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scott2120

ptsd Family And Friend Claim Letters?

Question

Ok so my PTSD claim was Denied and now I am working on finding some of my brothers that served with me so I can get them to hopefully write letters for me. As it stands right now I have my mother and my brother and the only two friends I have from before and after service that I still keep in contact with writing letters. Can anyone tell me the best way to fourm the letter. As it stands all I can think to tell them is to start with to whom it may concern... Does the VA contact them to confirm the letter or set them up with a deposition hearing or anything like that to put them on record? Anything helps thanks all...

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3 answers to this question

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Here are some examples and suggestions that might help guide you:

http://www.mnveteranservice.org/documents/Example_Buddy_Statement.pdf

http://vetassist.blogspot.com/2006/04/buddy-statements.html

Keep on keepin on!

Edited by free_spirit_etc

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If the stressor proof was the issue for the denial, it might be the best bet of all to find your buddies.

Family member statement can help with reports of symptoms and changes in your demeanor and anxiety levels etc., before and after service but family members cannot give eye witness accounts s to prove a stressor.

If you wrote home to them about the stressor and they still have the dated letter, that might help a little to prove the stressor but still you need an accurate eye witness account.

I did many posts here over the years on buddy statements, here is one of them:

The buddy statement should contain Who,What,Where, When, and how and the other key points in this link.

Here is my post defining a stressor:

However the new PTSD criteria changed in 2010 and that might only apply to those claims in the regulation dates.

Do you have a PTSD diagnosis yet from a VA MH professional?

That is the first hurdle to get over.

And then google your unit for reunion rosters or Lookin For areas, and google the buddys by their name.

Actually it would help us if you tell us the exact wording of why the VA denied you or scan and attach the Reasons and Bases part of it here (cover the personal stuff..name, address, C file number)

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You want to make sure your statements stick to the facts, and just report what they have observed themselves, and not draw inferences..

Even if someone didn't witness the stressor, if someone could state that your behavior was different at that time or something - that would add credence to your report that X happened.

But keep in mind that the farther back in time you go, the less likely someone would remember all the details. So a bunch of reports that you acted different on such and such day a long time ago would not be considered too credible.

BUT if someone could tie it in to a specific incident that they would remember, it would be more credible. For instance, X, who is usually upbeat and talkative was really short-tempered and X on X day. I remember this specifically because it was my birthday and I called him and I was really upset that he yelled at me... << that would be more credible for remembering a specific incident on a specific date a long time ago.

If they don't remember a specific date, even a general time-frame might help.

And if you are also going to try to establish a basis for anxiety, depression, or some other mental issue (especially if you can't specifically prove your specific stressor) then statements about changes in your behavior, attitude, demeanor during the time you were in the military could be helpful - with specific examples of how (and generally when they noticed) those things changed. Also -- anything showing continuity of symptoms - especially from the time you got out of service until the time you started getting treatment might help.

http://www.va.gov/vetapp00/files1/0001569.txt

As a general matter, in order for any testimony to be
probative of any fact, the witness must be competent to
testify as to the facts under consideration. See Espiritu,
supra; Layno v. Brown, 6 Vet. App. 465 (1994). A witness
must have personal knowledge in order to be competent to
testify to a matter. Competent testimony is thus limited to
that which the witness has actually observed, i.e., to that
which is within the realm of his personal knowledge as
distinguished from opinions or conclusions drawn from such
facts.

So make sure they stick to things they observed and things they know for a fact. And each statement alone doesn't have to totally prove anything. But the statements from other people when all considered together might help prove your case.

Edited by free_spirit_etc

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