The difference between a Disability Benefit Questionnaire, or DBQ, and a Nexus Letter is comparable to the difference between apples and oranges.

Both of them are fruits but have many differences.

Many veterans will ask Valor 4 Vet for a Disability Benefit Questionnaire when what they really need is a Nexus Letter.

When a veteran claims a VA disability, the veteran is sent to the Compensation and Pension Department at the VA or to a contract examiner for a physical exam.

The doctor is given two tasks for the appointment:

     1. Perform a physical exam of the claimed disability

     2. Determine if there is a relationship to service

​​​#1 is the Disability Benefit Questionnaire. The DBQ is the physical exam report and provides the VA with the information needed to give the veteran a disability rating percentage. The VA uses the M21-1 to give the veteran a disability rating percentage. This manual is more specifically known as the “VA’s Compensaton and Pension Adjudication Procedures Manual.”

​​A veteran would want to obtain a completed DBQ for their condition if:

     – the veteran is filing a fully developed claim

     – the veteran is trying to get a higher disability percentage

     – the veteran is wanting to submit “New and Relevant” material 

​​#2 is the Nexus Letter. The Nexus Letter is the doctors explanation of how the condition is related to service. You can read more about the Nexus Letter here. 

Often #2 is already determined by the doctor before the veteran is seen for his physical exam. This is because the doctor has reviewed the documents ahead of time and made their decision about the relationship to service. This puts the veteran at a disadvantage because the doctor doesn’t consider the veteran’s in person testimony, or witness testimony if the spouse is allowed to be in the exam room.

This is also why Valor 4 Vet requires that a personal statement about the claim is completed and why we highly recommend the statement is sent to the VA. 

​​A Nexus Letter in support of a relationship to service is required in order for the veteran to get the service connection. There is no shortcut around the Nexus Letter. 

A veteran would want to get a Nexus Letter for their condition if:

     – the veteran wants to win a disability claim

     – the veteran is filing a fully developed claim

     – the veteran wants to refute the VA’s negative Nexus Letter

     – the Nexus Letter would serve as “New and Relevant” material 

Before ordering either a Nexus Letter or a DBQ from Valor 4 Vet, consider your approach to the VA.

Scenario 1: A veteran orders a Nexus Letter to win his claim and depends on the VA or the VA’s contract examiner to do the physical exam to obtain the disability rating percentage. 

Scenario 2: A veteran orders a DBQ because he obtained a Nexus Letter from his private doctor. 

Scenario 3: A veteran orders both a Nexus Letter and DBQ for his fully developed claim. 

All scenarios are correct. 

Valor 4 Vet offers both Disability Benefits Questionnaires and Nexus Letters for which ever scenario or route you chose. 

​​Again, the difference between a Disability Benefit Questionnaire, or DBQ, and a Nexus Letter is comparable to the difference between apples and oranges.

Know what you need for your VA claim.

 

 

Updated March 18, 2020

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