Nexus letters for VA claims - Mark D Worthen PsyD (Dr. Worthen) can provide an expert opinion regarding service connection for PTSD and other mental disorders in select cases.1
I will review relevant records first, for a $200 fee, and then let you know if I think an independent psychological exam (IPE) might support your claim.
If we both agree to proceed with an IPE, the total cost is $2000, payable in advance ($1800 to proceed with an IPE + the $200 already paid for a record review). All fees are nonrefundable.
If I conduct an IPE, I will complete the relevant Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) and write a comprehensive report, or nexus letter, which I will send to you directly. I do not send the report to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).
I specialize in appeals cases. Consequently, I usually conduct independent psychological exams (IPEs) for attorneys or VA-accredited claims agents.
If you have questions after reading this entire web page, contact me.
Veterans Service Officers - You Should Have One
What If I Don't Want a Representative?
If you are a veteran seeking nexus letters for VA claims, please talk with your Veterans Service Officer, VA-accredited Claims Agent, or Veterans Law Attorney, and ask for their advice before requesting a Record Review.
If you and your representative believe you are ready for a Record Review by Dr. Worthen:
(1) Remit the $200 fee via the payment page.
(2) Submit your documents for me to review.
Note: If after reviewing your records, I believe an IPE (independent psychological exam) might support your claim, I will send you a link to pay the remaining $1800 of the retainer fee. If an IPE is unlikely to support your claim, we will not proceed further. You will have paid me $200 for the record review and that's it.
Many people say you should obtain nexus letters for VA claims before you file an original (initial) claim for VA disability benefits. But I doubt it's worth the money to pay someone for a nexus letter when you don't have to pay anything for the VA claim exam and the odds of winning your claim exceed 70%.2
Most vets don't need a nexus letter, but most vets do need a Veterans Service Officer.
Here's what VA says about Veterans Service Officers:
If you need help filing a claim or appeal, you may want to work with a Veterans Service Officer (VSO). We trust these professionals because they’re trained and certified in the VA claims and appeals processes and can help you with VA-related needs. VSOs work on behalf of Veterans and service members—as well as their dependents and survivors.
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I understand that some veterans and family members prefer to handle their disability claims themselves, without a representative.
You certainly have that right, and I have known several veterans and family members who have studied VA disability claims laws, regulations, policies, and procedures, and do an excellent job representing themselves.
However, representing yourself requires a lot of study and preparation.
Specifically, you will need to devote at least 50 hours to reading, asking questions, searching the Internet, and consulting reference librarians for information.
If you have done your homework, and you choose to represent yourself, I will respect your autonomy and work with you.
However, if you start to ask me questions that any Veterans Service Officer would know the answer to, then I will stop and insist that you retain a Service Officer, Claims Agent, or Veterans Law Attorney.
That might sound harsh, but I want you to have competent, effective representation.
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1. The term nexus letter sometimes suggests that a qualified healthcare professional can simply review your records and chat with you briefly and then write a letter providing an expert opinion. For psychological claims (PTSD and other mental disorders), such a cursory review is rarely ethical. I am using the term nexus letter to mean the same thing as a comprehensive report resulting from a thorough, objective, and unbiased independent psychological exam (IPE).
2. The "odds of winning your claim exceed 70%" if you have a Veterans Service Officer who has helped you (or you have done your research and really know what you're doing), and if you have solid evidence to support your claim. Seventy percent is an estimate based on my experience.
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