examinations, also known as C&P Exams. To create a more uniform process, VA developed Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs). DBQs are standardized forms used by VA clinicians and contractors to provide specific information about a veteran’s disability obtained during these C&P Exams. These forms were drafted in a manner to answer questions about important aspects of disability to include symptoms, severity, possible causes, and relation to other disabilities, and to capture information required under the VA Schedule of Disability Ratings found within the Code of Federal Regulations. The responses on these DBQs help VA Regional Benefits Offices when adjudicating veterans’ claims.

Public Access to DBQs

Since 2010, VA has provided these DBQs directly on their website. Direct access to these DBQs allowed veterans to request that their own providers, who were often specialized in a particular relevant area of medicine and familiar with the veterans’ medical history and conditions, complete these forms. This allowed veterans to submit DBQs in support of their application for benefits, or even with their application for benefits so that they could file a fully developed claim. Submitting these completed DBQs served to eliminate months, and often years, of waiting for an exam from the process for a number of veterans. It was also particularly useful for veterans living in rural areas or overseas who may have experienced longer wait times for exams or greater difficulty traveling the distance required to attend one of VA’s exams.

VA Removes Access to DBQs From Website

Without prior notice and amidst COVID-19 related closures at VA facilities, on April 2, 2020 VA removed DBQ forms from its website. VA has indicated they will no longer provide these DBQs to the public, as VA believes it has sufficiently expanded its own capacity to conduct these examinations. However, VA’s policy regarding accepting these forms directly from veterans’ providers has not changed. Therefore, we have obtained via public internet archives and FOIA requests, a number of DBQs used by the VA, but no longer provided to the public.

DBQ Forms

We make no claims as to how helpful these may be in the outcome of a veteran’s case nor are we providing advice; we are simply providing access to this resource to allow veterans the greatest choice and control over the VA claims process.

*Please note, these forms are only valid through June 30, 2020.