Expanded Benefits For Veterans With Brain Injury
For many soldiers, returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan is a time for celebration and coming together with their loved ones. However, a segment of our soldiers are not so fortunate and will return home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries. Is our health care system prepared to deal with and assist victims of TBI within our United States Armed Forces?
Thousands of individuals suffer from traumatic brain injuries every year and what many don’t recognize is that an injury this serious does not vanish overnight. In fact, someone who suffers from a mild TBI may never feel normal again. Veterans seem to manifest with symptoms much longer than their civilian counterparts and will often still present with symptoms 18-24 months after initially sustaining a TBI. Also, many Veterans have more than one medical problem, including: PTSD, chronic pain, or substance abuse, which makes it more difficult and onerous to achieve resolution to their issues.
Approximately 51,000 veterans are currently receiving benefits for service related to a closed head injury, but thousands of them along with prior war veterans may be eligible for expanded benefits. Currently, a veteran has to provide medical evidence that their head injury was a result of military service in order to receive veterans’ benefits.
The new guidelines will include certain forms of “Parkinsons , unprovoked seizures, certain dementias, depression, and hormone deficiency diseases related to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands” as medical conditions eligible for benefits to any veteran with a brain injury, without burdening such individuals to prove that their illness is directly caused by military service. This will actually speed up and improve the efficiency of their respective treatment. Once that is proven, the department will accept without additional evidence that any of those five diseases was caused by the TBI, making the veteran eligible for additional compensation and health care for that particular disease.
If you suffered brain injury or another traumatic injury while serving in the armed forces, you may be eligible to veterans’ benefits that can help you pay for your medical and rehabilitative care.
For more information on traumatic brain injuries (TBI), please visit your Tampa brain injury lawyers website.