Many different acronyms are used during the VA benefits claim process. This can make an already complicated process seem even more confusing. Below is a list of some of the common acronyms used by the VA.
|BVA = Board of Veteran’s Appeals
|Also known as the “Board.” This is where a veteran’s claim will eventually go after a denial from the RO (Regional Office).
|C-file = Claims file
|A messy collection of the veteran’s VA paperwork. This file is often times unorganized and may be missing documents. The c-file is important to have in order to become familiar with a veteran’s claim.
|C&P = Compensation and pension
|“C&P” most often refers to VA medical exams. The C&P Service is part of the VA benefits administration, not part of the VA healthcare system.
|CAVC = U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims
|Also known as the “Court.” In older decisions, it may be referred to as the CVA or CoVA.
|CUE = Clear and Unmistakable Error
|A claim based on CUE is very difficult to prove; the veteran must show that the error was based upon the record and the law that existed at the time the decision was made. In addition to showing that a CUE was made by the VA, the veteran must show that his decision would have been “manifestly different but for the alleged error.” In other words, the veteran must show that his decision would have had a favorable outcome had the VA not made the CUE.
|DBQ = Disability Benefits Questionnaire
|These are forms used by VA doctors during a medical exam to evaluate a veteran’s disability claim. A veteran can also use their own doctor to fill out a DBQ.
|DC = Diagnostic code
|This is a 4 digit number that is assigned to different conditions on the VA’s rating schedule. Each DC has a list of percentages used to rate the disability based on how severe the veteran’s symptoms are.
|DIC = Death & Indemnity Compensation
|This is a benefit awarded to qualifying surviving spouses or surviving dependents when a service connected condition is a cause of the veteran’s death.
|ED = Effective date
|This is usually the date that the VA receives a veteran’s claim. The veteran is entitled to receive benefits starting on the ED.
|DRO = Decision Review Officer
|A member of the RO rating team who reviews a rating decision at the request of the claimant once there has been an initial denial
|FOIA = Freedom of Information Act
|A law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. For example, a veteran may make a FOIA request to obtain records of theirs that the VA has.
|IME = Independent Medical Exam
|This medical exam can be very helpful in providing favorable evidence to support a veteran’s disability claim. IME’s are not provided by the VA.
|IR = Increased rating
|An IR claim is filed to get a higher rating for an already service connected
|IU = Individual Unemployability
|Certain veterans can receive disability compensation at the 100% rate even though the VA hasn’t rated their service connected disability at 100%.
|NOD = Notice of Disagreement
|A NOD must be filed within one year of receiving a rating decision if the veteran disagrees with that decision and wants to appeal it.
|QTC = Quality, Timeliness & Customer Service
|This is a company that the VA will often use to do C&P examinations. The company is not actually a part of the VA.
|RO = Regional Office
|Most disability claims start at the RO. The RO where a claim starts will usually be the one closest to the veteran’s residence. The RO might also be referred to as ‘VARO’ which stands for Veterans Affairs Regional Office.
|VAE = VA Exam
|This is just another name used for C&P examinations. Always be sure to check that the VA followed their own rules during the exam.
|VBA = Veterans Benefits Administration
|The division of the VA that administers compensation and other benefits to veterans, their dependents, and survivors of veterans. Common benefits include: compensation, pension, survivor’s benefits (for example, DIC claims), rehabilitation and employment assistance, education assistance, home loan guaranties, and life insurance coverage.
|VHA = Veterans Health Administration
|A division of the VA, but is completely separate from the division that handles veterans’ benefits.
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