In to present to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) when filing for VA disability compensation. In the nexus letter, the doctor explains how the veteran’s current medical condition is connected to their time in military service.
Providing a nexus letter is not mandatory during the filing of VA disability claims, but it can be the distinction between a successful claim and a rejected claim.
A medical doctor must follow several guidelines to write a professional nexus letter acceptable by the VA. Specific language and phrases are used to write a good nexus letter to show a clear connection to the service of the veteran’s medical condition. Application of the proper terminology when writing a nexus letter is essential.
Find a Medical Expert on Your Condition
The doctor writing your nexus letter should have a history of your medical condition and also be board certified in treating and diagnosing the condition. Expert evidence is valuable when presented to VA as they understand more about the medical condition and its effects.
Expert opinion is highly considered during the VA decision review process compared to lay evidence. Here are some of the things a doctor can include in the nexus letter:
- Lab work results confirming the diagnosis is connected to military service
- X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs showing the extent of the injury
- Records of treatment prescribed for the medical condition
- Notes from the doctor highlighting the progression of the veteran’s medical condition
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Keep It Brief and Professional
One of the essential elements of a good nexus letter is exuding professionalism. The doctor writing the nexus letter should use a professional letterhead, correct spacing, easy-to-read font, and organized margins. The nexus letter should also be free of any grammatical errors.
A doctor should keep the letter brief but complete by concentrating on essential facts and conclusions. Therefore, the doctor should be specific on the diagnosis and its cause to show a service connection.
Reference Related Medical Research
A nexus letter regarding medical research becomes credible during the VA decision review process and can increase your VA disability rating. Referencing recent medical research will provide a service connection for the medical condition and increase the trust factor by VA.
Also, a strong nexus letter has to have the following elements:
The nexus letter should start by providing the doctor’s credentials. The medical expert writing the nexus letter should be board certified and prove that they’re allowed to practice medicine legally. The doctor must also prove they’ve got the necessary qualifications needed to treat the veteran’s medical condition.
Doctors can write their qualifications in the nexus letter to show their expertise. The doctor can also attach copies of their academic qualifications such as medical license or medical degree on the note for review by VA.
Mention the Probability of Service Connection
A strong nexus letter states the extent of the possibility that the medical condition has a service connection. Doctors usually note degrees of probability as:
- Highly likely
- More than likely
- At least as likely as not
- Not likely
Note when the possibility is highly likely, the veteran’s condition is related to their service. Not likely means the veteran’s condition has no connection to their military service. Therefore, a nexus letter should include these degrees of likelihoods because they explain why the doctor believes the veteran’s medical condition is connected to their military service.
A Review of Medical Records
A review of medical records is usually the central part of the nexus letter. The letter starts with a summary of medical records to show how the veteran’s condition qualifies for compensation. Here the doctor can give a short history of the veteran’s ailment, which is the center for their VA disability claim.
The doctor will provide the patient’s medical records, tests, scans, and prescribed medication. The letter will also include the veteran’s current state of disability and the length of time they have been on treatment.
Contact an Advocate to Learn More
A nexus letter from a board-certified doctor increases the odds of winning a VA disability claim filed against VA. However, the nexus letter must be strong, containing all the elements required by VA, such as a doctor’s credentials, probability of service connection, and review of medical records.
If a veteran needs a nexus letter, it’s advisable to request the letter from a doctor who has their medical history and is an expert. However, sometimes doctors can be hesitant. In such a case, you can guide them by drafting a letter from a sample nexus letter. Using the sample, the doctor can quickly review, edit, and sign. Contact a us to learn more today.