This third test is the connection or "nexus" between what happened to you in the military and your current medical condition.
In many cases this connection, or "nexus" may be tenuous at best. Let's consider, for example, a back injury. You may have hurt your back in some fashion while serving your country. That was in and you went on sick call. Your sore back was diagnosed as a "pulled muscle" or something similar. You were given some APC tablets and sent on your way to light duty for 3 days. The back became more painful so you were back on sick call a week later.
This time an x-ray was ordered and you were given some stronger pain pills. The military culture demands that we don't complain of our "minor" aches and pains. The team depends on each member being ready to complete the mission and the mission is all that counts.
From day one we're trained that complaints of pain will bring about scorn from superiors.She beat Covid-19. Now her plasma can help others
Fellow soldiers will know that they have to carry your load as well as their own. Books [John Wayne character in the movie "The Shootist"] didn't complain about his back pain, why should you?
So you toughed it out, used a lot of aspirin. While your back did improve, you always guarded it and were cautious that you didn't injure yourself again.
Your civilian career wasn't as physical as the military. So during the years since your ETS you've had a chronic, low level back pain but it hasn't required much treatment In the last year you've had to seek more intensive medical care, and finally you had an MRI.
The MRI study shows numerous issues with disks and nerves. You realize that your old service injury is here to haunt you. You file for service-connected disability compensation. And about a year later you have a denial letter.
The VA tells you that although you had complaints during your service, your condition today is new and unrelated to those old problems. Now what? The "nexus letter" is the key to winning your appeal. Nexus is defined as "the means of connection between things linked in series.I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out.
I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2. Click here to purchase your digital journal. Get the book here. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions.
Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt. Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts. Hucast21 posted an answer to a question, Thursday at PM. Hucast21 posted an answer to a question, March Galen Rogers posted an answer to a question, March Read it closely very close and you will see that is more clear than the original va document for a nexus letter. I did some changes on it so that it would be clear as you can see i took out possible and put not and also added a couple of words here and there.
Also the old letter was used for VA doctors so i made it for private doctors. Now you can write or use any form to submit to the VA In my medical opinion, the currently existing medical condition is. Injury or event occurring during service as described by veteran or found in other records provided by veteran :.
I understand that the following diagnosis, opinions and statements are not official VA decisions regarding whether I will receive other VA benefits or, if I receive VA benefits, their amount. They may, however, be considered with other evidence when these decisions are made at a VA Regional Office that specializes in benefit decision.
VA law requires the "as likely as not" standard. Doctors are used to stating opinions to a medical certainty. That is a much higher burden of proof. Show your doctor the following chart. It may help. How to give an opinion for Nexus relationship to a military incident?
How Do Veterans Find Doctors Who Write Nexus Letters?
When asked to give an opinion as to whether a condition is related to a specific incident during military service, the opinion should be expressed as follows:. Trouble Remembering? This helped me. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about Continue Reading.
Please donate to support the community. We appreciate all donations! Post in Ready to be rated Hucast21 posted an answer to a question, Thursday at PM Update 2: Just talked to a representative for my lawyer. It should not take a veteran to present their case before the BVA to get it right.Due to the need to modify our working environment, please be patient as it may take slightly longer to get back to you when you contact us.
However, we are continuing to work on all client matters and continue to undertake representation of new disabled veterans. We are accepting new clients with serious disabilities at this time. Veterans must find the right doctor, a professional who knows how to address everything the VA requires. And preferably without paying a dime.
The term "Nexus" in the VA appeals context simply means "causation. This medical opinion is written up in a nexus letter. This way, a veteran can respond to any unfavorable exam reports before VA makes a decision. This way, we can review it and respond if it is not favorable. It provides information on causation. But remember, the VA is hiring its own doctor to provide evidence for your claim.
In short, veterans should not rely on VA doctors to write nexus letters that support their VA benefits claim. Most VA doctors are going to do whatever they can to show that no evidence exists to support service connection or an increased rating.
Instead, veterans must take proactive initiative towards winning a claim.
This means going out and finding a private doctor to write an objective, unbiased nexus letter. And it needs to be more than just a letter. What we're really talking about here is finding an expert medical witness who can write an. The doctors that do this kind of work don't exactly advertise it. They can be really hard to find. These attorneys have connections to and relationships with medical practitioners who regularly work as professional expert witnesses. And law firms who offer contingency fee services for veterans know how to win claims.We are still accepting new cases and working on our clients' cases.
How does a veteran prove this complicated, yet crucial element of service connection? The nexus letter. In fact, a well written nexus letter may be the single most important document that a veteran can have for evidence in support of their claim for VA disability benefits.
A veteran is not required to submit a nexus letter in connection with their disability claim, but the nexus letter can sometimes make the difference between an award and a denial. Also, there is not a specific requirement of when a nexus letter can be submitted. Make sure to communicate with the doctor writing the nexus letter about all of the details the letter should include.
A good nexus letter uses specific language, includes specific phrases, and ties the facts together to draw a conclusion about connection to service. Terminology can be very important in the nexus letter. In order to avoid a situation where the doctor applies the wrong standard, make sure the VA terminology is explained to them. Using other terms may lead the VA to misunderstand the opinion as not supporting service connection. When choosing a doctor to provide a nexus letter, start with the doctors that are currently treating you, or have recently been treating you.
The VA does not require this, but oftentimes a treating doctor will have a better understanding of your conditions, and the history behind them. In summary, here are 5 things that make for a stronger nexus letter:.
Keep in mind that, the doctor who agrees to write a nexus letter is a neutral party. As a neutral party they are supposed to provide an honest opinion based on their review of the evidence presented to them.
The doctor is not required, or obligated, to agree with the veteran. Nexus is the element of VA service connected compensation linking the incident in service to the current disability. I see nexus as a bridge between what happened in service to…. In a previous blog, I touched on the importance of a Nexus, or bridge, in connecting a disability to service. Here, I will discuss the importance of how to make…. Medical evidence can be one of the most….
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Orlando, FL: E. Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content Skip to primary sidebar Skip to footer Search this website. Facebook Youtube. What is a nexus letter?Thus the purpose of a NEXUS letter is to clearly connect a veteran's current medical condition to another service-connected condition or to circumstances directly related to military service.
The VA is required by law to have clear and definite proof that a condition was caused by military service and no other cause before they can provide disability benefits.
No proof, no benefits. For secondary conditions conditions caused by other conditionsa NEXUS letter must clearly detail how the current condition was caused by the original. Ten years later, the veteran is diagnosed with degenerative arthritis in the left knee. Because there is plentiful medical studies to show that injuries in a limb can cause wear and tear on the joints in that limb, it is medically logical that the arthritis was caused by the broken bone.
NEXUS letters can be used similarly for conditions that develop more than a year after separation but were caused by exposure to chemicals, noise, medical treatments, or other circumstances in the military.
If not, it is the veterans job to prove the connection, and a NEXUS letter will greatly strengthen your case. Fifteen years after separation, the veteran develops cancer. In more straightforward cases, a single NEXUS letter from a strong source a specialist in the area questioned will be enough. However, on more complex cases, particularly ones without enough medical studies or evidence to support the connection, multiple NEXUS letters from different physicians could be beneficial.
The more specialists that agree, the less room the VA has to disagree. The physicians writing them do NOT have to be related to the VA, however, ones familiar with the disability system may be more willing to write the letter.
It can take some work to find a physician with the right specialty and knowledge of your condition who would be willing to write a NEXUS letter. If they refuse to help, you may have to branch out and see others in your area. If your doctor is hesitant, you might help them out by drafting one from our sample NEXUS letter that they can review, adjust, and sign.
Saving your doctor time and headache is always a solid way to get on their good side. Home Military Disability. Military Disability News. Military Disability Blog. Appeals DoD Appeals. Return to Top.
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George P.You courageously served your country and completed your military service, but you were left with an injury or illness that is limiting your ability to live life to the fullest. If you are a veteran of the U. Armed Forces and have a current injury or condition that is connected to that service, you may be eligible for disability compensation. If your service or medical records are incomplete or do not demonstrate the connection between your impairment and your service, you can choose to submit additional materials to support your veterans disability claim.
A nexus letter is written by a doctor, specialist, or expert and provides insight into your injury to confirm its connection to an event or injury that occurred during your military service. Many injuries or conditions are difficult to connect directly to your military service. Common examples include back and knee injuries, cancer, mental impairments, etc. Since service members are often reluctant to get something treated while they are in the service, or they simply underestimate the severity of an injury when it first occurs, this can pose a challenge for proving a connection at a later date.
Perhaps you hurt your knee performing work during your service and instead of seeking treatment, you bought a knee wrap from the grocery store and took some aspirin. Now your knee is in terrible shape and is limiting your ability to stand, walk, and sit. However, it is likely that the Veterans Benefits Administration VBA will not be able to verify the connection between your knee injury and the problems that you are experiencing now because you did not get treatment at the time of your injury.
This is where a letter from your doctor, specialist, or psychologist or psychiatrist depending on the nature of your impairment can be especially helpful and supportive of your claim. Another example involves exposure to Agent Orange. While many veterans suffer from the effects of exposure to Agent Orange, they often have difficulty drawing the connection to their military service because their condition is not on the presumptive list of conditions.
A nexus letter from an oncologist or other expert can provide additional support to the claim and may establish service connection, resulting in approval for disability benefits. As stated earlier, a nexus letter should be written by an expert. Most of the time, this will be your treating physician, a specialist like an oncologistor a psychologist or psychiatrist; someone who has expertise in your condition or type of injury. The expert should review all of your related medical records, including service medical records, before drafting a nexus letter.
Additionally, it is always more persuasive if you have been examined recently by the expert that is drafting the letter.
How to Make Sure a Nexus Letter Effectively Supports Your VA Claim
The letter should be clear, concise, and should detail your injury or condition and how it relates to an injury or event that occurred during your military service. Nexus letters can be a powerful resource and provide valuable support to your claim for disability benefits. It is helpful to first discuss with your VSO the potential experts that could write your nexus letter s before deciding who to ask.
Take our free quiz today to determine what resources are available for your specific needs. Additional Resources:. Presumptive Conditions caused by Agent Orange. Due to complex medical issues, I appreciate the care you took so I did not have to appear personally in the VA local office or VA court.
I am quite satisfied. I feel I am not shortchanged anymore. Our Services. What Should a Nexus Letter Include?
Share this Categories aaa Agent Orange 4. Amputations 2. Benefit Claims Brain Injuries Brain Injury During Combat 6. Carcinogene Exposure 2. Chronic Pain 2. Disability Benefits While the word Nexus sounds like it came straight from a sci-fi movie, it simply means that the link between your disability and how an in-service event caused it has been identified.
This can be the most critical part of your claim. Because providing a Nexus is essential in order to have your claim for disability compensation accepted, here are 3 steps to getting your nexus letter together. The VA requires that veterans provide a link between their current, diagnosed disability and how they acquired it during their time in military service. It can be linked to an event, an injury, or an illness the veteran experienced before discharge.
This link is officially termed as the N exus. In order to prove the Nexus, you must get a licensed medical professional to put together a document explaining the service-connection of your disability.
This is what the Nexus letter is. A written document linking your current injury to an event that you were apart of. After speaking with a medical professional, they can write a letter on your behalf explaining the connection between service and your disability claim. Often what happens for many Veterans is they are fearful of going to the doctor because they believe that there are possible consequences they feel could result from going to see a doctor.
For example, if you are a gun owner you might be worried that if you are experiencing PTSD and you go to see someone for it, they could determine that you are unsafe and take away your weapons. What is true is that it is essential to go to a medical professional in order to get the benefits you deserve. The opinion of the doctor is often a very valuable part of a disability claim.
The medical professional will give you an exam, write about your condition PTSDhearing los setc. This is all part of having them put together the Nexus letter for you, which will be the final document with all the information included. By having this all written out, it could result in you being awarded the amount you deserve. If you are already being treated by a doctor, it will be much easier to get a medical Nexus from them. They have already seen your files and have formed a relationship with you.
Therefore it is extremely important that the VA terminology is explained to them in order for the VA to properly understand the letter in regards to supporting your service connection. In fact, it may just be easier to see a VA doctor just in order to learn the proper terminology explaining your condition and the service connection according to what the VA looks for.
They know what you need on your file and can write it correctly. Our VA Claims Insider Elite program has an independent medical team which reviews your documents and write you a Nexus letter based on your specific conditions. After making an appointment with you, they will hear your story and write your letter.
A significant aspect of having an outside doctor write your letter is to make sure that they include they have reviewed all of your files before making this statement and that they are very familiar with your case. Submitting your Nexus letter early in the process is best for your outcome. It will be more beneficial for you to submit your claim during the early stages for the statement to be reviewed first.
With this, it is important for the doctor writing your letter includes specific terms for the VA. Above all, focus on the facts. In this post, we talk about what to share to get your story told, without exaggerating.