If you suffered a disability related to your service in the Armed Forces, you may be eligible for monthly VA disability payments from the Veteran’s Administration (VA). However, the VA may deny your application for benefits—even if your disability is clear-cut. One way to strengthen your claim is to file buddy statements with your application or appeal.
What Is a Buddy Statement?
A buddy statement is also referred to as a “Statement in Support of Claim.” It is a letter that is written by friends, family, employers, or military co-workers that can substantiate that you suffered an illness or medical condition associated with your active duty in the Armed Forces. The letters are most helpful when they tell the story of the incident that caused you to suffer a disability and how your disability has affected your life.
These statements can be written on a letter-sized piece of paper or by completing VA-Form 21-4138. If not using the official form, it is important to include all the information it requests in the buddy statement.
Three Types of Buddy Statements That Can Help You
There are three types of buddy statements that can be helpful when applying for VA disability benefits. Each type will spotlight different issues that establish your eligibility for benefits.
Before obtaining any buddy statements, it is best to consult with an experienced disability attorney who can give you guidance on who should submit letters for you and what they should focus on when they write them. Here are the three types of statements that you may want to use.
A buddy statement from a military co-worker can verify that an event occurred that caused your disability and the details of how it happened. This information can be useful because the military does not always keep records of every incident that may result in servicepersons suffering a disability. It is also helpful when these co-workers can provide information about how your condition or health was impacted by the incident and what treatments you received for your illness or medical condition.
Friends and Family
Friends and family members can provide beneficial information on how your disability has affected your life. In their buddy statements, they can describe your health, personality, and lifestyle before the event that caused your disability and how you have changed since you became disabled. They can share how your disability affects many aspects of your life, such as your job, your daily activities, and your relationships with your family, friends, and others.
Your current and former employers can submit statements that explain how your service-related disability affects your ability to work and how your abilities have changed over time as your disability worsened.
Do you want to make your VA disability application as strong as possible so that your request for VA disability benefits is approved? Call our Roswell office or start a live chat to schedule your free consultation today to learn how we can help.