Veterans Disability Private Medical Opinions
In a large number of veteran disability claims, a case can be significantly bolstered if a strong Private Medical Opinion (PMO) letter is provided by a treating physician. A direct service connection can often be shown if a veteran presents the Veterans Affairs office with a strong medical opinion that details the veteran’s current medical condition.
These letters must meet several requirements to be as strong as possible including presenting medical evidence of the veteran’s injury and a description of how this condition was connected to service in the military. There are other vital details about these letters as well and while a strong letter will often result in benefits being granted, a weak private medical opinion can result in the Veterans Affairs office ignoring the letter.
How to Create a Strong PMO Letter
There are several common pieces of advice that individuals should follow in obtaining a good private medical opinion:
- Avoid Speculative Language. A physician should avoid the use of speculative language within a medical opinion. The physician should also avoid basing a conclusion on uncorroborated facts. The doctor should be aware, however, that a veteran’s medical conditions not be established with certainty.
- Insist that an Explanation Be Provided. A veteran should insist that a private doctor provides an explanation to support a conclusion in a medical opinion. Medical opinions can also be bolstered if a physician can present medical research that supports the theory of their case.
- Provide Facts. Make sure to provide facts that the Veteran Administration has accepted as true. The Veterans Affairs Office will reject an opinion based on inaccurate facts.
- Supply A Copy of Your Claims Files. Veterans should make sure to provide a physician with a copy of their claims form so that an informed opinion can be written.
Common Reasons Why the Veteran Affairs Rejects PMOs
There are several reasons why the Veterans Affairs rejects private medical opinions, including the following:
- Failure to Support Conclusions. The doctor failed to provide reasons to support conclusions in the opinion.
- Inaccurate Facts. The doctor relied on inaccurate facts when forming an opinion.
- Reliance on Veteran’s Statement. The doctor relied only on the veteran’s statement concerning medical history.
- Speculative Language. If the doctor used speculative language that is not based on any facts, a letter will be weakened.
- Unfavorable Evidence. If the doctor failed to address unfavorable evidence then an opinion will not be as strong as it could be if detailed evidence was provided.
- Uninformed Physician. A medical opinion will be weakened if the physician is uninformed and did not base a perspective on a complete file review.
Contact a Skilled Veterans Right Attorney
If you want to make sure that your medical opinion letter is as strong as possible, it often helps to obtain the assistance of skilled legal counsel who can provide assistance throughout the process. The attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky, McAuliffe, PCor its disability arm, Rocky Mountain Disability Law Group have helped many veterans obtain the benefits that they deserve. Our conveniently located downtown Denver office can be reached at (303) 534-1958 or completing a quick and convenient online form.