HomeVeterans Guide to VA BenefitsAppendix I - GeneralACRONYMS & TERMS USED IN VA BENEFITS CLAIMS & APPEALS


Much like the Department of Defense (DOD), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses many acronyms in the handling of claims and appeals for VA benefits. The following is a sampling of some of the acronyms that a claimant or appellant may see in various military and VA records and documents.

9 VA Form 9, Appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals
10-10EZ VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits
10-10EZR VA Form 10-10EZR, Health Benefits Renewal Form
10-10EC VA Form 10-10EC, Application for Extended Care Services
1151 Claim A claim for benefits under 38 U.S.C. Section 1151 as a result of injury caused by VA treatment or rehabilitation services similar to a medical malpractice claim.
A&A Aid and attendance
AAO Assistant adjudication officer
ABCMR Army Board for Correction of Military Records
ACAP Annual clothing allowance payment
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADHC Adult day health care
ADL Activities of daily living
ADT Active duty for training
AFB Air Force Base
AFBCMR Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records
AFHRA Air Force Historical Research Agency
AFI Air Force instruction
AFIP Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
AGG Aggravated in service
AHRC Army Human Resources Command
AL American Legion
ALJ Administrative Law Judge
ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
AMC Appeals Management Center
AML Acute myelogenous leukemia
AMVETS American Veterans
AO Agent Orange or adjudication officer
AOCAP Agent Orange Class Assistance Program
AOJ Agency of original jurisdiction
AOR Agent Orange Registry
APA Administrative Procedures Act
Appellee The party in an appeal who is defending the decision on appeal.  In the Veterans Court, the VA Secretary is always the Appellee.
Appellant The party in an appeal who is challenging the decision on appeal.  In the Veterans Court, the claimant seeking benefits (veteran or dependent) is always the Appellant.
ARBA Army Review Boards Agency
AVSCM Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager
AWA All Writs Act
AWOL Absent without official leave
BCD Bad conduct discharge
BCMR Board for Correction of Military Records
BCNR Board for Correction of Naval Records
BDD Benefits Delivery at Discharge
BDN Benefits Delivery Network
BHL Bilateral hearing loss
Board The Board of Veterans' Appeals or "BVA".
BVA The Board of Veterans' Appeals.  The Board is the organization within VA that reviews initial rating decisions when the claimant files a Notice of Disagreement.
C-file Claims file.  VA creates a hard copy paper file for each claimant that contains all the documents related to that claimant since the first application for benefits.  C-files can contain thousands of pages of documents and must be physically shipped between offices when claims are reviewed by different VA groups or the Veterans Court.
CAAF Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
CAVC The Unites States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  The appellate court to which claimants can appeal adverse Board decisions.  Also known as the "Veterans Court."
C&P Compensation and Pension
CARES Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services
CAVC Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
CBO Chief business office
CBOC Community Based Outpatient Clinic
CCF Compound comminuted fracture
CDR Counter designation of record
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CG Coast Guard
CGBCMR Coast Guard Board for Correction of Military Records
CHAMPUS Department of Defense Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Service
CHAMPVA Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs
CHR Consolidated health record
CIB Combat Infantryman Badge
Claim Number Each claimant is assigned an unique VA claim number that VA uses to identify that claimant for life.  Claimants should put their claim number on each document and correspondence sent to VA.
CLC VA Community Living Center (formerly VA Nursing Home Care Units)
CLL Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
CMB Combat Medical Badge
CMD Chief Medical Director
CMO Chief Medical Officer
CNHC Community nursing home care
CO VA Central Office or commanding officer
COD Character of discharge
COG Convenience of the government
COLA Cost-of-living adjustment
Compensation A monetary benefit awarded based on the degree of disability caused by a service-connected condition.
CONUS The contiguous United States
COVA Court of Veterans Appeals (Renamed Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims)
COWC Committee on Waivers and Compromises
CPI Claims Processing Improvement
CRC Community residential center
CRDP Concurrent retirement and disability pay
CRSC Combat-related special compensation
CUE Clear and unmistakable error
CURR Center for Units Records Research
CWT VA Compensated Work Therapy Program
DAV Disabled American Veterans
DBQ Disability Benefits Questionnaire
DC Diagnostic code
DD Dishonorable discharge
DD-214 Discharge certificate
DDD Degenerative disc disease
DEA Dependent's educational assistance
DES Disability evaluation system
DFAS Defense Finance and Accounting Services
DFR Dropped from the rolls
DIC Death & Indemnity Compensation.  A benefit awarded to surviving spouses and qualifying dependents when a service-connected condition is a cause of a veteran's death.
DM Diabetes mellitus
DMZ Demilitarized zone
DOD Department of Defense
DRB Discharge Review Board
DRO Decision Review Officer.  Usually an experienced member of a regional office rating team who reviews a rating decision at the request of the claimant after an initial denial.  DRO review is optional and cannot change decisions favorable to a claimant.
DSM American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders
DSO Department service officer
DTR Deep tendon reflexes
DVA The Department of Veterans Affairs.  A technically more accurate acronym than "VA," although not as widely used.
EAD Entry on active duty
EAJA Equal Access to Justice Act
eBenefits VA online portal that allows veterans to manage their benefits and personal information.
ECA Expedited Claims Adjudication Initiative
ED Erectile dysfunction
EGC Electrocardiogram
EKG Electrocardiogram
EOB Explanation of benefits
EOD Entry on Duty or Explosive Ordinance Disposal
EVR Eligibility verification report
FDC Fully Developed Claim
Federal Circuit The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The federal appellate court to which claimants and VA can appeal Veteran Court decisions.
FOIA Freedom of Information Act
Form 9 The VA form that must be submitted after receipt of a Statement of the Case to perfect an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals.
FTCA Federal Tort Claims Act
GAO Government Accounting Office
GC General counsel
GPO Government Printing Office
GSW Gun shot wound
GWS Gulf war syndrome
HB Housebound
HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
HISA Home improvement and structural alterations
HIV Human immunodeficiency virus
HO Hearing officer
IED Improvised explosive device
IG Inspector general
IME Independent medical expert or independent medical evaluation
INC Incurred in service
IOM Institute of Medicine
IOP Internal operating procedures
IRIS Inquiry Routing and Information System
IU Individual unemployability
IVAP Income for VA purposes
JAG Judge Advocate General
JMR Joint motion for remand
JSRRC Joint Services Records Research Center
LOD Line of duty
LOM Limitation of motion
LSW Licensed social worker
M21-1MR Adjudication Procedures Manual Rewrite
M-1 VA Healthcare Adjudication Manual
M-21 VA Claims Adjudication Manual
MACR Missing air crew reports
MAPR Maximum annual pension rate
MGIB Montgomery GI Bill
MIB Marine index bureau
MOS Military occupational specialty
MPR Military personnel records
MRI Magnetic resonance imaging
MST Military Sexual Trauma
NA National Archives
NARA National Archives and Record Administration
NAS National Academy of Sciences
NAUS National Association for Uniformed Services
NHL Non-hodgkins lymphoma
NMCB U.S. Navy Mobile Construction Battalion
NOA Notice of Appeal
NOD Notice of Disagreement.  Claimants must file a written NOD within one year of receiving a rating decision to be able to appeal that decision.
NOS Not otherwise specified
NPC Naval Personnel Command
NPRC National Personnel Records Center
NRPC Naval Reserve Personnel Command
NSC Non-service-connected
NSLI National Service Life Insurance
NSO National service officer
NVLSP National Veterans Legal Services Program
OEF Operation Enduring Freedom
OGC Office of the General Counsel
OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom
OIG Office of Inspector General
OMPF Official military personnel file
OPC Outpatient clinic
OPT Outpatient treatment
OQP Office of Quality and Performance
OTH Other than honorable
PDBR Physical Disability Board of Review
PDR Physicians Desk Reference
PEB Physical Evaluation Board
Pension A VA benefit based on financial need available to fully disabled veterans who served during a time of war.
PERMS Permanent Electronic Records Management System
PG Persian Gulf
PGW Persian Gulf War
PIES Personnel Information Exchange System
PIF Pending issue file
PMC Pension Maintenance Center
POA Power of attorney
POW Prisoner-of-war
PRC Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center
Presumption A legal term meaning that no evidence of a nexus between a current medical condition and an in-service occurrence is required.  A claimant currently suffer from a "presumptive condition" only needs to establish he or she experienced the specified in-service event to be awarded service connection. See related Knowledge Book.
PT Physical therapy or permanent total disability
PTE Peace time era
PTSD Posttraumatic stress disorder
PEBLO Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer
RAD Release from active duty
Rating Decision The initial VA decision on a claim which either grants or denies an award or "continues" the claim for further development.
Rating Schedule The table of medical conditions and disabilities established by law that VA raters use to determine the degree of disability for compensation purposes.
Remand Return of a decision to the organization that made it for additional review and revision.  The Board remands rating decisions to the originating regional office.  The Veterans Court remands Board decisions back to the Board.
RMC Records Management Center
RMO Records Management Officer
RN Registered nurse
RO Regional Office
ROTC Reserve Officers' Training Corps
RVN Republic of Vietnam
RVSR Rating Veterans Service Representative
SBP Survivor Benefit Plan
SC Service-connected
SDRP Special Discharge Review Program
SDVI Service Disabled Veterans' Insurance
Secretary The Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  The Cabinet officer who is the administrative head of VA.
Service Connection A requirement that a claimant for VA compensation must (1) have a current medical condition; (2) identify an event or condition during military service; and (3) establish a nexus or connection between the medical condition and the in-service event or condition.  Without establishing service connection, VA will not award compensation benefits.
SF Special forces
SGLI Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
SMC Special Monthly Compensation.  Additional compensation available to the most seriously disabled veterans for anatomical loss of limbs or loss of use of body parts, aid and attendance, and other special needs.
SMP Special monthly pension
SMR Service medical record
SN Service number
SOC Statement of the Case.  A document that VA must prepare and provide to a claimant who has submitted a timely Notice of Disagreement.  The purpose of an SOC is to identify the facts and law VA used to reach the decision(s) with which the claimant disagrees.
SPD Separation program designator
SPN Separation program number
SRD Schedule for Rating Disabilities
SSA Social Security Administration
SSB Special separation benefits
SSDI Social Security Disability Income
SSI Supplemental Security Income
SSN Social Security Number
SSOC Supplemental Statement of the Case
STR Service treatment records
STS Soft tissue sarcoma
TAD Temporary active duty
TBI Traumatic brain injury
TCDD 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin
TDIU Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability.  A special rating that considers whether a claimant who does not meet the rating schedule requirements for 100% disability is still unable to work in a substantially gainful occupation.  A TDIU award pays benefits at the 100% scheduler rate even though the actual rating percentage is less than 100%.
TRDL Temporary disabled retirement list
TDY Temporary duty
UCMJ Uniform Code of Military Justice
U.S.C. United States Code
U.S.C.A. United States Code Annotated
U.S.C.S. United States Code Service
USGLI United States Government Life Insurance
USJSRRC United States Joint Service Records Research Center
VA The most commonly used acronym for the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
VACO VA Central Office
VAF VA form
VAGC VA General Counsel
VAHAC VA Health Administration Center
VAMC VA Medical Center
VAOGC VA Office of the General Counsel
VAOIG VA Office of the Inspector General
VAOPC VA outpatient clinic
VAR VA regulation
VARO VA Regional Office
VBA Veterans Benefits Administration
VCAA Veterans Claims Assistance Act
VEAP Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program
Veterans Court Another common name for the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  See also CAVC.
VFW Veterans of Foreign Wars
VGLI Veterans' Group Life Insurance
VHA Veterans Health Administration
VISN Veterans Integrated Service Network
VJRA Veterans Judicial Review Act
VLJ Veterans Law Judge.  A member of the Board of Veterans' Appeals who hears appeals from claimants who disagree with a rating decision.
VMLI Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance
VONAPP Veterans Online Application.  A VA website for electronically applying for VA benefits.  https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfxr=false&_pageLabel=Vonapp
VRC Vocational rehabilitation counseling
VSCM Veterans Service Center Manager
VSM Vietnam Service Medal
VSO Veterans service organization
VSR Veterans Service Representative
WRIISC War Related Illness and Injury Center

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