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.



I hope that helps push your claim along by greasing your wheels on at least one way to present your claim.

One last important detail is the need to request a copy of your file. I wrote up a free eBook for veterans to download that will help you get a copy of certain files that VA likes to hang on to like your health records, Voc Rehab records, and similar files that are more difficult to request.


[…] Include a table of contents of your injuries. Here is a copy of an actual claim letter for sinusitis, allergic rhinitis and sleep apnea. It’s mine, so be […]

Rory R Jones
I have filed a claim with the VA Feb 8th 2009. The Rep for whom failed to file what he told my wife and I he would do. He would not return phone calls e-mails ext… upon looking into this-I decided to enlist the help of Sen.Carl Levin from our great state of Michigan. I was sent asap a form letter to sign to give him the permission he and his staff needed. I will say this,they were prompt and… Read more »
Arnold Ladd

I have fought since 1979 for a VA Disability Rating. I have about given up, but my local VSO has assured me he is with me all the way. A good man. I would like to know where I can contact someone so I can show my respect for this man. Any ideas. I live in Anderson, IN

Weaver Brian
I have had some amount of experience with the C&P folks, and it has been my experience that it is always to your benefit to include a reference to every single visit to any doctor, hospital, clinic, dispensary, etc., including military, VA and civilian facilities. To that end, I usually try to have the latest copy of my records that I can get, just to use as a reference while writing my statement. Remember this one thing: Your claim is… Read more »
Rob Thompson
I completely agree with Rory R Jones, I am a 31 year retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant. I submitted my claim online in May 2010 (received a confirmation number) and inquired in Aug 2010 only be told that the claim have been erroneously closed and would be reopened. The VA would then followup via telecom. As of this date (2/8/2011) I am still awaiting. I serviced my Country faithfully during both Vietnam and the 1st Gulf war and should… Read more »
Russell W. O'Neal
I have a similar claim for PTSD and unemployability and have been denied even after the PTSD rules have been changed. I have been diagnosed by VA mental health and my doctor said I am unemployable. I contacted my state Senator who’s office sent a letter to the VA asking about it only to have the VA send an explanation letter and that was it, I already knew that but I wanted to know why. So I didn’t get any… Read more »
david royse

I would like to know why the airforce men at a base in Bangkok, Thialand are being turned down for disability claims on agent orange exposure . They were the ones who loaded and unloaded the canisters of agent orange. They also had to clean the planes.

Lee Gee


Google the below citation and you will find a claim that was approved for Parkinson (Agent Orange) for a veteran that was stationed at Don Maung Bangkok.

Citation Nr: 1530215
Decision Date: 07/15/15 Archive Date: 07/21/15
DOCKET NO. 14-01 657 ) DATE

Vincent Collins

My name is Vincent Collins I was in South Da Nang Vietnam Province in1970 at the time Agent Orange was administered I aquired hepatitis as well as high blood pressure during that time. I put in a claim was denied any suggestions.

Paul Fruehauf

Russell O’Neal:
What was the specific reason for denial that the RO gave on the original letter? You have to respond specifically to the reason for denial and, if possible, provide additional evidence to counter it. The new PTSD rules cover combat veterans. Did you serve in combat? Was it verified? If not, did you have a verifiable stressor statement? Have you already filed an appeal?

Daniel Lawson
Thanks for the information. I also filed and appealed my own claim. 8 years worth. I am now 100% and also the Post Service Officer with The American Legion Post 147 of Jasper Indiana. I average 2 appointments per week assisting fellow veterans. They range from 85 years old to 21 years. Every case if different and many are very complicated. Housedbound cases (Aid & Attendance) are the worst. It is not uncommom for the veterans to pass before the… Read more »
Westley Thomas
Take a look at the website above. You’ll learn about the Forgotton ones and how the veterans have been screwed by the system. The wrongs can now be righted while those of us are still able to submitt and win our claims. You’ll learn about the word game that is used preventing you from winning your claim. If you are not familiar with secondary conditions. Take a look at our HOME OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST INFORMATION BANK! You’ll be glad… Read more »
Jim Thaxton

It’s very discouring to see that applications are routinely denied and delayed, sometimes until the time that the applicant is deceased. Is anyone aware of a manner to not get into that long grind? My original application is only a few months running to date. I was as thorough as possible with the original application, with assistance from the local rep. Other than the notification of receipt, I’ve received no requests for additional documentation, ect. Any advice would be appreciated.

Wayne Gerberding
I think that claim denials will soon hit an all time high. Why? Because of gigantic budget cuts which are imminent and will be pushed for by the Republicans. Being denied (or delayed) takes the fight out of many but no Veteran should ever stop fighting. I also believe that another way for the VA to cut the budget will be to re-examine and reduce existing approved claims, thus using valuable manpower to save a cent or two out of… Read more »
Michael Pumilia
The VA is a large beaucratic system where it is easier to say No than to do anything else. The responsibility to prove a claim lies with the veteran and not them. That’s the way they play the game. And it is a game to them. Far too many of the VA claims people act like the money is coming from their own pockets. You must keep on top of your claim all the time. Find a state veterans claim… Read more »
Westley Stone
I am a veteran that has continue to file claims for service connected disability and continues to be denied bases on not making my appointments with QTC here in the metro Atlanta office located on Peachtree Street downtown Atlanta. Mind you I constantly have my private physician mail statements about my conditions which seems to be overlooked, lost intra office at the local VA or the VSO doesn’t send the file with the new informationb. I have written both my… Read more »
Lewis Sanders Jr.
I would like to see the criteria for agent orange. I was almost died Jan 4 2010 with a double anuresym of my aorta one part was repaired with a stint and the other has not been repaired as of yet. I am 40% service connect thru the VA for loss of hearing, athuritis, + eczema. I got a rash within two years after I left Vietnam, While in Vietnam awoke with a blood stained pillow from my ear. Then… Read more »
My Brother, My heart goes out to you, as for myself, this is my third (3rd.) try for Compensation & Disability from the VA. I served from 1968-70, my initial complaints which were backed by the Veterans Doctors, & my own Specialists for the following Diseases, they are as follows: PTSD, Agent Orange, Hepatitis B, after (41 yrs.), I just got to see and had to go to the Veterans Hospital for my (C&P Evaulation for PTSD), the VA Doctor… Read more »
Vincent Collins
Hey my brothers our true salvation is waiting for us beyond this earth. Although we all have an advocate that Will stand in the gap for each and every one of us. My prayer is wait upon the Lord he will hear our cries he will incline upon us he will pull us out of this horrible pit,and this mury clay place our feet on a solid rock and establish our comings and our goings. So just be steadfast unmovable… Read more »

I started reevaluation in Dec 09. Finally received their ruling two weeks ago. I wrote a bunch about each thing I claimed. Plus every time they asked fore clarification I would add another claim to my packet. Went to all their doctors too. Went from 10 % to 60% and intend to appeal the items that they said were service connected at 0% plus add something else.


[…] Include a table of contents of your injuries. Here is a copy of an actual claim letter for sinusitis, allergic rhinitis and sleep apnea. It’s mine, so be […]

Steve Hellerstein

I had a hearing with a judge and my VSO back in May 2007 and have still not had a denial or approval for my claim. They said they needed more info from my regional office in Reno and that they had not investiagted my claim enough. That was in July 2010. To date I have not had a bit of contact from anyone. My original claim was filed in 2005.

Reginald Foster
I file a disability claim in 2003 for IBS and was granted 0%. I worte a notice of disagreement in a timely matter. In 2004 I was granted 10%. I wrote another notice of disagreement because my IBS problem was effecting me in asspects of my life, job, chruch and even travling and sometimes being late. In 2010 I was granted 30% for my IBS. And I did not receive no back retro pay and no increase in my service… Read more »
I am sickened, sad, and angry after reading these posts. I am a 30 year old OIF Veteran who is currently going through the whole claims process for PTSD. I first filed back in 2008 and due to being homeless I missed one of the required appointments. When I finally found some stability I tried giving it a second shot. This time, I’m assuming due to clerical error, they were sending all of my paperwork to the wrong address! Once… Read more »
Cindy McCauley

Thank you for creating this website. This claim letter is a very good example of how to write one for my son, a Marine combat veteran. I am trying to assist him with collecting additional evidence for his disability claim and this is very helpful.

Carrie, I hear you. I am an OIF vet too and I was until recently working as a VSR (claims processor) in Pension. I am also going through the compensation process for my issues related to service. Although my expertise is on the Pension side of the house, the one thing I can tell you is that it helps to do a congressional inquiry if VA is dragging ass/fucking up in general on your claim. By escalating a claim to… Read more »

While on active duty there have been numerous time when i went on sick call and com-laint about certain things such as sleep apena, bad feet etc. It turns out the doctord never annotated my medical records. The y gave me a few asprin or what ever and said go back to your unit. Is there anything that can be done to prove an injury was service connected. Thank you

Jeffery Scism
I have processed several requests for upgrading my service connection percentage. all denied. They say that they reviewed my claim and did not review my military Medical files, because no-one knows where they are. They were sent directly to the VA by the USAF in 1990. I filed for my disability upon discharge was was rated at 0% service connection on three issues. They awarded me compensation at 10%. They state that if I have an on-going chronic condition but… Read more »
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