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MarkInTexas

Question

From time to time I see that buddy letters are used to help develop the continuity and nexus of a claim. I also see recommendations for letters from a spouse, children or other family members. Does the VA really consider this strong probationer lay evidence?

I hadn't thought about having my wife write a letter, but if it will put another nail in the claim, maybe I should. Any thoughts or past experiences?

Happy Labor Day!

Mark

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I know I submitted a letter for my husband/ and him for me when we originally sent in our claim. On the VCAA paperwork we received it states "You may also send us your own statement, or statements from people who have witnessed how your claimed disabilities affect you. All statements submitted on your behalf should conclude with the following certification "I hereby certify that the information I have given is true to the best of my knowledge and belief".

After finding hadit.com - I saw this written by a former rater and questioned whether we should have sent it in or not: This is nearly a no brainer but be honest. Don’t embellish your stories with fanciful tales. Just the facts please. Be able to document everything you tell the examiner. You may run into someone like me who checked stories out. If possible have letters from people you served with, unit diary copies of incidents that occurred during your time and space, and letters from family members. Family member letters usually don’t add a lot of weight to your case because families are there to support you and examiners understand that. Which can be found here: http://www.hadit.com/thingstodoatcandp.html

I have also been reading several decisions of the CAVC and have seen letters from family members mentioned in several of the cases. It seems that family letters are used by the VA for or against the vet. Several of the decisions I was reading made statements such as "this symptom or this condition was not even mention by the spouse/family member in their letter". So if one is going to write one - make sure that every contention/symptom is covered.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I got letters from my wife and brother. They were both used as evidence in my decision to get TDIU. A buddy letter is different since it puts you at a time and place in a combat zone perhaps.

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You know, I feel dumb for not submitting one from my wife. I hadn't even thought about it until I was reading Asknod's book over the weekend. It was enlightening, and helped fill in some of the blanks that I had on how the process worked, including the spouse letter.

Mark

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