WRITE A WINNING BUDDY LETTER
Our last article discussed the importance of having a buddy letter, also known as a Statement in Support of Claim when the medical evidence for your disability claim falls short. Now it is time to write a Buddy Letter.
Now that you know of this extra piece of evidence to support your claim, you might wonder what it entails. They can come from a handful of people like a spouse, fellow service member, adult child, pastor, or close friend. These statements must come from someone you knew before your injury or someone present at the time of the incident or injury. This person can attest to how the injury occurred and how it is now affecting your life.
If you believe your best bet is a fellow servicemember, but you’re unable to find them, your local Veterans Service Organization may be able to provide you the resources you’ll need.
WHAT YOUR LETTER SHOULD ENTAIL
The VA tends to be lenient with cases that may not have sufficient medical evidence, however, buddy letters are still recommended. Sometimes you don’t have enough evidence to support your claim or the VA isn’t willing to take your word.
The buddy letter should include information regarding exactly how the injury has impacted your life. It should include each of the points mentioned here:
- Those involved in the incident
- A description of what happened
- Where the incident or injury took place
- The date of the incident or injury
- A detailed description of your behavior and/or abilities before and after the injury or incident took place
- How you were physically or mentally affected by the event
- The treatment you are now seeking due to the incident/injury
- Any changes in your behavior or health as a result of the incident
- Contact information of the person writing the buddy letter
- The signature of the author
- Date the letter was written
While the buddy letters should be as detailed as possible, it helps keep them short (no more than one page) because the VA has hundreds of cases to run through regularly.
Now that you know how to write a winning buddy letter, share this post on Pinterest or Facebook so other veterans can benefit from the information we have provided.