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Five Illnesses Now Presumed Service-Connected for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | January 26, 2014 | Disability Compensation

Residuals of TBI

The Department of Defense calls traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) “one of the signature injuries of troops wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.” TBIs can cause many physical and mental impairments, and the VA doesn’t always link those impairments to the TBI.

Now, based on a 2008 report from the Institute of Medicine entitled Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury, the VA has added a new subsection (d) to 38 C.F.R. § 3.310 stating that if a veteran has a service-connected TBI along with any of five diagnosable illnesses, then those illnesses are automatically presumed service-connected as secondary to the TBI.

The five illnesses are:

  1. Parkinson’s disease following moderate or severe TBI.
  2. Seizures (for which no cause has been established) following moderate or severe TBI.
  3. Certain dementias diagnosed within 15 years following moderate or severe TBI.
  4. Depression diagnosed within (i) 3 years of moderate or severe TBI, or (ii) 12 months of mild TBI.
  5. Hormone deficiency diseases diagnosed within 12 months of moderate or severe TBI.

As the medical community continues to better understand TBIs, we should see this list expand. Remember, you don’t have to be in combat to suffer a TBI, and you don’t have to be on-duty to have an injury be service-connected. In addition to combat, TBIs can also occur from falls, car accidents, bar fights, or training. If you think you may have suffered a TBI while in the military, or if you already have a service-connected TBI but are also diagnosed with one of the above five illnesses, contact me today so I can ensure you are receiving all the disability compensation to which you are entitled.

Source: VA Press Release

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Gregory Rada is a Veterans Benefits Attorney who practices Nationwide. He graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and has been practicing law for eight years. Gregory Rada believes in fighting for fellow veterans. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.