Military veterans who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during active duty may see an increased disability rating thanks to recent updates to disability reviews. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently added five new illnesses that may manifest due to a service-connected TBI as eligible ailments for disability ratings.
Beginning on January 15, 2014, the VA will evaluate a veteran’s disability rating for a TBI with regards to the following five diseases:
- Parkinson’s disease;
- certain types of dementia;
- unprovoked seizures; and
- certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
The change comes from review of a report from the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine that found moderate and severe cases of TBI were often linked to these five disabling conditions.
How a Secondary Illness Affects VA Disability Benefits
Veterans rated as disabled due to a service-connected TBI will now be evaluated for these five diseases as another qualifying condition to calculate the disability rating. If a veteran has already been rated for TBI, he can open a claim to be re-evaluated for the secondary illnesses and qualify for the expanded benefits.
To be eligible for expanded benefits, a disabled veteran with a TBI disability rating must meet the qualifications for TBI severity and the time between the injury that caused TBI and the onset of the other illness.
If you are already collecting veteran disability benefits for a TBI and believe you may be eligible for the expanded benefits, let The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group, PA help you file your re-evaluation request. And as always, our veterans disability team is here to help if your claim is denied, so contact us today – 1-855-855-8992.