What do all these letters mean to your veteran and family?

Let’s face it, the military loves their acronyms and the VA is no different.
As a dependent or even a service member you learned to get very familiar with all the letters and to make sense of what it means to you and your family.

In our promotion of handling your own or your Veterans own claim it is also important to commit some of these commonly used acronyms to memory to understand where, what, how, who and when your benefits are being processed.


A & A Aid and Attendance

ADL Activities of Daily Living

ALS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

AMC Appeals Management Center.  The AMC is a function of the BVA. We view it as a special sort of hell where bad files go. There is little information published.

AMI Acute Myocardial Infarction (Also Acute Coronary Syndrome – Heart Attack)

AMIE Automated Medical Information Exchange

Apportionment Just like wage garnishment, only different. See Divorce.

AO Agent Orange (Herbicide, Dioxin)

ARPERCEN Army Reserve Personnel Records Center

AWOL Absent WithOut Leave

ARNP Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner

BDD Benefits Delivery at Discharge

BDN Benefits Delivery Network

BVA Board of Veterans Appeals.  Search previous BVA cases and keywords here to help win your claim and not make the same mistakes as others.

CAD Coronary Artery Disease

CAT Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT Scan, Radiology Imaging)

CAPRI Compensation and Pension Records Interchange

CBOC Community Based Outpatient Clinic; A facility generally providing access to outpatient health care needs.

CDC Centers for Disease Control

CRDP Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments

CRSC Combat-Related Special Compensation

C-File Claims File or Claims Folder, the materials and evidence gathered about you and your claim

CFR Code of Federal Regulations (VA regulations are contained in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations.)

CHAMPVA Civilian Health & Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs

Child Support Veterans have to pay child support just like anyone else. See Divorce.

CHF Congestive Heart Failure

CLC Community Living Center

CMOP Consolidated Mail Order Pharmacy

CO VA Central Office (VACO)

COBRA Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985

COLA Cost-0f-Living Adjustment

C & P Compensation and Pension

COE Certificate of Eligibility

Condition VA refers to injuries, illnesses and diseases as conditions.

COVERS Control of Veterans Records System

CPRS Computerized Patient Record System

CWT Compensated Work Therapy

CZTE Combat Zone Tax Exclusion

DBQ  Disability Benefits Questionnaires are downloadable forms created for Veterans’ use in the evaluation process for disability benefits.

DD 214 A discharge document providing confirmation of military service and many details of service.

DES Disability Evaluation System – similar to BDD

DIC Dependency Indemnity Compensation; A monthly Benefit paid to eligible survivors of certain veterans.

DIY Do It Yourself … in legal terms; Pro Se

DoD Department of Defense

DRO Decision Review Officer; The DRO is a senior individual with authority to review and revise adjudications made by others.

DVA Department of Veterans Affairs; The proper term for VA. In common use either term is acceptable.

ECA Expedited Claims Adjudication Initiative

ED Erectile Dysfunction; The inability to achieve and maintain an erection suitable for sexual intercourse.

EP End Product (claims control)

EP Electrophysiology. A medical term usually used to describe the electrical conduction system of the heart.

Equitable Relief 38 USC § 503 – Administrative error; equitable relief In the M21-1MR

FHA Federal Housing Administration

FSGLI Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance

HUD Department of Housing and Urban Development

IRR Individual Ready Reserve

FUBAR Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition

IU Individual Unemployability (TDIU)

Jurisprudence Click here

KG Kilograms

KM KiloMeter (Often; Click or Klick)

KM/H KiloMeters per Hour

Knot Aviation and maritime unit of velocity

LT Lieutenant

LTC Lieutenant Colonel

MGIB Montgomery GI Bill

MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize internal structures of the body in detail. MRI makes use of the property of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to image nuclei of atoms inside the body.

MST Military Sexual Trauma

NAS Naval Air Station

Nexus A word meaning connection

NPRC National Personnel Records Center

NSLI National Service Life Insurance

OEF Operation Enduring Freedom

OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom

Ombudsman A function of BVA http://www.bva.va.gov/OMBUDSMAN_CustomerService.asp

OPM Office of Personnel Management

PA Physician Assistant

POW Prisoner of War

PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PCP Primary Care Physician or Practitioner or Provider

Physician A medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine

PIES Personnel Information Exchange System

PFC Private First Class

P & T Permanent and Total

POA Power of Attorney

Pro Se To Do It Yourself Read the definition

Recoupment Similar to garnishment, usually used for debt created by overpayment of a benefit

RNP Registered Nurse Practitioner

RO Regional Office…Often VARO

RVSR Ratings Veterans Service Representative

SAH Specially Adapted Housing

SBA Small Business Administration

SGT Sergeant

SMR Service Medical Record

SNAFU Situation Normal, All Fouled Up

SSI Supplemental Security Income

S-DVI Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance

SGLI Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance

SSB Special Separation Benefits

TAC Tactical Air Command

TAP Transition Assistance Program

TSGLI Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance

USCIS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture

USAF United States Air Force

USAFE United States Air Force in Europe

USMC United States Marine Corps

USN United States Navy

WO Warrant Officer

VA Veterans Administration; More proper is the current term: Department of Veterans Affairs

VEAP Veterans Educational Assistance Program

VEOA Veterans’ Employment Opportunities Act

VGLI Veterans’ Group Life Insurance

VHA Veterans Health Administration

VMET Verification of Military Experience and Training

VMLI Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance

VR&E Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

VSI Voluntary Separation Incentive

VARO VA Regional Office

VBA Veterans Benefits Administration, one of the business units of the DVA, gatekeeper to benefits

VCAA Veterans Claims Assistance Act

VISTA (VistA) Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture

VSC Veterans Service Center; The more modern and proper term for Regional Office.

VSCM Veterans Service Center Manager; The manager or director of the RO.

VSO Veterans’ Service Organization

VSO Veterans Service Officer

VSR Veterans Service Representative, a VBA employee accountable for early work on your claim

WIPP (WIP) work in progress

WAAC Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps

WASPs Women Air Force Service Pilots Missing in Action