According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the number of soldiers with a reported traumatic brain injury has increased over the past couple of years. In fact, an estimated that 22% of the combat casualties from both the Afghanistan and Iraq war come from a traumatic brain injury. The majority of these injuries went unreported as well. Here is the handout the VA gives regarding TBI.
While that number is continually increasing, there is not much hope in being accepted for a brain injury claim. The VA tried to help change that.
Service Connected TBI Claims
Bob McDonald, the VA’s secretary, made a change in the VA last year for service-connected TBI claims. If your initial exam was not performed by a registered medical examiner, and you were denied, you could qualify for a re-examination. Your C&P exam must be completed by one of the following.
The VA should have already contacted you if you were examined by not a qualifying medical professional if your TBI rating was at 10% or higher. If you have not received notice of this, you can be re-examined and begin compensation from the date of first submitting.
Preparing for your Traumatic Brain Injury claim
Your examiner will most likely use the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) to screen for a mild cognitive impairment. This test was initially used to test patients with dementia but is now used to check for mild brain injuries. To perform this analysis, there must be evidence that you are suffering from a brain injury. This can be through memory loss, trouble with attention, or performing tasks. On top of that, make sure your injury is connected to service. Read here for basic C&P tips.
If you think that there is any chance you could have a TBI, get it checked out! The longer you wait it can become more difficult to gain necessary medical records and evidence.
If you know that you have a Traumatic Brain Injury
Tell your examiner how your normal days are. Make sure not to leave anything out, and tell how you got the injury.
The VA encourages patients that while they may be originally screened using a primary care provider, visiting a secondary doctor would be in their best interests. If diagnosed, you can be treated for your symptoms with a variety of options. Those can be medications, learning how to cope with pain and behavioral problems, therapy, and assistive technology; as well as a combination of those.
If your C&P determination comes back as good for a TBI, your chances of winning your claim are far higher. Even if this isn’t the case, send us a message.
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VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible independent medical opinions and nexus statements (medical nexus letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.