By Debbie Gregory.
In each military conflict, we see major innovations made in the weaponry, defensive measures, and even in warfare itself. Advances are also made in the medical arena. Doctors find new ways to treat patients, both on the front lines and back home. These advances also result in improved civilian healthcare.
Recently, the VA has made an improvement in their healthcare network that will positively impact Veterans who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Beginning next year, Veterans who suffer from service-connected TBI will also receive additional disability percentages if they also suffer from one of five additional ailments, which could lead to more additional compensation.
Veterans who suffer from depression, Parkinson’s disease, unprovoked seizures, dementia, or diseases of the pituitary or hypothalamus glands in addition to TBI will be affected by this change. The change will take effect in January, when the additional ailment will also be considered service-connected for the sake of calculation of VA disability compensation.
A recent report from the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine announced a possible link between TBI and the five additional ailments. The VA, utilizing the most current science available to benefit Veteran healthcare, saw fit to expand its benefits to ensure that Veterans receive the best care available.
Considerations and eligibility for benefits will be evaluated by the VA and will be dependent upon the extent of the TBI and the lapse of time between the incident that caused the service-connected TBI and the appearance of the second ailment.
Veterans who feel they fit this new criteria should file claims to establish service-connection. Even if their second ailment’s time and degree standards do not meet the VA’s requirements, a link between the two conditions might be found.
Veterans who have any questions or concerns should visit the VA’s health benefits portal on the VA’s website.