The word NEXUS means link.
A Nexus letter is the link between your medical condition and your military service.
When is a Nexus Letter Needed?
There are five different scenarios where it may be warranted:
- Attempting to directly service-connect a condition
- Service connection through aggravation (preexisting condition made worse by service)
- Presumptive connection
- Secondary connection
- Connection based on VA medical care
What Does a Nexus Letter Do?
The Nexus letter acts as the link between your medical evidence and your service record. There is no “right” time to submit one, but the sooner the better in most cases. Any veteran can submit a Nexus letter with their initial application for benefits, during development of their claim, or after an unfavorable C&P Exam. However, since this document is not free (cost varies from provider to provider), most veterans only utilize the letter during an appeal or an attempt to secondarily connect a condition.
A Strong Nexus Letter
The following components will make for a stronger letter, increasing the likelihood of the VA awarding in your favor:
- A strong, concise format that clearly states the evidence, information, etc., as short and sweet as possible. Overly long letters are not helpful and may delay the process or convolute the message.
- A statement that confirms the physician or writer has thoroughly reviewed the veteran’s entire medical history, treatment forms, etc.
- Additional evidence, such as a buddy letter, medical reports, reviews or statements from a non-VA or private medical professional, or a statement from the veteran themselves, which will provide further or additional evidence and information that supports the claim.
- Links, references, or articles about medical research or findings that support the writer’s statements or points.
- A strong closing statement, where the physician or writer links the condition to being likely due to military service. Nexus letters DO NOT have to be written as medical certainty; therefore, the doctor’s opinion does not have to be absolute.
Example of a letter here!
What the Veteran Can Do
- Know WHY you think a rating should be service-connected
- Make it specific: “I fell out of a Humvee and broke my ankle, therefore I have limited range of motion in that ankle.”
- See a specialist and request a formal diagnosis
- Provide your doctor of choice with your medical record
- Remember to inform the doctor that they just need to point out whether “it is as least as likely as not” that the current condition was caused by an event during service. In a 50/50 conclusion, the VA should award service-connection.
Nexus letters won’t get you the service-connection on their own, but will strengthen your case.
We Can Help
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