What do all the Acronyms and Abbreviations Mean?

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses many acronyms and abbreviations for VA terms.  An accredited Veteran's disability attorney, VSO or Claims Agent will be very familiar with “VA speak.”  We have compiled the following list of VA abbreviations to help you read VA records and understand VA shorthand.

 

  • 9          VA Form 9, Appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals
  • 10-10EC          VA Form 10-10EC, Application for Extended Care Services
  • 10-10EZ          VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits
  • 10-10EZR          VA Form 10-10EZR, Health Benefits Renewal Form
  • 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&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
  • AIDS          Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  • AIRS          Appellate Index Retrieval System
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Appellee          The party in an appeal who is defending the decision on appeal.  In the Veterans Court, the VA Secretary is always the Appellee.
  • AR          Army regulation
  • ARBA          Army Review Boards Agency
  • AVSCM         Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager
  • AWA         All Writs Act
  • AWOL          Absent without official leave

 

B

  • 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

  • C&C          Confirmed and Continued (rating decision)
  • C&P          Compensation and Pension
  • C.F.R.          Code of Federal Regulations
  • CAAF         Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • CARES          Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services
  • 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."
  • CBD          Chief Benefits Director
  • CBO          Chief business office
  • CBOC         Community Based Outpatient Clinic
  • CCF          Compound comminuted fracture
  • CD          Clemency discharge
  • CDR          Counter designation of record
  • 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.
  • 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-Split into Tricare and CHAMPVA
  • 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
  • Comp.         Compensation
  • 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
  • CTA          Centralized transcription activities
  • CUE          Clear and unmistakable error
  • CURR          Center for Units Records Research
  • CWT         VA Compensated Work Therapy Program
  • DAV         Disabled American Veterans

 

D

  • DBQ         Disability Benefits Questionnaire
  • DC         Diagnostic code
  • DD         Dishonorable discharge
  • DD-214          Discharge certificate
  • DDD         Degenerative disc disease
  • DEA          Dependent's educational assistance - Chapter 35
  • 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
  • DNA          Defense Nuclear Agency
  • DOD         Department of Defense
  • DRB          Discharge Review Board
  • DRE          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 Current Edition V (Five)
  • DSMV         Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.)
  • 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.

 

E

  • 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
  • EPC          End product control
  • ESG          Environmental Support Group (see USASCRUR)
  • ETS          Expiration of term of service
  • EVR          Eligibility verification report

 

F

  • 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.
  • FR index          Federal Register Index
  • FTCA          Federal Tort Claims Act

 

G

  • GAO         Government Accounting Office
  • GC          General counsel
  • GC          General Counsel
  • GD         General discharge
  • GPO         Government Printing Office
  • GSW          Gun shot wound
  • GWS          Gulf war syndrome

 

H

  • HB          Housebound
  • HD         Honorable discharge
  • HIPAA         Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • HISA         Home improvement and structural alterations
  • HIV         Human immunodeficiency virus
  • HO          Hearing officer
  • HPV          Human immunodeficiency virus

 

I

  • IED          Improvised explosive device
  • IG          Inspector general
  • IME         Independent medical expert or independent medical evaluation
  • INC         Incurred in service or Increase
  • IOM          Institute of Medicine
  • IOP          Internal operating procedures
  • IRIS          Inquiry Routing and Information System
  • IT         Incentive therapy
  • IU         Individual unemployability
  • IVAP          Income for VA purposes

 

J

  • JAG         Member of Judge Advocate General’s Corp
  • JMR         Joint motion for remand
  • JSRRC          Joint Services Records Research Center

 

L

  • LOD          Line of duty
  • LOM          Limitation of motion
  • LSA          List of Sections Affected (C.F.R.)
  • LSW          Licensed social worker

 

M

  • M-1          VA Healthcare Adjudication Manual
  • M-21         VA Claims Adjudication Manual
  • M21-1MR          Adjudication Procedures Manual Rewrite
  • MACR         Missing air crew reports
  • MAPR          Maximum annual pension rate
  • MGIB          Montgomery GI Bill
  • MIB          Marine index bureau
  • MIL         Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • MOS         Military occupational specialty
  • MPR          Military personnel records
  • MRI           Magnetic resonance imaging
  • MST          Military Sexual Trauma
  • MyHealtheVet            MyHealtheVet Portal for healthcare access    https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/home

 

N

  • NA          National Archives
  • NAP          Income for VA purposes
  • 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          Notic of Death or 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

 

O

  • OEF          Operation Enduring Freedom
  • OGC         Office of the General Counsel
  • OIF          Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • OIG          Office of Inspector General
  • OMPF         Official military personnel file
  • Op. G.C.         Opinion of the General Counsel
  • Op. Gen. Coun.          Opinion of the General Counsel
  • Op. VA Gen. Counsel         Opinion of the General Counsel
  • OPC         Outpatient clinic
  • OPT          Outpatient treatment
  • OQP          Office of Quality and Performance
  • OTH         Other than honorable

 

P

  • PCT         Porphyria cutanea tarda (a liver dysfunction)
  • PDBR         Physical Disability Board of Review for review of medical discharges between 2001-2009
  • PDR         Physicians Desk Reference
  • PEB          Physical Evaluation Board
  • PEBLO          Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer
  • Pen.          Pension
  • 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
  • PLEP.L.          Public Law
  • PMC         Pension Maintenance Center
  • POA         Power of attorney
  • POW         Prisoner-of-war
  • PRC          Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center
  • PRES          Presumption
  • Presumption          A legal term meaning that evidence of a nexus (connection) between a current medical condition and an in-service occurrence is required.  A claimant currently suffering from a "presumptive condition" only needs to establish he or she experienced the specified in-service event at a specific date and that is is currently at least 10% disabling to be awarded service connection. 
  • PT          Physical therapy
  • PT           Physical Training
  • P&T          Permanent total disability
  • PTE          Peace time era
  • PTSD         Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Pub. L. No.          Public Law

 

R

  • R.C.          Regional counsel (the chief legal authority in a VARO)
  • 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. Electronic CFR 38 Schedule of Ratings  
  • RE code          Reenlistment code
  • 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.
  • REPS          Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors
  • RH         Insurance policy designation for veterans with service-connected disabilities
  • RI         Rating increase
  • RMC          Records Management Center
  • RMO         Records Management Officer
  • RN          Registered nurse
  • RO         Regional Office
  • ROTC          Reserve Officers' Training Corps
  • RPC         (VA) Records Processing Center (St. Louis)
  • RSFPP          Retired Services Family Protection Plan
  • RVN         Republic of Vietnam
  • RVSR          Rating Veterans Service Representative

 

S

  • SBP          Survivor Benefit Plan
  • SBP-MIW         Survivor Benefit Plan-Minimum Income Widow
  • SC          Service-connected
  • SC          Service-connected
  • SDN         Separation Designator Number
  • 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
  • SFW          Shell fragment wound
  • SGLI          Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
  • SIRS          Special Issue Rating System
  • 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.
  • SMifi          Supplementary medical insurance benefit
  • 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.
  • SPCM         Special court-martial
  • 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

 

T

  • 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%.
  • TDRL          Temporary Disability Retired List (uniformed service)
  • TDY         Temporary duty
  • TIN         Transaction Identification Number
  • TPQ         Third-party query

 

U

  • U.S.C.          United States Code
  • U.S.C.A.          United States Code Annotated
  • U.S.C.S.          United States Code Service
  • UCMJ          Uniform Code of Military Justice
  • UD         Undesirable discharge
  • UOTHC         (Discharge) under other than honorable conditions
  • US.C.S.          United States Code Service
  • USA         U.S. Army
  • USAF          U.S. Air Force
  • USASCRUR          United States Armed Services Center for Research of Unit Records
  • USCCAN         United States Code Congressional and Administrative News
  • USGLI          United States Government Life Insurance
  • USJSRRC          United States Joint Service Records Research Center
  • USMC          U.S. Marine Corps
  • USN         U.S. Navy

 

V

  • VA          Department of Veterans Affairs (also used for old Veterans Administration)
  • VA.GOVVA           Website for all things VA https://www.va.gov/
  • VACO         VA Central Office
  • VACOLS         Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System
  • VADEX          VA Index
  • 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
  • VD          Venereal disease
  • 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 of 1988
  • 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           VONAPP (Ebenefits) 
  • VRC           Vocational rehabilitation counseling
  • VSCM         Veterans Service Center Manager
  • VSM          Vietnam Service Medal
  • VSO          Veterans service organization
  • VSO          Veterans service officer
  • VSR          Veterans Service Representative

 

W

  • WRIISC          War Related Illness and Injury Center