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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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DBQs No Longer Available Online


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VA has removed all the DBQs from their website with this statement at the end of the page:  "VBA has discontinued the use of public facing Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs).  Originally, public facing DBQs were designed to assist Veterans living overseas to obtain medical evidence in support of their benefit claims where limited options were available.  Today, VA works with contracted providers in more than 30 foreign countries to conduct disability medical examinations."

I monitor a Veteran's facebook page and often refer veterans to the DBQs for their conditions.  In some cases, it is to download and have their doctor fill out a copy; in others, it is so a veteran can fill out the DBQ and take it to their C&P exam to make sure all the facts essential to their claim are covered by the examiner.  I had my dermatologist do a DBQ for me after fighting the VA for almost 2 years for an increase because the VA examiners couldn't complete a simple form.  It was the key to getting an increase from 0 to 60% for a skin condition and winning a CUE to get 8 years in back pay.

This is an affront to the veteran community making it much more difficult for veterans to win their claims.  

I am wondering if the DBQs can be requested under FOIA and posted on some other pages such as here on Hadit.  I know it is more work for the admins, but if someone had the time to take this on and provide this vital information to veterans, it would be extremely helpful.

Also, if you could start a new thread just for DBQs, I have blank copies in PDF format that I would be glad to upload.  I figure even if they become a bit outdated, they would be better than have zero access to this information.

https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/dbq_disabilityexams.asp

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Nothing like changing the rules when you're losing!!! It just got a lot harder boys and girls. Sure doesn't help the VA 's ongoing struggle to improve their public image.

https://web.archive.org/web/20190807143131/https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/dbq_ListByDBQFormName.asp https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ak9H2qtr7QYJ:https://www.benefi

So it still looks like the forms are still online, but VA has just made it harder to find them.  Thanks for the great links provided here.  I saved some to a file and added to the Files in the FB page

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The reality is second and third party entities became defacto rubber stamps for veterans willing to pay.

On the surface it seemed to skirt the system, but something seems lacking.

Say you hurt your calf. Your primary physician takes the normal battery of tests (visual and x-ray) and diagnosis the injury as a sprain.

He views your medical files and concludes their might be causation between the military injury and the current ailment, but he cant conclude with certainty.

The veteran searching for an answer visits a orthopedic specialist. The specialist runs further test (MRI and nerve conduction).

The specialist reviews all medical records and concludes a tear in the calf with a cyst.

He concludes the tear is very likely from the military incident due to scar tissue present and subsequentially the tear caused the formation of a cyst.

Bottom line: the veteran searched for the 100% answer by visiting a specialist in the field, is this any different than a veteran whom seeks a 2nd or 3rd party opinion from another source.

 

I have always said, the totality of medical evidence wins cases. The records should show systematic testing, therapy, and documentation there is a causation of injuries, current diagnosis, symptomology/residuals, and foundational medical literature to support.

I would send all information relevant to my claim.

Remember the totality of medical evidence wins claims, not just a DBQ.

 

NEVER GIVE UP

 

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On 4/1/2020 at 3:59 PM, pete992 said:

IMHO, my thoughts are even if the veteran's claim is denied due to VA's discontinued the private DBQs, the veteran should win on appeal if the DBQs are properly filled out by a regular treating doctor.  The problem was, VA discontinued the private DBQs because VA believed that the doctors filling out and signing them was being paid for by the veteran but under the scope of being treated for a condition/disability should have a different outcome.  The doctor would be working in his or her profession and in their medical field and not for profit. We must understand that some not all DBQs were in questioned, So if the treating doctor is a local doctor that treats the veteran on a regular basis then the DBQs should be good.

As I posted this is MHO, it should be on a case by case bases. 

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Please keep in mind that DBQs captured a medical snapshot in time of the veteran's disability. Their fields were solely used determining rating percentages, not SC status. Even if a doctor fills out an older copy of a DBQ, it is still evidence. 

Simply having the statement "as least as likely as not" does not equal automatic SC. For quite some time, the VA has used a separate internal form for C&P examiners to state SC opinions. Non-VA doctors still would have been required to submit a separate medical nexus with sufficient medical rationale to justify SC. More informed doctors will continue to use the 38 CFR regulations to perform their exams.

Removing public DBQs detrimentally impacts effective dates.

Whether internal or external, the VARO must still review the evidence and the medical rationale before awarding SC. If the material they receive, from either private or C&P docs, is insufficient, they would request clarification or reexamination by a VA C&P doc.

I assume the majority of fraud would have been by non-qualified examiners taking advantage of the veteran to make a quick buck up front. Some doctors have made a living off of performing disability exams for both VA and social security. They have skin in the game and would be less likely to commit perjury and falsely fill out a document.

 

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MAJOR FYI:

I just got off the phone with my county VA rep and we talked about the DBQ removal. They said that in a phone call today, the VBA had listened to the multiple complaints and the sudden removal without any guidance on current DBQ holders. So here's what they have been advised:

DBQs will be accepted and effective up until June 1st

I asked if we were still able to have new ones filled out, and they said that the VBA did not say they would be disqualified prior to June 1st. However, they advised to have them filled ASAP so that it was near to the sudden removal. They also said that many local VA reps may have some of the DBQs saved.

TLDR: GET DBQs FILLED OUT AND FILED BEFORE JUNE 1ST!!

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Good post only wish it was in writing.  Hopefully VA will put out a letter. I just spoke to Peggy today 1 800 VA and they told me that a removed Fast Letter does not exist but I have a written copy in my hands that I printed up Monday and now it is hard to find online.

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