top of page
writing-student.jpeg

HOW TO WRITE A COMPELLING STATEMENT TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM

Crafting a compelling Statement in Support of Claim for your VA disability application involves detailed storytelling and clear articulation of how your service-related disability impacts your life. A well-structured statement can significantly enhance your claim by providing the VA with a vivid, personal insight into your experiences, challenges, and needs. Below, we expand on each section of your statement to ensure a comprehensive and persuasive narrative.

 

Start with a detailed introduction of your military service. This should include:

  • Branch of Service and Unit: Clearly state your branch and unit, providing a foundation for understanding your military background.

  • Service Duration and Locations: Mention the total years served and key locations, especially those relevant to your claim.

  • Roles and Responsibilities: Describe your MOS or specific duties, focusing on aspects that relate directly to your disability claim.

 

Detailed Account of the Event: If a specific event is at the heart of your disability:

  • Event Description: Provide a chronological narrative of the event, including the date, location, and what transpired. Use descriptive language to convey the intensity or seriousness of the situation.

  • Your Role in the Event: Detail your involvement, actions taken, and any immediate consequences you faced.

  • Eyewitness Accounts: If available, include statements from others who witnessed the event, adding credibility and perspective to your account.

 

Description of Your Disability and Its Impact: This section is crucial for illustrating the breadth of your disability's impact on your life:

  • Physical and Emotional Toll: Discuss specific physical limitations or symptoms you experience. Describe the emotional and psychological effects, such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression, emphasizing how these have altered your daily life.

  • Professional and Social Impact: Detail any changes in your job performance, career trajectory, or employment status. Discuss the strain or changes in relationships and social activities, highlighting any isolation or withdrawal you've experienced.

  • Comparison of Pre- and Post-Service Life: Offer a vivid comparison of your abilities, hobbies, and quality of life before and after your service. This contrast can powerfully illustrate the disability's impact.

 

Medical Treatment and Response

  • Treatment Timeline: Provide a detailed timeline of your medical treatments, including dates, healthcare providers, and treatment outcomes. This demonstrates the ongoing nature of your disability and your efforts to address it.

  • Accessibility and Efficacy of Treatments: Discuss any challenges in accessing care or limitations in treatment efficacy. This can highlight the complexity and severity of your condition.

Personal Testimony

  • Personal Reflections: Share your personal journey in adapting to life with your disability. This might include mental health struggles, the challenge of redefining your identity post-service, or the daily realities of living with a chronic condition.

  • Hopes and Frustrations: Articulate your hopes for improvement or fears about the future. This section adds depth to your narrative, showing the human element behind the claim.

 

Supporting Testimonies

  • Family and Friends Observations: Incorporate statements from those close to you, detailing their observations of your struggles and changes since your service. These perspectives can underscore the broad impact of your disability.

  • Professional Insights: If applicable, include observations from your employers or colleagues about changes in your work performance or behavior, lending further evidence to your claim's validity.

 

Conclusion and Appeal for Support

  • Summary of Your Situation: Concisely summarize the key points of your narrative, reinforcing the severity and legitimacy of your disability.

  • Appeal for Understanding and Support: End with a respectful appeal to the VA for support, emphasizing the critical role of the benefits in maintaining your dignity, independence, and quality of life.

 

Writing Tips for Clarity and Impact

  • Narrative Flow: Ensure your statement has a logical flow, with each section smoothly transitioning into the next. This helps maintain the reader's engagement and understanding.

  • Emotive Language: Where appropriate, use emotive language to convey the intensity of your experiences and the depth of your struggles. This can make your statement more compelling and memorable.

  • Proofreading: Thoroughly proofread your statement or have someone else review it for errors and clarity. A polished, error-free statement reflects the seriousness of your claim well.

 

By meticulously crafting each section of your Statement in Support of Claim, you significantly strengthen your VA disability claim, ensuring that the VA fully comprehends the profound impact of your service-related disability on your life.

(Current Clients): Please use these forms to submit your statement

VA Form 21-0781 PTSD Statement - Personal Statement (Read This First)

VA Form 21-0781a PTSD and MST Secondary to Personal Assault - Personal Statement (Read This First) 

VA Form 21-10210 Lay Witness Statement - Buddy, Family, and Friends Statements

VA Form 21-4138 General Statements - Can be used for any VA benefit

 

SAMPLE LETTER:

[Your Name]

[Your Service Number/SSN]

[Your Address]

[Email Address]

[Phone Number]

 

Department of Veterans Affairs

Claims Intake Center

PO Box 4444 Janesville, WI 53547-4444

 

Subject: Service Connection for Lumbar Strain

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to apply for service-connected compensation for a lumbar strain that initially occurred in 1989 while I was stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana. During a field exercise, I was involved in lifting a generator off a truck, which resulted in immediate back pain. I sought medical attention at the base's sick call, where I was prescribed 800mg of Ibuprofen and placed on a temporary profile.

Despite the initial care, I continued to experience lumbar pain throughout my service. However, fearing stigma and potential negative attention from my unit, I refrained from seeking further medical assistance. This decision, driven by a concern for my career and unit cohesion, has had lasting repercussions on my health.

After my service, my access to medical care was severely limited, and it wasn't until 2012, through my employment, that I was able to seek treatment for my ongoing back pain. Over the past three years, I have been under the care of a private chiropractor. Recent X-rays have confirmed the presence of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) and bulging discs, conditions that trace directly back to the injury I sustained while in service.

The impact of this injury has extended far beyond my service and into my personal and professional life. I am currently enrolled in a pain management program to manage the constant discomfort and limitation of mobility. My ability to perform at work has been compromised, leading to periods of unemployment and financial strain. Furthermore, the pain and subsequent treatment have caused me to miss significant life events and opportunities to spend time with my family, contributing to a decreased quality of life.

I have attached all relevant medical records, including the documentation from my initial visit to sick call in 1989, records from my chiropractic care, and the recent X-rays and diagnoses. These documents substantiate the origin of my lumbar strain during military service and its progression to my current condition.

I request that the Department of Veterans Affairs recognize the service connection of my lumbar strain and its subsequent conditions. Granting this claim would not only validate the physical suffering I have endured since my service but also provide the necessary support to manage my health moving forward.

Thank you for considering my claim. I am ready to provide any additional information or documentation required. I look forward to your response and hope for a favorable review of my case.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Conclusion:

When filing a VA disability claim, providing comprehensive evidence to support your case is vital. Statements in Support of Claim offer a valuable opportunity to strengthen your claim by providing crucial details, additional information, and personal testimonies. These statements substantiate the event that caused your disability, offer insights into its impact on your life, establish pre-service and post-service comparisons, and personalize your claim. Gathering and including these statements significantly enhances your chances of obtaining the disability compensation you deserve. The collective power of these statements adds depth, context, and humanity to your claim, ensuring that decision-makers have a comprehensive understanding of your unique circumstances.

The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-992-4883 

bottom of page