Over 180,000 Veterans in the VA’s health care system have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and that number increases daily. TBIs can cause physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities that profoundly affect a Veteran’s quality of life.
If you are a Veteran suffering from a TBI, you may receive significant disability benefits from the VA. The VA recognizes the potential of a TBI to affect a Veteran’s life and ability to function. They may give a Veteran suffering from traumatic brain injury a rating for their condition, leading to more compensation from the VA.
Seeking the assistance of VA traumatic brain injury attorney can be crucial in navigating the complexities of the claims process and ensuring you receive the benefits you deserve.
A TBI occurs when someone experiences a sudden, violent impact on the head or body. Since the brain controls a wide range of critical functions, brain damage resulting from a TBI can result in many symptoms. Unfortunately, TBIs are particularly common among members of the military, especially those serving on the front lines.
Members of the military are at a higher-than-average risk for traumatic brain injuries, especially when they see combat.
Below are some of the most common causes of TBI:
A service-related concussion can make you eligible to receive disability benefits. Your chances of receiving benefits increase if you sustain multiple service-related concussions or continue to experience the effects of a service-related concussion long after it occurred.
After a TBI, a person may feel extreme pain. In addition, they may get dizzy and even report seeing stars. Confusion and even amnesia may accompany a TBI. A sufferer of TBI may have no memory of the impact that caused their injury. In addition, the impact that leads to TBI can cause a person to lose consciousness.
Before the VA assigns a rating for a TBI, it will determine whether the injury is service-connected.
For this, the VA usually requires:
Once you gather the necessary documentation, you must file a VA TBI claim. The VA will determine if you meet the criteria to receive a TBI rating, determine what rating you qualify for, and award benefits accordingly.
The VA rates TBIs at zero percent, 10 percent, 40 percent, 70 percent, or 100 percent. When assigning a TBI rating, the VA will rate the residual symptoms of your TBI as opposed to the severity of the event that resulted in your TBI. As mentioned above, the VA classifies residual TBI symptoms as cognitive, emotional/behavioral, and physical.
When assigning a rating, the VA will consider your symptoms based on these 10 categories:
Each of these categories has up to five levels of impairment, listed as 0, 1,2,3, and total, based on the severity of the symptom.
Each level translates to a particular disability rating, for example:
A TBI is not a presumptive disability, meaning that if doctors diagnose you with a TBI, the VA does not automatically link it to your time in service.
But, if doctors diagnosed you with a moderate to severe service-related TBI, the VA presumes your TBI could cause five disabilities:
Because TBI symptoms can affect you in many ways, the VAs can rate you under its TBI evaluation criteria or the criteria of other mental and physical conditions.
For example, a Veteran with TBI symptoms, including TBI-induced depression, may receive a higher disability rating under the VA’s criteria for mental disorders than for TBI. In that case, the VA would assign them a VA disability rating for a mental health disorder, but they may not receive an additional rating under the TBI criteria.
If you suffer from residual TBI symptoms and applied for disability benefits from the VA but were denied or received an inaccurate rating, we can help you. Our team of attorneys is committed to helping disabled Veterans get all the compensation they deserve.
Traumatic brain injuries can cause severe, long-term impacts that dramatically affect your life. If the VA inaccurately rates your disability, you may end up with less support than you need while your disability prevents you from working.
If you appeal, the VA can reevaluate your case and may give you a higher rating. One of our experienced VA disability attorneys can help you navigate the complicated VA claims process in pursuit of a higher rating. You shouldn’t have to resolve a dispute with the VA on your own — we can help make it easier to get the rating and benefits you deserve.
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