What if I Can’t Afford a Nexus Letter for VA Disability and My Doctor Won’t Write One, and I Can’t Find a Veterans Disability Lawyer?

The process of applying for and receiving VA disability benefits can be frustrating. If you are like many veterans, you may need a nexus letter from a medical professional giving their conclusion that your disability is related to your time in the military. The problem is that securing one of these letters might be more difficult than you think.

Elite Medical Review Associates could assist you with finding the right doctor for your claim. We always prioritize veterans in this process, which is why we rely on a simple fee structure to make certain there are no misunderstandings. Reach out to us about a nexus letter for VA disability today.

What to Do If Your Physician Won’t Write Your Nexus Letter

It is understandable if your first thought is to have your primary care physician provide a nexus letter to the VA. Your doctor is qualified to do so as long as they have the requisite training and experience, but that does not mean they will ultimately be an option for you. This is because many doctors cannot or will not draft a letter as part of the VA disability process.

Some doctors are not interested in using their time to draft these letters. The process can be time-consuming, and physicians are busy as it is. In many cases, the network or practice that a doctor works for might prohibit them from taking part in this work as well. 

Things can be even more difficult if you receive most or all of your medical care through the VA. While the VA is obligated to assist you with your disability claim, that does not mean they will write a nexus letter on your behalf. Instead, they are likely to have you sit through an examination that is unlikely to result in valid proof of a connection to your military service. In these cases, having a letter from an independent doctor could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. 

It is important to remember that physicians and specialists are not the only professionals who are authorized to write a nexus letter for VA disability. You might have more luck with healthcare workers who are not physicians, but only certain professionals will qualify. First, a physician assistant has the experience and training to see patients on a limited basis. The same is true for nurse practitioners, who are nurses with advanced degrees. Individuals who hold either of these positions could write your nexus letter.  We have even seen regular nurses write opinions before.

The Cost of a Nexus Letter

Nexus letters are more than informal correspondence. These are heavily researched documents that can only be drafted by experienced medical professionals. Given the effort that goes into making them, it should come as no surprise that there is a financial cost to obtaining them. Some of these letters are really reports and they could be 10-20 pages long or more.

Of course, these costs can vary dramatically depending on a number of factors. The nature of your case, the extent of your medical records, and the specific disability you live with could all impact these expenses. For example, it could be more expensive if you require the help of a specialist as opposed to a nurse practitioner. If you source your letter directly from a doctor, they will determine what their time is worth. 

Many people also rely on consultants and firms to assist with this process, but not all of them are going to act in your best interest. Some of these companies might bill by the hour, ultimately resulting in a bill that most veterans cannot afford. Others could wind up taking most of your benefits as their fee when all is said and done. 

We understand the financial strain that most disabled veterans are feeling. That is why we have developed a simple fee structure designed to be affordable for veterans who are no longer able to work. We generally charge a flat fee for the medical expert we connect you with, although this rate can vary. Our goal is to help you get the benefits you need without adding to your financial burden. 

Is a Contingency Fee an Option?

Most doctors and medical consulting firms provide nexus letters for VA disability for a flat rate, while others bill by the hour. This can be costly, especially given that these fees must be paid upfront before benefits are ever awarded by the VA. 

Due to the financial strain that many disabled veterans are under, many seek out a contingency fee option that would allow them to secure a nexus letter and pursue their claim for benefits without paying anything upfront. The upside of this approach is that it is possible to move forward with your disability claim without the need to pay anything out of your own pocket ahead of time. 

However, the downside to this approach is significant. Agreeing to give up a percentage of your benefits could cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. Consider the following example. Should you agree to pay 20 percent of your recovery to the consultants that arranged for your VA nexus letter and you are awarded $50,000, you will end up paying $10,000 for their services. It is generally possible to secure a letter for much less than that.  In addition, doctors or claims consultants that are not accredited VA agents should not be charging contingency fees for medical reports.  Only lawyers should be charging contingency fees.

Dealing With Multiple Disabilities

One situation where you may need help beyond what your primary physician can provide is when you are living with more than one disabling condition. You have the opportunity to seek benefits for each of them, but you must prove a service connection between every condition. 

In some cases, that means you could require two distinct nexus letters; one for each disability. While a general practitioner might be in a position to write that letter for some conditions, others are better dealt with by a specialist. In that scenario, you might need the support of another medical professional, even if your primary care doctor is willing to write a letter for one of your disabling conditions. 

The more disabilities you seek benefits for, the more complicated the process can become. With that in mind, it can be helpful to rely on our consultants to help you identify the ideal medical expert for your situation. We look forward to the opportunity to help you secure a nexus letter for VA disability.

How Nexus Letters Might Impact Your Case

Given the challenge of finding medical professionals who are willing to help, it is understandable for you to wonder how important these letters are in the first place. It is true that in certain situations, a letter is unnecessary. This is the case with presumptive service connections. 

The VA automatically regards certain conditions as linked to a person’s military service, although there are usually additional factors that must be present. For example, Vietnam veterans are presumed to have a service-related disability if they were exposed to Agent Orange in certain locations during the war. Likewise, many disabilities are presumed to be linked to military service for former prisoners of war. 

Without a presumed service connection, you will need to be able to show a nexus between your disability and your military service. In some cases, this process can be virtually impossible without the help of a doctor. 

It is not enough to have a valid diagnosis of a disabling injury or illness. Often, these letters are the only thing that shows the VA that your disability would not have occurred if it were not for your service. These letters can make a difference in your case, but it is important to remember that they are never guaranteed to be successful.

Can You Refer a Disability Lawyer to Me?

Elite Medical Review Associates is not a law firm, and we cannot represent you should you need to appeal a denied benefits claim. However, we have spent years working on behalf of veterans and their legal counsel, and we have experience with numerous seasoned, trustworthy firms that might be able to help. 

We are often able to refer veterans to experienced VA benefits lawyers, especially after their initial claim was denied. While we have extensive relationships with law firms, it is important to understand we might not have a viable referral depending on your geographic location.

Rely on Our Expertise – Elite Medical Review Associates is Here to Help

The process of obtaining a nexus letter for VA disability can be frustrating, especially if your own doctors refuse to help. The good news is that you have other options available. Elite Medical Review Associates is ready to work with you to find the right expert for your case. Our extensive connections can provide you with the medical professional that you need to prove your disability is related to your military service. Contact us today to learn more.

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