To receive Veterans disability benefits, you must be able to prove that your condition is service-connected and has a serious effect on your daily life. This can be difficult when there is little existing evidence to corroborate your account. Still, you can build a stronger case by including eyewitness reports, often referred to as buddy statements.
About Buddy Statements
A buddy statement, or buddy letter, is known as a Statement in Support of Claim by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There are two types of buddy statements: accounts from people who served with you and accounts from family and friends who have knowledge of your disability.
Accounts from soldiers in your squad or platoon can confirm your account of explosions, attacks, or other events that led to your injury. They are particularly useful when you took part in combat that was not formally recorded by the unit you were in or if your records have been misplaced or destroyed due to routine maintenance.
Accounts from family and friends can elaborate on changes in your daily routine, relationships with others, and general personality. If you are applying for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits, they can discuss how your condition has made it impossible for you to continue working.
You can submit as many buddy statements as you believe to be necessary with your initial application or your appeal. All statements should be signed and dated with full contact information.
Statements should be brief but include all of the essential factual details. If the author isn’t submitting the statement on VA Form 21-4138, they should include this sentence at the end of their account: “I certify that my statements are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
How We Can Help
An experienced Veterans benefits attorney can help you gather buddy statements to support your application and guide you through the appeals process. Please call the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. You’ve served your county, now let us serve you.