Sample Disability Compensation Letter

Here is a sample of the first two pages of my application for disability compensation to the Dept of Veterans Affairs. If you want to “understand” how to increase your disability or managed the process, check out my post to increase your disability compensation rating. It provides the step by step process of researching your claim.

The entire disability claims package, including documentation, was approximately 70 pages. My summary letter was 5 pages. I usually suggest that disabled veterans keep their disability claims summary to no more than 5 pages. One to two pages is ideal but not a hard and fast rule.

The reason for the length of my disability claims package was because of the Veterans Administration‘s incompetence.  The VA claimed I had only seen a doctor 1 time for allergies. The claims adjudicator also completely ignored all my treatments for sinusitis. Rather than trusting the VA to their own lack of due diligence  I took action and wrote a thorough summary.

For that reason, I took it upon myself to ensure that they had the correct disability documentation the second time around. At the appointment, the VA’s ENT (ear, nose and throat) examiner told me the VA had conceded service-connection for the sinusitis before even beginning his exam.

I wrote this and include a copy of the first two pages of my disability claims letter to give you an idea of how to format your own summary letter. This format was borrowed from a NOVA conference on VA disability compensation primarily for Veterans Law attorneys.

Before drafting your letter, be sure to look through your service medical records to get your dates right. Be sure to get a copy of your file using the Freedom of Information Act request letter. Getting your file is the first real step to winning your disability claim. Click on the above link to get a copy of that letter.

Voc Rehab Survival Guide Benjamin Krause is the creator of the community, author of the Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans, and numerous other guides. 

Benjamin is an award winning investigative reporter, Veterans Law attorney, and a disabled veteran of the US Air Force, where he served in its Special Operations Command. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, Benjamin began his decade long fight for benefits after being lowballed with a 10% rating in 2002. During that fight, he received degrees from Northwestern University and  the University of Minnesota Law School while using VA Vocational Rehabilitation.

You can connect with Benjamin on  Google+,  Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn.


  1. says

    Maybe you can help me out. I have applied for military disability. It took me seven and half year, to get a approval for my left eye, and a increase to 60%. I was knocked off a rope in the Marine Corps. I suffered damage to my left eye, left lung. I put in a claim for my left lung. I have diaphragmatic paralysis, which has lead to COPD and other ailments. I was denied, even tho I have letters from three different specialists, who have stated the lung problem was caused by my following from the rope. The VA claims it never was reported prior to my being released. I was released within three weeks after the incident. Any idea how to proceed? I have working with the VFW, however, they have had quite a bit of turnover, and the person helping me, more or less files the forms and really doesn’t give me any guidance. The VA is saying my COPD is unrelated to the fall. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Meli says

    I am thinking about filing a claim, I have been diagnosed by the VA, with PTSD! Anxiety, moderate depression and knee pain. I have been on medication since 2012 (after my deployment OEF). I have been a student since and when my symptoms are bad my grades show it. I haven’t worked since and have difficulty sleeping amongst other things. I have seen a therapist and a psychiatrist, but that just drains me talking about these things all of the time. Do you think I have a chance of getting a good rating? Do you have any advice for me.

    • Goldie says

      If you have problems sleeping go to the va and request a sleep apnea test! that alone is 50% compensation if it turns out you have it. Also, go to the VA for everything. Have the doctor do a test for everything you are complaining about. ask for referrals to see other doctors if you need to. Ask for your military medical record if you do not have any copies of ir (i hope you do) and go to the nearest VA place to submit the claim. By the time you have the results of your illnesses they should be in the step where they are asking for your documents to support your request. The faster your start it the better it is, plus they will give you retroactive pay.
      It took them 9 months to approve my request and that ended up been $13,000 in one payment direct deposit into my bank account.
      I cant stress it enough do it as soon as possible

      • mary says

        I have sleep apnea and i use a seep apnea machine every night for over a year now,and i applied for disability for sleep disorder and i was denied,i have recently reapplied for it,do you think that i will receive it now .Mary

  3. MSG Henry Delahoz says

    I need an updated award disability letter since the bank i am applying for a loan doestn want to work with my original one i need help.

  4. Lokeswara says

    Hi worked as a computer faculty in before some time, now i want to salary compensation from That computer institute, in previous i took salary through cash. if they provide any salary compensation letter.
    How would be there ?
    could you please provide that salary compensation format ASAP.

  5. Stanley J Jenczyk says

    I wonder if you could help me? I applied for service-connected disability for asthma. My one doctor wrote a letter but it was not sufficient. I requested my other doctor to write a letter for the VA but he requested that I give him a sample letter that would be sufficient in wording for the VA, and he would be more than willing to help me out. Could you possibly e-mail me a good sample letter were my Dr. can fill in the necessary information. Thank you for any help that you can give me. Stanley J Jenczyk.

    • Daniel Burke says

      I have sinutits, had surgery where they reamed out my nasal canal with a high speed reamer, I looke like Michael Jackson, no shit! it was hoorible and I still have a large pocket of mucuos in my sinus cavity, I am having a sleep study done, could this condition be from being stuck in the head witk a M-113 Drivers hatch without a CVC on? Here is what I have done, I ask my VFW rep to provide me with a letter specifically what to state on her letter for my claim, he told me he would give IRON CLAD, evidence to win my case. When get this form I will share with you the form’s # and what specically needs stated.Good luck to all of you, Have A Nice Turkey Day! Please share any info you can so we all can get what we deserve. Good Luck keep in touch.

  6. Army Rich says

    I have a claim in with the VA from injuries while in the Army WTC program for prior service folks. The way the VA is, I’m guessing I will be needing legal counsel shortly. I found the link below during a google search for VA comp attorneys.

    hope this helps!

  7. Danny says

    You can get a free lawyer through your local legion rep.Mine va rep. is in our courthouse but your American legion can help you. Danny U.S. Navy 98-2002

    • latoday says

      Hey Danny, one can get a lawyer from American Legion, for free, how, is this to help with our claims??? Now, I am just trying to understand, that it is a lawyer and not VSO rep., correct???
      I have no idea who to contact, the American Legion that I am involved, well they are all older and not sure they would know about this, maybe you can point me in the right direction… thanks


So what do you think?