VA Regulation Expands Benefits for Traumatic Brain Injury

A new VA regulation will give veterans with a service-connected traumatic brain injury (TBI) diagnosed with one of five other ailments the ability to receive additional compensation.

A National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine report found “sufficient evidence” to link moderate and severe levels of TBI with Parkinson’s disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

“Advancements in medical science continuously make great strides in helping treat our ill and injured veterans,” said Washington Headquarters Executive Director Garry Augustine. “We are pleased when this research is recognized by VA so our nation’s heroes can receive the care and benefits they deserve.”

The regulation states that severity of the TBI and time between the injury and the onset of the secondary illness will be taken into account when determining eligibility. Veterans are encouraged to file a claim to establish direct service-connection for these ailments regardless of whether or not they meet the time and severity standards in the new regulation, which takes effect on Jan. 15.

“Any veteran who believes they may be affected by this new regulation should contact their local National Service Office as soon as possible,” said National Service Director Jim Marszalek. “DAV National Service Officers are standing by to assist veterans with new claims related to this rule.”