VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter: The Missing Link Behind VA Claim Denials
Unfortunately far too many Veterans’ Disability Cases are denied due to the lack of a VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter, a fact so common that we like to consider a VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter as “the missing link” or “the reason that so many veterans are on a merry go round of VA denials in their attempts to get from the federal government what they deserve as a result of their service to our country.”
First a definition… the word nexus means connection or a link and a VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter is “a statement from a medical professional linking a claimed condition to a veteran’s time in service.” A VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter can be viewed as the “why” behind a service connection claim, an increased rating claim, or the medical why behind an individual unemployability benefits claim.
Your VA Disability BenefitsNexus Letter should include scientific support for connection between the claimed condition and your service to prove your service-connected disabilities. Support for the connection between a claimed condition and a veteran’s time in service can be either a Direct Service Connection or a Secondary Service Connection. A Direct Service Connection outlines evidence of a chronic condition that began whenever the veteran was in service. While a Secondary Service Connection links a claimed condition to a condition that is currently service connected.
Both of these “connections” require a link, that medical Nexus statement or VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter for you to win your claim.
Examples of a VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter
Here’s an example… A veteran retires from service and five years later is diagnosed with hypertension. If a review of the veteran’s medical records turns up elevated blood pressure readings in the veteran’s service treatment records, a good VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter from a physician will include discussion of these readings chronologically to support hypertensive symptoms beginning in service. This illustrates continuity from your time in service to your diagnosis and now your claim.
A good VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter also requires solid rational. In this case a veteran has a degenerative spinal condition that is service connected and causes her severe pain. In several historical pain management visits the veteran presents symptoms of elevated blood pressure and headaches. A good VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter discusses the relationship between these conditions with peer reviewed medical articles and will discuss how the veteran’s history of blood pressure readings fit with medical science on the subject.
It is important to remember when discussing these VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letters that the standard by which lawyers advance and win these claims before the VA is “as likely as not”. So… If it is as likely as not that the veterans claimed condition is related to their time in service, or to a condition that is already service connected, then they win.
Tips for a Strong VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter
- Do Your Research
A successful VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter should find concrete evidence of conditions and link to a veterans time in the service. Nexus Letters should not contain wild theories of service-connection. Nexus Letters should use facts and research that would holdup in a courtroom.
- Use Credible Sources
We highly suggest using credible sources when writing a VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter. For example, don’t use Wikipedia. But do research articles from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Library of Medicine. These resources have thousands of articles written by medical researchers and highly-acclaimed doctors. You can research your mental or physical conditions and find how they are related to your time in the service.
- Consider Toxic Exposure in Cancer Cases
Military bases are often polluted and many of them are now Superfund Clean Up Sites. Military base toxic exposure claims can be won if veterans prove that exposure to a chemical or toxin is responsible for their cancer. Veterans can obtain valuable research on cancers and causes from the National Cancer Institute.
- Make a Strong Argument
Once the research is completed, it’s time to write a strong argument. A Disability Benefits Nexus Letter should not be based on emotion. The central argument should be based around research found on the veterans mental and physical conditions.
- Get Help With Your Nexus Letter
If you don’t feel comfortable finding a doctor to write your VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter, reach out to us for help. Thousands of veterans reach out for help with their VA Disability Benefits Claims every year because the process is so complicated. Veterans with mental and physical impairments particularly have a tough time navigating the complex VA bureaucracy.
FAQ: Your VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter
Why do I need a Nexus Letter?
Many service-connected disabilities are hard to prove. The VA often denies conditions that are in fact service-connected. The VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter is your chance to link your conditions to your service. Your Nexus Letter can be a powerful tool if used correctly.
Who actually writes the Nexus Letter?
While you can do some of the research on your own, the actual VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter should be written by a doctor or medical professional. Finding a qualified doctor or medical professional who knows VA law can be difficult. For example, Woods & Woods had to find good doctors and train them on VA law. We tried a few “medical experts” that claim to focus on VA law, but we found their Nexus Letters to be very weak.
Do I have to meet with the doctor that writes the Nexus Letter?
No. For example, the doctors that Woods & Woods works with can just review your medical records and they do a phone interview. There is no real benefit to a physical meeting because the Nexus Letter should be based upon medical records that are already being used for the VA appeal.
Can my personal doctor write my Nexus Letter?
Yes, if your doctor agrees. However, we want you to understand your doctor likely does not know VA disability law – even if they work for the VA. It might not be in your best interest to have your personal doctor write your VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter. You are asking your doctor to essentially act like a lawyer and create a legal document. Your personal doctor may not know how to write a strong Nexus Letter to best benefit your claim.
Should my Nexus Letter be really long?
Length is not going to prove or disprove the service-connection for your mental and physical impairments. The BVA is going to consider the facts and research in your Nexus Letter, not its length. Get to the point and make your central argument clear. Focus on the quality of your Nexus Letter, not the quantity of your Nexus Letter.
Get Help With Your VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter
Need help with your VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter? The VA-accredited disability attorneys at Woods & Woods have helped thousands of veterans get through the appeals process. Our law firm has successfully submitted thousands of VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letters. We know what scientific research can help link veteran’s conditions to their time in the service.
Writing a VA Disability Benefits Nexus Letter is an art. There are thousands of VA regulations and codes that can be used to link conditions to your time in the service. If you need help, reach out to us. Woods & Woods veterans disability benefits lawyers offer free legal consultations to any veteran, caretaker, or family member. Learn about your legal rights as a disabled veteran.