Buddy Statement- What is it and why does it matter? - Veterans Guardian

Buddy Statement- What is it and why does it matter?

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When you file a VA disability claim, it’s often helpful to provide a buddy statement to support your application packet or appeal. You should have someone write a buddy letter for several reasons. For starters, to qualify for disability benefits, you need to connect your current condition to an injury or event which was experienced during military service. Oftentimes, veterans do not realize the impact a good buddy statement can have on their VA disability claim. In fact, a buddy letter is an example of a piece of lay evidence the VA is required to review and take into consideration when determining a claim decision.

The buddy statement or buddy letter includes important details which could help you build your case. You may have heard of it referred to as a “Statement in Support of Claim.” So, what should be included in a buddy statement? Without a doubt, there must be specific details about the event that caused your service-connected condition. This can include location, date and details about the incident.

Types of Buddy Statements

Typically, there are two types of buddy statements that can be provided to support a claim.

1) Statements written by a friend, spouse, or family member

2) Statements written by military co-workers

Let’s take a closer look at the type of information included in each buddy statement.

  • Buddy statement from co-workers. Unfortunately, events occur during military service that never get officially reported or recorded by a unit. Therefore, you should try to have a military co-worker write a buddy letter for you to help establish details about the event which caused your service-connected disability. Buddy letters which include specific details related an event are most effective. Additionally, it’s important for co-workers to address any change in behavior or physical health observed as a result of the incident. Your best bet here is to have someone from your unit write this statement.
  • Buddy statement from friends and family. These letters draw a connection between your disability and the impact it has had on your life. The letters include impact on your personal and professional relationships. The best buddy statements mention information about changes in you behavior or negative impacts on relationships with friends or family.  A buddy letter written by family should address how the disability impacts your daily life and activities. Furthermore, the writer should indicate how your condition affects your quality of life – such as your favorite hobbies.

Buddy statements can play a critical part for achieving a fair disability rating – one that actually reflects your condition. It’s sometimes hard to admit that we have been affected by our time in service. Above all, a well written buddy statement is an open and honest description of your experiences.

Do you need help understanding which disability benefits you may be eligible for? Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve the benefits you are entitled to for your honorable service to the nation.

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