VA Now Covers Veterans Disability Claims for Five Conditions Sourced to TBI
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 31, 2014 – Beginning January 2014, veterans are covered for five illnesses tied to traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Veterans will now find it easier to obtain health care and compensation for five illnesses linked to traumatic brain injury. On December 16, 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decided to loosen its previously restrictive eligibility policy on providing and covering care for the conditions. The new, more inclusive regulations took effect on January 16.
Under previous regulations, veterans who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, dementia, hormone deficiencies related to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands, depression and unprovoked seizures had to provide medical evidence that their conditions were due to their military service in order to secure veterans’ benefits.
But a report issued by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, called “Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury,” detailed a direct correlation between TBI and the five diagnosable conditions. The compelling findings from the study were enough to sway the VA to alter its policy on disability compensation.
When the new rules came into force, the claims process could be expedited for thousands of veterans who have the five conditions: in most cases, the VA will no longer question that any of the illnesses were triggered by TBI. Exceptions will apply only in cases where a veteran’s TBI is deemed less than moderate or severe in nature.
Since 2000, more than 287,000 U.S. active-duty service members and veterans have been diagnosed with some sort of traumatic brain injury. And approximately 62,000 cases of veterans with TBI have been recorded since the inception of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The consequences of TBI can be wide-ranging. They include a variety of functional short- and long-term changes that impact: memory and reasoning capacity; sensations that include touch, taste and smell; language skills, including communication, expression and comprehension; and emotions such as anxiety, depression, aggression, swings in personality, acting-out impulses and social inappropriateness.
In addition, TBI can trigger epilepsy, and it raises the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other aging-related disorders of the brain.
It is estimated that at least 51,000 veterans receive benefits for traumatic brain injuries traced to their service in the armed forces. Not all cases of TBI are related to military service, as from exposure to explosions of land mines or bombs — many are due to injuries from vehicle crashes, training accidents or sports activities.
Judging by the more inclusive rules, as well as comments from key VA officials, the number of veterans expected to file for TBI-sourced disability claims is now likely to rise.
“We decide veterans’ disability claims based on the best science available,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “As scientific knowledge advances, VA will expand its programs to ensure veterans receive the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
- New Research Highlights Advances in Treatment for Tinnitus Sufferers
The American Journal of Audiology (AJA) recently published research demonstrating that a new masking treatment — known as S-tone treatment — works better for tinnitus sufferers than existing masking treatments do. In standard medical procedure, the ringing in the ears caused by tinnitus can only be covered by machines that produced broadband sound, better known [...]
- Veteran Charities – Not All Exist to Benefit Veterans
There are around 1.6 million non-profit organizations in this country. Of those, upwards of 65,000 include the word “veterans” in their title. With so many seeking donations, it is more important than ever to be confident that when you give to a veteran charity your donation will actually be used to help our veterans. Many [...]
- Michigan Veteran and Amputee Melissa Stockwell is Ready for Her Shot at Rio
When Melissa Stockwell was young, she dreamed of becoming an Olympic gymnast. And although her life has taken a few unexpected turns, she has maintained her love of athletics and competitive spirit. Today, Stockwell is a national and global paratriathlon champion who is getting ready to compete for a spot on Team USA, headed to [...]
- World War II Veteran Laid to Rest in Michigan
The Year was 1944. Robert McConachie was 17 years old and wanted to enlist and defend his country in World War II. Because of his young age, his father, James McConachie, had to sign a waiver allowing him to join the armed forces. His father acquiesced and Robert McConachie joined the United States Marine Corps. [...]