» VA Now Covers Veterans Disability Claims for Five Conditions Sourced to TBI

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).

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

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

  • VA launches online tool to simplify discharge process for veterans
    Veterans seeking to alter or upgrade their discharge conditions can now do so more easily by using a new online tool. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) joined forces with the Department of Defense (DoD) to launch a program that provides customized guidance to former service members who were given an unfair discharge characterization or […]
  • VA discloses opioid prescription rates for hospitals nationwide
    It is no secret that an opioid problem is plaguing the nation’s veteran population. In an effort to continue its goal of transparency, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently made public data on opiate prescription rates at its medical centers nationwide. In January the VA started publicly posting the information for the first time […]
  • Jail programs help veteran inmates work through problems and reintegrate into society
    Veterans returning home from military service often face numerous problems that can make the transition to civilian life difficult. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the invisible wounds of war such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, anxiety and depression. As a result, they are at a high risk […]
  • Researchers launch Operation Deep Dive to examine veteran suicide risk factors
    A new two-part study aims to carry out an in-depth investigation into the local-level risk factors that contribute to veteran suicides. Researchers plan to use the findings to develop a holistic plan to guide suicide prevention efforts within communities. University of Alabama is conducting research in collaboration with the America’s Warrior Partnership (AWP) — a […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required