Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common, especially among those who play sports or are in the military. According to the International Brain Injury Association, as many as one million Americans are treated and released from hospital emergency rooms for brain injuries every year. About 80,000 individuals each year sustain a brain injury and suffer some disability as a result.
The Military and TBIs
A traumatic brain injury is a rather large category of injuries that have a single common feature: they impact the brain in some manner. Getting knocked in the head is one example of a TBI, as are injuries that pierce the skull, whiplash-type injuries, and mild concussions.
Just as there is variety in the way that injuries can be inflicted, there is variety in the effects of a TBI. For some minor cases of TBI, you may have a headache for a short time or suffer short-term memory loss. Severe TBIs can lead to behavioral and emotional changes and trouble completing activities of daily living.
Unfortunately, the risk of sustaining a TBI while you are in the military is high. You do not need to be on the battlefield, either, to suffer a TBI. Although explosions and shrapnel can lead to severe TBIs, so too can slipping and falling around base, hitting your head on a tank or aircraft, or falling off a ladder while working.
How Does the VA Handle Traumatic Brain Injuries
Because how your TBI impacts you may not be the same as how another veteran’s TBI impacts them, two veterans might receive very different disability ratings for their injuries. If you only have minor residual effects from your service-connected TBI, your VA disability claim might come with a 10 percent disability rating. For a veteran who cannot perform any meaningful work, their TBI could result in a 100 percent disability rating.
Ensuring the VA Assigns an Accurate Disability Rating
Your VA disability claim should be approved if your TBI impacts your ability to earn income in some way and there is evidence you sustained your brain injury while serving. If you are not satisfied with the disability rating you received, though, begin by asking yourself:
- Did I submit or identify all of my treatment records when I submitted my claim?
- Has my TBI recently gotten worse and, if so, have I submitted records documenting this?
- Are there family members or friends that can describe my day-to-day experience?
To receive the most accurate VA disability rating, it is critical that the VA have as accurate of a picture as possible of your brain injury and its impact on you. If this evidence was not submitted as part of your claim, then a Supplemental Claim or an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals may be necessary.
Experienced and Knowledgeable Help for Ohio Veterans
If you have been denied VA disability benefits for a service-connected TBI, or are not satisfied with the disability rating the VA gave you for your TBI, Veterans Law Attorneys may be able to help. Contact our office and request a consultation with us. We may be able to appeal your claim and get you the disability benefits you deserve. Call us today at 833-753-5168.