Dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs can prove complicated. Understanding the terms, acronyms, and abbreviations used by the VA can make it easier for you to comprehend what they’re saying about your claim. Are you familiar with these key VA acronyms and how they’re usually used?
The VA Medical Malpractice/Negligence/Federal Tort Claims Act offers the ability to file a claim against the government when one of its members, including an employee of the VA, behaves negligently and you suffer damages as a result.
Aid and Attendance: these are funds added to your VA claim that allow you to pay for assistance with daily activities.
The Appeals Modernization Act governs how decisions issued on or after February 19, 2019 are appealed.
Absent Without Leave
The Board of Veterans Appeals governs VA appeals and helps overturn past decisions made by the VA.
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
The Compensation and Pension Exam is the exam at which your disabilities are evaluated to determine the compensation you deserve.
The VA Claims File or your VA records.
The award given for your loss, including injury and suffering.
Clear and Unmistakable Error
Disabled American Veterans
The Disability Benefits Questionnaire, which you may need to fill out in order to determine the compensation you deserve.
Diagnostic Code: the code used to label your specific diagnosis, which may determine the compensation and assistance you can expect.
These are the forms used for your formal discharge.
Dependent Education Assistance, or funds set aside to help with the education of fully disabled veterans.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for dependents and widows: compensation paid out to the surviving dependents of a service member who died in the line of duty.
Decision Letter, or the letter that explains the decision made about your claim.
Diabetes Mellitus/Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, usually used to identify a disease acquired as a result of service or a condition for which you need treatment.
Debt Management Center, or the place veterans and their dependents can go for debt assistance.
The Department of Defense, or the larger governing military body.
Decision Review Officer, an officer assigned to review specific decisions related to your care.
Expiration–Term of Service/Discharge Date. This is the point at which your term of service has expired and you are eligible to separate from the military or choose to sign a new contract.
Freedom of Information Act
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a condition frequently suffered by combat veterans.
Gulf War Syndrome, a chronic, multi-symptom condition that often impacts veterans who served during the Gulf War.
Higher-level review, when a Senior Adjudicator reviews a decision.
Specific compensation awarded to bedridden veterans or those who require special assistance.
Hypertension or high blood pressure
Improvised explosive device, or bomb.
An independent medical exam or independent medical opinion, which you may ask for if you do not agree with the decision made by VA doctors.
Inactive Duty for Training, usually used for Reserves and National Guard.
Joint Motion for Remand, or a settlement agreement filed with the CAVC (United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims).
Joint Service Record Research Center
For all rating decisions issued prior to 2/19/2019, veterans remain in the “legacy” appeals process, or the appeals process created before the AMA.
The LHI is one of the 3 VA contractors used to hold C&P exams.
Line of Duty
Major Depressive Disorder, a mental disorder often suffered by veterans.
Military Occupational Specialty, or your job in the military.
Military Sexual Trauma
Medically Unexplained Chronic Multisymptom Illness. Some service members suffer from these disorders as a result of exposure to previously unidentified contaminants.
Notice of Appeal, usually used for CAVC appeals.
Notice of Disagreement: a legacy appeal form in response to a Rating Decision.
Appeal to BVA
Office of General Counsel
Office of Inspector General of VA
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Other specified trauma and stressor-related disorder: often a mental disorder that is not covered by other common acronyms and abbreviations.
Other Than Honorable, usually used in discharge paperwork.
Permanent and total: a rating often assigned to a veteran that has a 100-percent combined disability evaluation that is permanent in nature (i.e. no new C&P exams will be scheduled by VA).
The monthly payment to wartime veterans that meet specific age and income requirements.
Pension Management Center
Power of Attorney, or the legal power granted to make decisions on behalf of another individual.
Prisoner of War
Often, presumptive information or conditions assume certain factors or inputs in the absence of other information.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition frequently experienced by combat veterans or those in highly stressful roles.
One of three VA contractors used for C&P exams.
Release from Active Duty, also known as your discharge date.
A period of time during which veterans could choose to voluntarily opt in to the new AMA framework.
A decision is remanded when it gets sent back to a lower level for review or reconsideration, usually as a result of changing information.
The Regional Office
Reserve Officers Training Corps
Special Monthly Compensation, usually awarded as a result of specific types of disabilities or needs.
Statement of the Case
Social Security Administration/Social Security Disability
Your Social Security Number
Supplemental Statement of the Case, or supplemental information added to the framework of your case.
Service Treatment Record/Service Medical Record, or the past record of treatments received during your service.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Total disability based on your inability to be employed.
Army National Guard
Soldiers who combine a military role with a civilian career.
The United States Code or United States Code Annotated, also known as the law.
Department of Veterans Affairs
This is the legacy appeal form to the BVA, which is in the process of phasing out.
Veterans Benefit Management System, which stores C-Files.
One of three VA contractors that holds C&P exams.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veterans Law Judge
The Vietnam Service Medal
The Veteran Service Organization, which provides a variety of services and support to veterans.
Are you struggling to understand the paperwork related to your VA disability claim? A quick look at these VA acronyms can help define them and give you a better idea of what they mean, where you might see them, and what they might mean for your claim.