Statement in Support of Claim


Hi Jim. I am writing a letter to the VA appeals board regarding benefits for my dad. He is a Vietnam veteran and has been denied certain benefits for PTSD and anxiety. My mom is doing all the work with the VA but suggested I give them examples of my experiences of his anxiety/outbursts/anger etc. Do you have any advice on writing my letter. I know they want specific examples ( I have plenty) and they want it short and to the point. Any advice would help. I appreciate your time.

Jim's Reply:

As a rule I don't have any faith in a "Statement In Support Of Claim" written by a relative and I do not recommend such statements unless there's a very specific setting for that. I don't lend much weight to statements written by preachers, teachers, siblings or close acquaintances either. Then again, neither does VA. Statements written by people who are not expert witnesses offering medical testimony or former battle buddies who are reporting an event in service just aren't very credible. After all, what's a spouse going to say? VA recognizes an inherit bias in all such statements and lends them little credibility. While I appreciate that your mom is trying to help your dad, appealing to the BVA isn't the place for that. He needs an experienced veterans law attorney. Please click here to find one.