Spousal Buddy Letter

If you have spent any amount of time perusing the internet in your quest to figure out how to file a winning claim, then you have likely read something about letters from a spouse. Have you wondered if such letters can actually help your claim?

To answer your question, yes absolutely. Buddy letters from a spouse or a service member you were stationed with can carry a lot of weight in supporting your claim. Which leads clients asking a frequently asked question here at VA Claims Insider: “Do you have a template I can use?”

 No, we do not provide buddy letter templates to our clients. However, we offer guidance in writing an empathetic, claim winning Buddy letter.

Benefit of a Buddy Letter

By law, the VA has a duty to assist you, the veteran, in the development of your disability claim.  The law, which is entitled The Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000, was enacted on November 9, 2000. This federally mandated law states that “The VA has a duty to assist a claimant who files a substantially complete application in obtaining evidence to substantiate his or her claim before making a decision on the claim. We are charged with granting every benefit supported by law.”

This means that the VA must review all documents in support of your claim. Although the VA is duty bound to look for your military medical records, oftentimes they are not successful. With errors in medical records storage and poor documentation by military medical personnel, buddy or spousal letters play a crucial role in filling the information gap to support your disability claim.

Perhaps you are still questioning, why are templates not provided?

Simply put, we at VA Claims Insider believe the truth is the most important part of your claim. If you are provided a template, you could very well be influenced to say something that is perhaps not applicable or even worse, not true. We help our clients write their letters in a way that makes them flow with truth and passion.

A buddy or spousal letter is a historical narrative of either witnessing an actual incident or observing changes in the service member’s behavior over time. The best perspective is from both before and after an incident. It is crucial that whoever writes the letter, does so honestly and based on his or her perspective and first-hand observation.

What to include in the Buddy Letter

The letter should start with how you, the author, knows the veteran. A spouse will know their partner better than anyone else, and the VA recognizes that. Secondly, the letter should mention how long the author has known the veteran. Lastly, the letter needs to, with as much detail as possible, discuss how the veteran has been impacted. No claim has ever been denied, because of too much information! If you are writing a letter for someone, let the details flow.

I encourage all of my clients to have the author provide contact information for the VA, even if it is just an email. If you are writing a letter for a veteran using a word document, put a date on it and add your signature. The VA does not accept an electronic signature. At VA Claims Insider we offer several tools for our clients to make this process easier for all parties involved.

Check out our buddy letter generator link, it is a simple questionnaire that will help you write out your buddy letter. It will make this process easier for you to obtain a well-written buddy letter so you can file that winning claim!

Stewart Simons is apart of the VA Claims Insider Team and a retired Navy Disabled Veteran. You can contact him at [email protected]

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