Vet Resource Group

Why You Need An Independent Medical Opinion (Nexus Letter)

Vet Resource Group was established to “level the playing field” for Veterans in their attempts to obtain favorable VA disability determinations.  An Independent Medical Opinion, or often referred to as an IMO or nexus letter, can often be the most important piece in a veteran’s pursuit of a favorable VA disability decision. Completed properly, a nexus letter from a licensed medical provider well-versed in VA requirements can be the reason a claim is successful. Completed poorly, or not completed at all, it can be the reason for denial or delay. Independent Medical Opinions are often needed to clear the first hurdle of any disability claim    service-connection. 

A claim for service-connection is often denied for a lack of supporting documentation in the claim’s file or a lack of a nexus, or link, connecting the veteran’s current symptoms and medical conditions to their time in the service.  Establishing this “nexus” is critical to obtaining service-connection from the VA.  A claimant must be diligent in gathering and developing the required supporting evidence to demonstrate service-connection to the VA. Obtaining a nexus letter from a licensed medical provider provides the VA with evidence to support the causation of your current medical conditions, linking them to your time in the service.   Medical opinions are an essential tool used to establish service-connection where evidence of causation is needed, or when prior unfavorable opinions are of record.

As many veterans will attest, obtaining affordable medical opinions or nexus letters can be a difficult task. Finding a medical expert also well-versed in the VA’s requirements, can be even tougher.  Most private doctors choose to not get involved because they are not familiar with the VA claim process and what is required.  If you do find a medical professional who is willing to write a positive opinion, unfortunately the opinion will often be dismissed by the VA because it lacks certain characteristics, verbiage or comprehensive medical reasoning.  In the eyes of your assigned VA adjudicator (rater), your medical opinion will lack required information and be deemed deficient.  Consequently, your claim will most likely be denied. Veteran’s need independent medical opinions to properly document their entitlement to VA disability benefits.

Another problem facing many veterans is that they often receive their medical treatment through a VA medical provider and do not have a private doctor.  VA medical center policies generally prohibits VA treating medical professionals from completing nexus letters and/or DBQ examination reports for disability purposes. The reason for this is the VA already has an entire department dedicated to performing these examinations and opinions. The VA wants its treating professionals to only treat and not provide disability opinions and/or reports. Also, the VA has a legitimate concern that 2 of its medical professionals could provide conflicting opinions – favorable vs. unfavorable. In such a predicament, a conflict of interest is created. As such, the VA medical centers do not allow its treating medical professionals to provide disability statements and/or reports. With a nexus letter being required in most VA disability claims, this causes a major problem for a lot of veterans and an “unlevel playing field”, tilted to favor the Department of Veteran Affairs.  Vet Resource Group bridges this gap and provides Veterans with reasonably priced and unbiased examinations.

The VA has a statutory “duty to assist” veterans in scheduling them compensation and pension (C&P) examinations to determine whether the Veteran is eligible for benefits. While the VA has a duty to assist, in many instances this “duty” unfavorably impacts veterans from receiving a fair and unbiased exam or opinion.  This “duty” includes assisting veterans with obtaining C&P examinations and medical opinions.  In most cases, the VA uses VA medical center C&P staff to conduct the exams and opinions. However, in recent years the VA began contracting out its C&P examinations to 3rd party examining companies such as QTC, VES, etc. In either instance, the examiners tend to be calloused towards Veterans. It’s not uncommon the examiner doesn’t even look at the medical history before rendering their unfavorable opinions. Vet Resource Group bridges this gap and provides Veterans with reasonably priced and unbiased examinations.

For these reasons, and many more, a veteran MUST be proactive in providing supporting evidence to the VA. This is where we come in.  Vet Resource Group was established and developed to bridge the gap between the veteran and independent medical experts well-versed in VA requirements, “leveling the playing field”.