The Villages Voice - November 2016

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What is a NEXUS Letter and Why is it Important?

by Rick Blair, CVSO Manager

VETERANS CORNER What is a NEXUS Letter and Why is it Important? A NEXUS letter is the medical evidence a doctor prepares for a veteran that explains how and why the veteran’s current medical condition is related to his military service or secondary to an established service connected disability. In order to have a successful VA disability claim, the Veteran must meet three specific criteria; 1) he must have a current, chronic disability; 2) the disability must have been caused by, the result of, or aggravated by his military service or a secondary condition caused by an existing service connected disability; and 3) there must be a NEXUS or link between the first two criteria. For example; Private Gomer S. Pyle breaks his arm during field training while in service, it is placed in a cast and six weeks later the cast is removed, all of which is documented in his service treatment records (STR.) However, further review of his STR reveals there are no further entries regarding his arm AFTER the cast is removed.  When Private Pyle’s enlistment is complete and he separates from service, the separation physical may or may not mention the broken arm.  Nonetheless, approximately 10 years after his military separation, Mr. Pyle decides to submit a VA disability claim for his arm.  Assuming he has a diagnosis of a current arm condition, the VA would need to see a link or NEXUS between his current arm disability and the training accident that happened in service.  In this scenario, the VA will not dispute the injury in service, and with a recent diagnosis of an arm problem will not refute the current disability.  However, because more than 10 years have passed and there is no obvious chronicity of an arm problem directly related the broken arm in service, the VA will insist that Mr. Pyle prove a NEXUS or link between the in-service training accident and his current diagnosis. As you can see from this simple example, the NEXUS, or link is often the hardest element of service connection to establish.  If you have a claim that has been denied and you believe a NEXUS letter would improved your chances of receiving a service connected grant, we encourage you to make an appointment with us to discuss your claim (352) 689-4450. Rick Blair CVSO Manager Veterans Services Office 7375 Powell Road Wildwood, FL 34785 Direct:  352-689-4450 Fax:  352-689-4451 richard.blair@sumtercountyfl.gov Rick Blair, CVSO Manager