Lawyer Bob and his stalwart crew up in large mosquito land have sent me some interesting news. As often as I inveigh against using the DBQs (disability benefits questionnaires), I have now been told there is a silver lining to the beast. No, don’t get your hopes up. Undersecretary for Benefits Allison (in Wonderland) Hickey has not yet added a porthole for your nexus from your doctor. What has transpired recently is that with the switch to electronic records, you can speed up your adjudication exponentially in VA time. Here’s how…
Here’s the skinny. File your claim on line using the new portal on Ebenefits called VONAPP. Separately file the nexus letter from your doctor or health professional in the same manner. Make sure it is typed rather than hand-written in order that the .PDF word-searchable programs can recognize it. What then transpires is an electronic decision generated by the computer (VBMS). The nexus letter will be perused by a Rating Service Veterans Representative (RVSR) to ascertain it meets the three requirements of current disease, disease in service (or risk factor) and medical assertion of connection between the two. He/she then uploads confirmation into the VBMS that this has been accomplished.
From there the nexus box gets checked off and the claim enters the maw of the computer. The computer can pull out the salient facts on the DBQ and grant your claim much faster with no human interaction (i.e. no VA Examiner). Knowing the VA, this will still result in an inordinately high number of denials but this is a vast improvement over what we’ve been dealing with. Besides, computers don’t get tired and grumpy and spill coffee on their keyboards. They are impartial within the parameters preset by VA. This is a vast improvement over idiots arbitrarily denying you based on nothing more than a whim and the glowing approval of their bonus-awarding superiors.
Look above at the top in the black area for VA Forms or if you’re lazy like me click this. It will give you all the downloadable DBQs needed for your claims. You can also give this link to your provider (be specific for the DBQ http://) so he can type it up on the form electronically and then print a copy for both of you. This will help tremendously. Remember, if the doctor hand writes the DBQ, the whole thing slows back down to a crawl. VA’s VBMS cannot decipher handwriting-especially doctor’s handwriting. Hell, neither can I for that matter.