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.
So now that you know you may need this extra piece of evidence to support your claim, you might be wondering what it entails. Buddy letters can come from a handful of different people like a spouse, fellow service member, adult child, a pastor, or a close friend. These statements must come from someone you knew before your injury or someone present at the time of the incident or injury so they can attest to how the disability or injury occurred while you were serving 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 necessary for finding other veterans who are willing and able to provide you with a buddy letter.
How Do I Write A Buddy Letter?
While the VA tends to be lenient with cases that may not have sufficient medical evidence, buddy letters are still recommended if any additional information is needed, or the VA is not 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:
- Exactly who was 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
- Signature of the author and the date it 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.
Written by Advice for Veterans