Unlocking Benefits: Nexus Letters for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

June 5, 2024
Elite Medical Review Associates

There are few conditions with lasting health consequences more complex than a traumatic brain injury. Also known as TBI, these injuries are unfortunately common among veterans and active duty servicemembers. If you are living with the consequences of a TBI caused by a service-related event, you have the chance to seek disability benefits from the VA. 

Unlocking these benefits is possible, especially when you have a VA nexus letter authorized by the right medical expert. These letters provide the decision-makers within the VA with details and research that explain how your injury is directly linked to your service. At Elite Medical Review Associates, we are prepared to connect you to a medical expert capable of writing a strong letter on your behalf.

Understanding TBI Veteran Disability Benefit Claims

Traumatic brain injuries are a common occurrence for service members. From training accidents to active combat, countless factors can result in trauma that leaves lasting damage to the brain. These injuries are covered by disability benefits from the VA, but proving your condition is linked to your service can be more difficult than you realize. 

Countless service-related events can lead to head trauma and brain injuries. One of the most common causes is the impact of a motor vehicle accident. Brain injuries are most likely in situations where your head strikes the steering wheel or dashboard upon impact. Some other factors may include: 

·         Weapon recoil

·         Falls and car accidents

·         Assaults or explosions

·         Paratrooper training accidents 

Symptoms from these accidents are unique in that, in some cases, it can take weeks or months to develop. This is especially true for unusual symptoms like unexplained personality changes. Unfortunately, the delay affecting these symptoms can make it difficult to conclusively link them to a traumatic event during your military service. Unlike a broken bone, the effects of a TBI might not be apparent when you are evaluated by a doctor immediately following the incident. 

A nexus letter could be a valuable tool for proving the connection between your brain injury and the traumatic event that occurred during your service. These letters can be submitted early on in the process, or you can provide them on appeal if your claim has already been denied by the VA.

Who Can Write a Nexus Letter for TBI?

There are few limitations on who can submit a nexus letter to the VA. Any doctor who is licensed or trained in the United States can do so. In fact, professionals other than physicians might also be an option, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants and doctoral level psychologists depending on the situation. However, traumatic brain injuries are complicated, and the best results often come with a letter authored by a specialist. 

Psychiatrists frequently play an important role in treating TBI. Although many of the symptoms of brain injuries are neurological, some veterans experience emotional and behavioral issues. When these symptoms are present, a psychiatrist can speak to the connection between these psychological issues and the brain injury you suffered during your service. 

Neurologists and neurosurgeons are also strong options for writing your nexus letter. Their knowledge could be invaluable in drawing a link between the neurological symptoms you are currently experiencing and your head injury. 

As helpful as a letter from these professionals can be for someone with a TBI, obtaining them can be easier said than done. This is because many doctors—particularly surgeons and specialists—are unwilling to take the time to draft a letter on your behalf. For many people, the lack of relevant specialists in their geographical area can also make this harder for them.

At Elite Medical Review Associates, we have a roster of seasoned professionals who are ready to help. We can connect you with the expert who is in the best position to help you maximize your chances of a successful claim.

Important Details Every Nexus Letter Should Include

These letters are more than informal communications. They are usually multiple pages filled with citations to research journals and your medical records. The content of the letter can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case, especially for veterans living with traumatic brain injuries. 

First, the author should provide information on their background and training. This is crucial, as the weight the letter carries will largely depend on the person writing it. The letter should begin with the author’s educational history before going into their training and work experience. Proving to the decision-makers within the VA that the author of your letter has the experience needed to provide a valuable opinion in your case is vital.

 Next, a VA nexus letter should also provide a supporting rationale for your condition being linked to a service-related event. This is often done by referencing medical journals and peer-reviewed research that supports your claim. In addition to scholarly articles, you can also include communications from people you served with, known as “buddy letters.” These letters confirm that the events during your service occurred as you claimed.

 Finally, your letter must reach a strong conclusion. It is not enough to provide information from your medical bills and references to peer-reviewed research. Your doctor will also need to come to a final conclusion. In order for the letter to be helpful to your case, it must conclude that your TBI is as at least as likely as not to be related to your service.

Get Help From an Expert – Contact Elite Medical Review Associates About Your TBI Nexus Letter

Living with a traumatic brain injury can complicate many aspects of your life. If your condition occurred due to a service-related event, you deserve to be compensated. VA disability benefits might provide you with the resources you need, but successful claims can never be taken for granted.

A VA nexus letter can strengthen your case and improve your chances for success. If you are unsure where to start, let Elite Medical Review Associates help. Our team of experts is ready to answer any questions you have. Contact us today to get started.

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