Sutter Hill, CA Change


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Terry Sanders
07/31/2014 1:12 PM

One criterion that is mandatory in order for a disability claim to be deemed service-connected is a “nexus” — a link between the current medical condition and the veteran’s military service.

After a nexus is established, the Veterans Administration’s Regional Office generally will want to know how great the odds are, percentage wise, of the current condition being a result of, related to, or aggravated by the military condition. For medical opinion and nexus formulation purposes and establishment of reasonable medical certainty, according to the Code of Federal Regulations, and upheld by the BVA Administrative Law Judge, the following terminology and definitions are recognized and utilized: “Is due to” (100 percent probability); “Is more likely than not” (greater than 50 percent probability); “At least as likely as not” (50/50 probability). Consistent with “reasonable doubt”; “Not at least as likely as not” (less than 50 percent probability); and, “Is not due to” (0 percent probability).

In analyzing a medical opinion and creating a nexus between the veteran’s current medical condition and his military service, VA examiners have been trained to use the “Reasonable Doubt” concept as outlined in the 38 CFR, which states that when there is an equal balance of evidence for and against the claimant (50/50 probability) that the claimant be awarded their claim.

Frequently, an independent medical opinion is an important part of the veteran’s claim, and can help sway the benefit of the doubt into the veteran’s favor if the claim is borderline, or can even help to fully substantiate the claim and provide grounds for service connection when any of the components of establishing service connection are not met.

The Amador County Veterans Service Office issues Veteran ID cards. A DD-214 and picture ID is all that is needed to obtain this ID card. Furthermore, contact the office if you would like to receive periodic veterans’ information by email. There are many state and federal benefits and programs available to veterans and their dependents.

To find out if you are eligible for any of these benefits, visit or call the office. You can and will get assistance in completing all required application forms. Get information on the web from the Amador County website, at, under the Services dropdown menu.

Terry Sanders, retired Navy Senior Chief Petty, is the Amador County Veterans Service Officer, with offices located in Post 108 American Legion Hall, on New Airport Road, in Martell. Send your questions to the Veterans Service Office, 810 Court Street, Jackson, CA 95642, or email

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