VA Releases New Medical Forms To Support Faster Claims Processing

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the release of 68 new forms that the agency anticipates will help speed the processing of veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims. These forms can be completed by private physicians, eliminating the need for a VA clinic examination in certain circumstances.

“VA employees will be able to more quickly process disability claims, since disability benefits questionnaires capture important medical information needed to accurately evaluate Veterans’ claims,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Disability benefits questionnaires are just one of many changes VA is implementing to address the backlog of claims.”

The new medical forms, called disability benefits questionnaires (DBQs), are meant to guide physicians’ reports of medical findings, ensuring VA has exactly the medical information needed to make a prompt decision. DBQs are downloadable from the VA website. DBQs give veterans and active duty service members the option of visiting a primary care provider in their community instead of completing an evaluation at a VA facility. The streamlined forms use check boxes and standardized language so that the disability rating can be made accurately and quickly. Unfortunately, veterans are responsible for any related co-pay or costs, including costs for travel or testing.

More than 70 DBQs cover a full range of medical conditions. While some DBQs are specific to a single condition (for example: hypertension, arthritis, and prostate cancer), most forms can be used for several related conditions (for example: heart conditions, kidney conditions, endocrine conditions). An extensive list of conditions covered by the DBQs are on the VA website at: http://benefits.va.gov/disabilityexams.

DBQs can be viewed on the VA website at: http://benefits.va.gov/disabilityexams.

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