If you have been injured while serving our country, obtaining a nexus letter is probably the last thing on your mind.
Likely you are taking the time to adjust to your new lifestyle outside of the service and living with (and recovering from) your injuries.
To help someone such as yourself who has dedicated themselves to a greater cause, the government has a program set up to make sure that veterans are given the proper compensation for their disabilities. These payments may help you with living expenses and compensate you for being unable to work.
For the best chance at getting Veterans Affairs (VA) disability payments, the one thing standing in the way is the nexus letter.
What is a Medical Nexus Letter?
The word “nexus” means a connection, or a link like when one thing causes another thing to occur.
A nexus letter, therefore, is a letter that explains the connection between your time in the service and your current disabilities.
By proving that your disabilities are service-connected, and to what degree, you will be able to better prove your case to get VA Disability payments.
What Does a Nexus Letter Need to Achieve?
A nexus letter’s only goal is to connect a current disability to a service-related incident.
Therefore the letter must achieve 3 elements:
- Show a disability that was caused by, or aggravated by a service-related incident
- Show that the condition that was service-related is still prevalent now
- Show proof of a valid medical opinion that the current condition is linked to the service-related incident
By showing that a condition was created or made worse by your service, and linking that to your present condition, a medical professional will be able to write a letter that effectively links the two, and provides necessary proof to include within your VA Disability claim.
How Do I Go About Getting a Nexus Letter?
In order to get a nexus letter for your VA disability, you need to find a doctor that understands how to go about writing these types of letters.
The doctor needs to have access to your service records, medical records from your time in the service, and specific instances that may have occurred to cause your disability.
There aren’t many doctors that advertise offering this type of service, so it may take some time and resources to find a doctor that specializes in your type of disability that can perform this service for you.
Talking to a VA Disability lawyer can put you on the right track, as they will have connections to assist you in getting your nexus letter completed.
It is very unlikely that your claim will be accepted if you are missing a nexus letter in your claim.
What Should I Do If My Claim Is Denied?
If your case has been denied and you need help with an appeal, or if you need someone to help you find a doctor that will be able to write you a nexus letter for your claim, contacting a personal injury lawyer should be your next step.
If you contact VanDerGinst Law, we will be able to help with either of these problems and the consultation for personal injury cases is always free.
At VanDerGinst Law, part of our mission is to help those to whom we owe a debt of gratitude and this includes members of our military and veterans.
As such, it is our mission to try to help you get the best result possible in your VA disability case.
We would be honored to help.
VA Disability FAQ
- How important is a nexus letter?
Most VA Disability claims won’t even be considered without a nexus letter. Rejection can leave you with years of rejection or appeals and no compensation to help. It’s better to get the letter and give it your best shot to be accepted for compensation the first time.
- How do I prove my disability is service-connected?
There needs to be service, or other medical records showing that the disability has occurred and that a medical professional deemed it to be service-related.
Of course, your nexus letter will help connect these two instances together for your claim.
- What is the VA 10 year rule?
If your service connected injury has been on record for 10 years or more, that disability rating will not be able to be taken from you unless later evidence proves that your claim was based on fraud.
This means that you will no longer have to worry about reevaluations of your injuries or benefits being reduced or taken away.
The 10 year rule could also refer to veterans’ eligible survivors only being able to collect Dependency Indemnity Compensation if the veteran had a service-connected disability for 10 years before death. This rule is currently being fought to be overturned.
- Can my personal doctor write my nexus letter?
You are best to have a doctor who specializes in whatever your disability is to write your nexus letter.
For the same reason you likely wouldn’t want your accountant to fix your car, you need someone who can speak professionally about your specific disability and how it was caused by your service.
- Can VA doctors write my letter?
While you need service medical records and VA records to help piece together your medical history for a doctor to write a solid nexus letter, having a VA doctor write the letter probably isn’t going to happen.
You need an independent medical opinion, which doesn’t include a VA doctor, as they work for the establishment that you are submitting your claim to.
- Do you need a nexus letter for a secondary condition?
You will need a nexus letter for each condition that you are claiming VA disability for.
The only difference is that secondary conditions don’t need to be proven to be directly service-related, only that the condition developed as a result of the primary injury, such as sleep apnea developing from obesity, which was caused by lack of ability to exercise due to a service-related injury.
- Can a nurse write a nexus letter?
A nurse is able to write your nexus letter, but just as you likely wouldn’t want a general practice doctor to write your letter, you want to find someone who is most familiar with and has expertise with your condition to give you your best chance at getting compensation.
- What are the different VA disability ratings?
The VA uses the Federal Schedule of Ratings to rate disabilities.
If you need further assistance, please feel free to reach out to VanDerGinst Law for a free consultation.
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The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.