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mr.clean

Co-worker lay letter- will it help my PTSD c&p exam rating

Question

Hi everyone, 

I have a co-worker that has family members in the military and it appears that he seems to understand how difficult my days are at work due to my PTSD. According to him, his brother is rated at 70%, it break his heart seeing his brother go through the problem (PTSD). His brother lives with his wife and 3 sons few hours from his house. He tries to be there for him, hoping to alleviate pressure on his sister-in-law. 

Having said all this, after sharing my background and issue(s) PTSD, I mentioned that I have a PTSD exam coming up soon. 

He offered to draft a short to the point lay letter to convey how difficult it is for me at work due to my PTSD. 

Will a co-worker lay letter help my case-yes or no? How much weight does it have on my favor? How descriptive should he be in the letter, ex. worst days observation, etc?

This is his first written VA lay letter.

Thank you all...

 

 

 

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Lay evidence weighs more under penalty of perjury. 28 usc 1746

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/1746

The old "I affirm that this statement is true to the best of my knowledge" just doesn't seem to work anymore with the VA.

Reference this case also to add more legalese pertaining to lay evidence to your claim.

https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000014836/Jandreau-v.-Nicholson,-Jul-3,-2007,-492-F.3d-1372

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Doc25,

Thank you for these great pointers and cases. I will provide this information to my co-worker, as well to my wife and son, when they draft their lay letters pertaining to my worsening PTSD conditions.

Thanks again...

 

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Lay evidence works for some things, not so good for others.  You have to consider competency. 

YOur military buddy is not competent to diagnose PTSD.  THAT has to be done by a doctor.  But your buddy can testify he was there and saw your stressor, for example.  Maybe he was there when he saw a mutual friend killed, for example.  He could testify that he witnessed this in service event or stressor.  Keep the Caluza elements in mind:  diagnosis, stressor in service, and nexus.  Your buddies can not diagnose you, nor can they provide a nexus.  But, they are competent to report what they saw in service, which can be your stressor.  It works fairly well to document a stressor, but is useless to provide medical evidence.  

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As far as testimony of your coworker, that is a bit "iffy".  

Assuming you are service connected using the Caluza elements, its possible your coworker could help document symptoms.  

Example:  

      You are service connected for PTSD at 30 percent.  Your coworker noticed you got in a fight with your boss and you wound up getting fired.  Your coworker is competent to testify he saw you and your boss in a fight resulting in your firing.  

Generally, tho, that can also come from your doctor, if you report the incident to the doctor and he documents it in your file, so you may not even need a coworkers testimony.  

It could help tho, if there was an issue with your credibility.  When the baord makes a decision, they often make a determination if the Vets testimony is credible.  For example, if you lied about other stuff, the board could decide your testimony is not credible.  Also, the board has your medical record, and they can compare your testimony with that of your medical evidence.  These should be consistent with each other.  If you tell the VA you got shot in Vietnam, and there is no medical evidence in your file of a GSW, your testimony is suspicious.   That can be explained.  For example, Alex Graham was shot in Viet nam.  He was flown to a hospital that apparenly didnt keep medical records.  He was eventually able to document his service in vietnam, but it isnt always that easy to prove something, when you lose, or VA shreds your records.  

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On 1/17/2019 at 2:29 PM, mr.clean said:

Hi everyone, 

I have a co-worker that has family members in the military and it appears that he seems to understand how difficult my days are at work due to my PTSD. According to him, his brother is rated at 70%, it break his heart seeing his brother go through the problem (PTSD). His brother lives with his wife and 3 sons few hours from his house. He tries to be there for him, hoping to alleviate pressure on his sister-in-law. 

Having said all this, after sharing my background and issue(s) PTSD, I mentioned that I have a PTSD exam coming up soon. 

He offered to draft a short to the point lay letter to convey how difficult it is for me at work due to my PTSD. 

Will a co-worker lay letter help my case-yes or no? How much weight does it have on my favor? How descriptive should he be in the letter, ex. worst days observation, etc?

This is his first written VA lay letter.

Thank you all...

 

 

 

The absolute without a doubt strongest evidence a vet can have filing for TDIU is a Vocational Expert Opinion stating your SC do not allow you to maintain feasible employment. The letter or letters from others is helpful as well but the VR Letter is a slam dunk. If you can get that done very soon it is free and easy to set up. Bring anything you can to assist in the exam. I am not sure you are even at the % for TDIU i am seeing that you are trying for an increase in PTSD. Anyways good luck.

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