VA Screwing TBI Vets – Get These Quick Facts For Your TBI Evaluation

From 2007 to 2015, VA consistently used unqualified doctors to perform TBI assessments resulting in many veterans being wrongly denied benefits. This article contains all the inside baseball resources I received from VA through a FOIA request and investigations over the course of a few years leading up to the exposure of the scandal with help from Kare 11 News here in Minneapolis.

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TBI Evaluations

VA gives tons of TBI evaluations every day, but before your TBI evaluation, make sure you are armed with the facts.

Today, I put together this down and dirty collection of most of my data from VA regarding its treasure trove of traumatic brain injury (TBI) evaluation materials I received through two FOIA requests I recently received back from the VHA FOIA Office. These evaluations are specifically for Compensation & Pension (C&P) evaluations.

Exposure of the TBI database I assembled below led to the exposure of a massive VA scandal where VA admitted to using unqualified doctors and nurses to evaluate TBI service-connection for veterans from 2007-2015.

RELATED: VA ‘Greatly Regrets’ Its TBI Exam Scam

Former Secretary Robert McDonald created an equitable relief package for veterans impacted by the scheme that could result in veterans getting an earlier effective date back to the date of the error.

VA TBI Disability Claims

Here is what VA sent me in their responses:

Training Videos To Diagnose Mild TBI, Moderate TBI, Severe TBI

The videos below are the actual training videos VA uses to educate its medical staff before they can evaluate you. When you watch the videos, you may notice some unusual things about the way the narrator talks and how often they fail to mention moderate TBI and severe TBI. Moreover, the videos are hard evidence that VA encourages its examiners to attribute the residuals of TBI to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related mental health disorders.

It is almost as though VA wants to minimize the residuals of TBI to avoid payment. By attributing symptoms to PTSD instead of TBI, it inhibits a veteran from receiving a rating of 100% Permanent and Total. It does this because PTSD ratings are presumed to improve and result in VA requiring follow up evaluations every few years. Further, it keeps the rating lower due to the combined rating math VA uses. Beyond this, there is a huge stigma about veterans with PTSD, and being inappropriately diagnosed with PTSD could case a very real harm in both society and in the type of health care they receive.

TBI Residuals

Veterans suffering from the residuals of TBI not only have to deal with their own problems, but they have to deal with VA covering up the severity of their injuries.

Why? Because the DoD and VA do not want the American public to truly know the cost of war when the troops come home. If we knew the real cost of war, we would probably change our foreign policy.

I have heard the most absurd denials lately and want to tell you of a few.

Charles Gatlin Case

Most recently, my friends Ariana and Charles Gatlin were put through the ringer. There, a VA psychologist used an improper screening tool, according to the Montana Board of Psychology. Gatlin suffered a TBI in combat when he was hit from with a car bomb while dismounted in Iraq. He had already been diagnosed with moderate TBI three times by DoD doctors. He was then medically retired at 70% for TBI before VA had its way with him and dropped his rating for TBI to 10% for mild TBI three years later.

Another veteran was shot in the head and received a 0% disability rating. Yet another was knocked unconscious for 30 days by an improvised explosive device (IED) and had a Glascow Coma Score of 3 – the score does not go any lower – he has a TBI rating of 10%.

Signs You May Have Been Screwed

TBI Claim Problems

There are some warning flags to help you know if you were screwed with a denial, 0% rating or 10% rating:

  • If you were exposed to a blast
  • If your Glascow Coma Score (GCS) was under 13 (possibly moderate TBI)
  • If you cannot remember the incident beyond 24 hours post TBI (possibly moderate TBI)
  • If your behavior was altered for some time post TBI, unusual urinating in sleep, sleep walking, etc (possibly moderate TBI)
  • If you were unconscious for longer than 30 minutes or the amount of time is not truly verifiable, ie you did not have a stop watch running (possibly moderate TBI)
  • If you have gliosis or some form of brain scarring via an MRI or CT Scan but VA said it was MS or Lymes Disease (possibly moderate TBI)
  • If you have memory problems, had a positive neuropsychological screening, ie objective evidence, and the doctor blamed it on alcohol (possibly moderate TBI)
  • If you have a lot of subjective symptoms with only a 0% or 10% rating

[This is just a generalization for informational purposes only. Individual claims may vary.]

Mild TBI vs Moderate TBI

Note that a moderate TBI with residuals could be rated at 70%. Mild TBI with residuals and objective evidence (psych assessment and/or positive imaging) could be rated between 40% to 70%. It is important to note that the initial severity of the injury does not absolutely predict long term prognosis. This means that a patient with a mild TBI may fully resolve with no permanent symptoms. Similarly, a patient with either a mild TBI or moderate TBI may not fully recover and have minimal residuals – such a person could possibly receive a lower rating from VA.

TBI Severity

It is important to note VA’s “level of severity” measure, which could vary depending on the point of view of the medical examiner. A “3” will warrant a 70% rating for TBI plus residuals. For that evaluation level, the examiner must find evidence to support a moderate cognitive impairment in memory, attention, concentration, or executive functions facet.

The catch here is that the symptom in question must be attributed to TBI and not something else. Many moderate impairments types at level 3 are excluded by most examiners if the severity of initial TBI was not greater than mild. As you will notice in the videos, more severe symptoms are assumed to be attributed to other things since mild TBI does not usually last longer than a few months in 95 percent of all TBI victims. So, while VA claims initial severity does not matter for a TBI rating, it actually does by serving as a filter for higher disability ratings.

The fact is, VA is all over the map on TBI, and its policies ignore modern science to save a buck. They use tests that were created to diagnose dementia, and then use those to measure a veteran’s TBI severity and residuals. If you had already been diagnosed with TBI but VA later wanted another bite at the apple, be sure VA used the right examinations and not a mere screening.

Screenings are generally used when there is no confirmed condition. They are less accurate but are quick and cheap to give. Learn more about VA’s screening tools, referred to as Brief Assessment Batteries in this linked VA presentation.

Evidence On TBI Claims Processing

Here is the evidence and how we got it

Back in December, I filed a FOIA request for all VA’s training materials related to TBI and the certification all clinical providers are required to pass prior to doing a C&P evaluation. I filed a second FOIA to see what our local Minneapolis VAMC uses to diagnose and treat TBI. I have put countless hours into this project to poke holes in VA’s fraud against veterans, and that work has finally paid off.

I plan to explore the data more in depth over the coming weeks, but I wanted you to have access to the documents to help with your claims, immediately. VA is trying to scam veterans and their families out of billions in compensation and support by forcing families to bear the cost of the long term conditions.

 

VA TBI Training Video 1 of 2

Statements in video to take note of in Part 1:

  • Severity must be assessed in 24 hours and cannot change (incorrect fiction created by VA)
  • (Yet, only mild TBI can be fully assessed in first 24 hours)
  • Moderate to severe symptoms cannot be assessed until after day 1
  • Mild TBI is addressed almost exclusively, few notes on symptoms of moderate TBI and severe TBI
  • Notice “malingering” and veteran knowledge of condition

This video mentions mild TBI almost exclusively. The statement that TBI severity must be calculated within the first 24 hours and that it cannot change from that point is absurd. Such a scheme could cause a veteran to be improperly noted to have mild TBI because only the first 24 hours matter (according to VA). Then other residual conditions could be falsely attributed to PTSD and other disorders. However, in order to comply with VA regulations, any evaluation must factor in the full week after the injury to see if additional impacts are noted.

TBI Rating Severity Chart

By failing to equally address symptomology from A to Z for each severity level (mild, moderate, severe), it gives examiners a false emphasis of potentially less severe symptoms. They will not be familiar with symptoms that fall into the grey area.

This is similar to the Madigan scandal and earlier Army scandal where veterans were falsely diagnosed with Personality Disorders to avoid payout for TBI and PTSD.

 

VA TBI Training Video 2 of 2

Statements to take note of in Part 2

Symptoms Of TBI

Immediately within the first minute, you should notice something about screening accuracy. These screenings like MoCA do not catch all the symptoms of TBI. Yet, if the veteran’s particular symptoms are not addressed in the pre-existing exam, that veteran would have a reasonable chance of being improperly denied benefits.

Here, the psychologist is a fellow and not a full-time neuropsychologist at the facility. I think his lack of training and experience is worth noting.

Montreal Cognitive Assessment

He does not identify MoCA by its full name, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. He also fails to adequately address that MoCA was created to screen for dementia in Alzheimer’s patients. The screening tool is for use to detect “mild cognitive impairment” and not moderate TBI or severe TBI related to measures of cognitive impairment. Moderate TBI and severe TBI symptoms can be far more complicated and may not show up in a MoCA screening.

False Positives vs False Negatives

Also, you should notice he talks a little about false positives but does not dig too deep into false negatives. A false positive happens when you flag someone as having TBI symptoms when they do not. He also claims that symptoms will not “wax and wane” and that test results should not be terribly different across a span of time. Of course, if you have a bad “fatigue” day or excessive stress that day, your results will likely be significantly different than on a good day.

“Average” vs The Veteran

Another factor that strikes me as odd is VA’s fixation on “average.”

If you score average on the screening, they immediately conclude you are fine and that no TBI with residuals exists. This puts many “high functioning” individuals at a disadvantage because, overall, they will have good scores despite some severe deficits due to TBI. VA will punt these people, meaning they will deny their claim or minimize it.

However, like a sports car, if one component in the car is off, the entire car might run horribly. Yet, if you check each part individually, you may not notice the problem. Thus, it is possible for a Jaguar to run more slowly than a Ford Escort if one of its 12 cylinders is misfiring.

Segmentation Of Disability vs Entire System

That is VA’s entire strategy when it comes to C&P based on my own research. They segment each condition and body part away from the whole, which could minimize the overall impact of the condition. Whether accidental or overt, this strategy is harming veterans. We not only fail to get proper compensation, we also have certain medical benefits withheld since the condition was missed by C&P.

Getting an initial TBI determination from VHA on the health care side can be like pulling teeth. Yet, if you have a TBI determination from C&P, the gates open up and you can generally get in quite quickly to your local TBI specialty clinic if your VHA has one.

 

Feedback On TBI Claims

If any of you have feedback or additional information, please send me a note. This topic is huge, almost as big as the fraud VA is pulling over the eyes of the American public.

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Lemuel (Lem) Bray
Lemuel (Lem) Bray

250,000 were victims of cerebral malaria in Vietnam. Reasonable compensation would probably cost approximately an average of $500 per month for each for life.

That is $125 million per month and $1.5 billion per year.

Since the veterans are in budget competition with the military industrial complex it is very reasonable for those corporations to make sure the VSOs are controlled by their boys and that they get salaried high enough to keep them loyal to the military industrial complex.

They probably give the “leaders” a rationalization saying that one general’s toys lost to budget constraints means more men suffering the residuals of war.

Same with the Department Affairs personnel. Buying a home for an adjudicator is a small price for what he could leave in the budget for hardware instead of humanware.

A
A

I think you are right on… it is happening in civilian life as well, but the culprit is the insurance companies who don’t want to pay for treatment

Jennifer
Jennifer

Fidencio, I’m a reporter looking at the way TBI claims were handled by VHA. Would you please e-mail me if you’d be willing to talk to me? My e-mail address is [email protected].

Mat
Mat

2008 IED detonated and killed 11 people and left two of us with scratches and lost limb, the next day I start bleeding from my right size nose and coughing blood, since then I started losing my vision to where I can no longer able to read without glasses, sometimes I cannot read even with glasses, week after the incident I was referred to level 2 medical facility in Baghdad where I spent 3 weeks and went back to work, 4 months later after I came home everything started a if it was day one, local medical facility didn’t have the ability to do the testings and treatment so again referred to another facility, I spent total of 16 weeks at intensive outpatient diagnosed with severe TBI and PTSD, I went through treatment and testings for two more years before the Army medically throw me out, my TBI rating at first was 10% with earing loss, vision problem and severe headache, bleeding nose till today, I asked VA to reevaluate me then my TBI rating went up to 30% however my back problem which was rated at 40% was decreased 20%, at the time I was rated at 40% I was still able to walk few yards, however at the time my 2nd rating came I was already on wheelchair yet VA knew how not to award 100% so I stayed at 90%. I am not overweight, not incompetent, not stupid, never in my life had a problem with law, my goal was to serve to retirement, this didn’t happen due to my combat wounds, yet VA still screws with me! I no longer see VA any different than Al-Qaeda and Jesh al mahdi who caused my wounds as a matter of fact VA is worst than the enemy I had the right to fight and kill, VA is there to destroy our life, imagine giving everything you ever own to your country and your country trashing you to the point where you can no longer support your innocent children mentally, physically and financially! What is the point of living?

Scott peterson
Scott peterson

Hello Ben, I think I may be one of the many that has been screwed over. I’d like to ask you a few questions if I may regarding the steps I need to take. Thank you.
Scott

Tony
Tony

Ben,

I just completed my TBI new exam under the new guidelines. However they also scheduled me for a PTSD exam with it. The PTSD I was told my the doc was a review and nothing to do with the TBI exam. Also RO told me that it wasn’t a review. RO said they were trying to see if there was a link between the two. At my TBI exam last week, an assistant I was told would do the questions and notes then brief the doc. The doc came in after her brief to him, ask me only 5 questions nothing about my issues then had me do some physical examination, I.e.. Walk, point, listen to my chest and look at my eyes, then said ok we’re done and va will do the rest. Here’s my question to you. I thought like the PTSD doc who talk to me the whole time, the TBI doc was supposed to do the same thing ? Not have an assistant do it and the Doc gets a brief and writes the report off the notes from the assistant. Help me figure this out please. Please reply to tell me what you think. Thanks.

Tony.

Russ Hale
Russ Hale

Tony,
I spent two months as an inpatient at the Tampa VAMC going through TBI rehab, etc. and and am retiring from AD in five months. I was called by local VA and told I have to be evaluated for TBI and PTSD as well as have another neuropsych eval for C&P; the diagnoses, etc already in my record aren’t sufficient. Just curious as to what the new TBI testing was like for you?

Russ

Ben Miller
Ben Miller

Russ,
Just finished part 1 of the TBI exam. Am scheduled for the 4 hour test 12/16/16. Tampa VAMC is following the playbook exactly as outlined above. I have serious doubts about the quality of care in the TBI clinic from Tampa. I seem to be incurring some kind of episodes where I get lost sitting in my house. I also have a return of BPPV. Initially I’ve been told it’s “old age”. Yeah right. I’m 64 years old and get lost in my own friggin’ house!! Guess we’ll see what happens.

Richard
Richard

I just submitted a claim for TBI. I was thrown from a Jeep in 1974,. and loss consciousness for 2 days. My two most recent MRI’s show encephalomalcia 3.5 CM to the left frontal lobe ( which squares with medical records of 1974). My medical records of 1974 show pupils react to light stimuli sluggishly. orientated but drowsy, small amount of emesis. Severe headache occurring several times a day, they are frontal (L) and ocoigental ( can’t make last spelling or word).. headache T/C tension , T/C post traumatic loss of conscious originally confused- can’t remember details of accident, bumps and abrasions on scalp post.. there are more entries on the army medical record but I cannot make out the scribble used by doctors in 1974. To this day I do not remember the accident, I was in the ICU for three days. and on discharge it was noted as cerebral concussion.. There are only about 6 different entries over a 14 day period about memory loss, headaches, and vision problems. Back in 1974, there was no such thing as TB. It wasn’t until I had to have recent eye surgery that I was made aware of damage to the left that the doctors say was caused by a blow to the head. I Knew I had been tossed from a moving jeep years ago, but do not remember the details of the accident, I reviewed my army medical records and found the above information. I do have other objective findings of, hearing loss, tinnitus,can’t sleep, short term memory loss…. etc… but who knows if these issues are related….

Do you think this basic information will net me any service connections…. Thanks

CJ
CJ

When you have your c+p exams they will ask you questions about your employment etc. to see if you have been subjected to loud noises, this of course will be used to deny your claim. If you have been employed in any trades, or subjected to loud noise you make sure to note that you have ALWAYS used hearing protection.
If you are sent to see a social worker or phsyc, anything you say will be used against you. If you have a primary care doctor outsid of the VA, tell them what is going on and provide them with the documents you have talked about. Your doctor can refer you to a memory center and neurologist for evalutation. Both are qualified to diagnose and treat TBI’s. Add the report from the memory center to your claim, and then I don’t see how they could deny your claim. What is most important here is NOT to TRUST the VA under any circumstance. Back up your claim with genuine qualified doctors, so they have no where to go and are forced into deciding in your behalf, of course that is not 100% foolproof. Good luck, I think you have a very strong case.

elena
elena

I had tinnitus in both ears for six years with a high pitched two tone sound, the noises are constant and have learned to ignore the ringing. Later, another sound was added, a deep tone that has a sporadic rhythm, that mimics human speech. It varies from soft and muted, to painfully clear, and loud. Have try sound machines, ear plugs, my hearing aid, and medication all to no avail rather I have a difficult time sleeping. Lately I was directed to a Doctor called Andrew WEIL on internet who provided solution to the problem. Do not be discourage, there is hope for you, it is a permanent cure to Tinnitus. Contact him with this email [email protected]

google
google

What’s up, the whole thing is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is
sharing information, that’s in fact good, keep up writing.

L. Peterson
L. Peterson

I was diagnosed with TBI by three different doctors. Two in the VA and one not. I sent in all of the Doctors’ diagnosis with all medical records that backed up the TBI claim though a VSO.
The claim was denied after 14 months stating “..there is NO medical evidence to support this claim…”
I appealed and was denied over a year later.
I appealed again and was denied for lack of evidence Again.
I appealed Again. Wait for it. They sent me a letter stating that I had not sent in an appeal withing the allotted time frame and denied that claim AGAIN!!!

DOES ANYONE KNOW A GOOD LAWYER?

Joseph W Sikora
Joseph W Sikora

TBI in the “normal” range with signs of mental malingering also could not separate from symptoms of PTSD with depression. PTSD 50%, TBI 10%, migraines three to four times a week 10%.

Jamie Frei
Jamie Frei

I have battled this VA hamster wheel for 7 years now. I have an appeal already finished and 3 new claims finished. I have also had one actually hearing with a DRO my appeal was finished with no hearing required since they knew they were wrong denying my TBI for 6 years. I was then rated at 90 for 7 months now at 100% TDIU. I am still on the fight for making it P and T there’s no get my short term memory back anymore I’m done hoping for the happy ending. My career working on aircraft is over now because now the VA is scared to fly in aircraft I’ve been working on in fear I left a tool in it while I worked on it. I have chronic headaches in which I am still rated at zero filed an increase just recently but was brief mostly focused on my TBI which they lumped PTSD in with it. My attorney has said he cant get anything more for me theres nothing in it for him since I am at 100%. I running out of options?

Douglas O. Brady, Ph.D. ABN, FACPN, AAPM
Douglas O. Brady, Ph.D. ABN, FACPN, AAPM

I am a private practice Psychologist and Board Certified Neuropsychologist. I have reviewed the VA video on TBI Initial Examination. The MoCa is NOT a TBI screening instrument! The video is incorrect for a number of reasons. Also, I have never seen in a Medical Records (VA) review a complete TBI Examination Report like the example shown on the YouTube video. TBI is a very complex issue and not as simple as the video example would have us think. Also, the VA has allowed ARNP’s to be included in those VA providers able to do the Initial TBI exams. There are simply not enough trained VA providers who can do all the backlog of TBI Initial Exams. I have taken and passed the TBI Residuals Exam and am qualified to perform this examination but I can’t obtain the DBQ for it nor the Initial PTSD Exam DBQ nor the Initial TBI. The VA has a lock on these exams and civilian providers even those well qualified are prevented from helping vets. I am a 71 year old USMC veteran and am disgusted with what is happening to my fellow veterans. I hope the new Administration will change the system so Veterans will be able to see civilian providers. I am retired and will not see this happen but it should be done for all Veterans to receive quality care.

Jamie Frei
Jamie Frei

I am a 31 year old marine whose been trying not to be discouraged everytime I file with the VA. It took my initial TBI claim from 2010 6 years to be service connected even with a service sept. LOD in my favor. They denied it twice the. When I filed an appeal on cue they granted my appeal in 5 months and said its not a cue it was technically still open since we never sent you a statement of the case with the first denial just the second. A little upset finally being service connected I then filed for PTSD from my deployment which was 3 years after my TBI but of course it’s not a serperate issue its related to your accident even though the doctor said it was because of terroristic threats related to my deployment but she couldn’t speculate which was from my TBI or my deployment. So yes screwed again. I was rated at 70 in 2010 and then they lumped PTSD with it in 2016 and said it still only 70. Is there anyway you can help me apparently they think my TBI which is now over 10 years old will get better and it’s not permanent and total either. Another doctor said he wanted 10k before I was awarded IU and now 100% I just want to one seperate my PTSD for its own issue and two hopefully show my TBI is permanent and total my wife’s pregnant with our second so my budget is tight but in running out of options. Can you help me? I have filed for SSDI the beginning of this month because I had never even heard about it until I was doing research on getting financial help if I’m disabled and not working.

Jamie Frei
Jamie Frei

Where’s about are you located at?

Rick B.
Rick B.

First, thank you for an excellent presentation, it has informed me greatly as to the next steps I need to take to insure continued compensation because of my TBI. Some background information; I was involved in an Army Jeep accident while stationed in Vaihingen Germany in July of 1974. Long story short, I was thrown for a moving Jeep while trying to avoid hitting a stalled civilian POV, as I came around a curve in the road. Other than this fact, I do not remember what actually happened, but I have been told by the other occupant of the Jeep that as I turned into a gas station, to avoid the stalled vehicle, centrifugal force propelled myself and passenger out of the drivers side of the vehicle. Apparently, I hit the left side of my head, and was unconscious for at least 2.5 days. My passenger landed on top of me and received no injuries. I also obtained a back injury that was rated 60% in 1986, after I retired from the US Army. In addition, I now believe I obtained neck injuries at the same time. Notice I said this accident occurred in 1974, back in those days it was noted in the medical records as a loss of conscientiousness, and hospital discharge says cerebral concussion, the term TBI apparently had not yet been coined. Finally in Nov of 2016, after reviewing my active duty medical records once again, I found this information, and decided that while I only received follow-up treatment for headaches, and back pain that it might just be time to file a claim for TBI. I went on line an filed the claim and submitted about 9 pages of handwritten medical records of that time. I attended a c/p exam in record time. The exam consisted of questions, some of which seemed silly, and some of which seemed misleading. I was asked to subtract 7 for 100, and then 7 from that sum, and then 7 from that sum until the examiner determined I was able to perform the task. Mind you I could not compute the math in my head but used pen and paper. I was asked about memory retention as well. When I tried to explain the physical injuries I was told by the examiner she was not going to address the physical injuries. On the 24 of Jan while reviewing my disabilities on ebenefits, I learned that a 40% rating had been awarded for the TBI, for memory loss and encephalomalcia involving the left side of my head.( I should add; MRI’s were taken in the last 5 years for sinusitis infections, and it was then that I learned of the encephalomalcia. ) I still have not received the award letter, but learned it was generated on 24 Jan. In the meantime I have tried to learn all I can about TBi, medical care for tbi, and any other bit of information I can find. Mind you, in all these years, I have never been received treatment or an actual mental examination for my TBI. Upon reading the information you have provide armed with my 40% rating I am gong to request a full examination. I suspect, that I may in fact be due addition compensation for neck injuries and other mental issues that I have had over the years. To include quick to anger, a history of drinking after the accident, when I never drank before, and inappropriate behavior that over the years cause embarrassment to my family. When I finally see the examiner, is there anything in your mind that I need to mention that may help me in any way. Thank you for your service to veterans.

Rick b
Rick b

Follow up to my remarks above. I received the written award letter today… first let me say that getting this award was very easy. I do not agree with the rating because the examiner contradicted herself. For those of you who do not know, the examiner asked me questions and I gave verbal answers, she then scored the answers with a 1, 2, 3 or 4. a four is a 100% rating, a 3 = 70%, 2= 40, 1 – 0%…. she indicated a 0 for social activity yet indicated a 2 for neurobehavioral effects.. basically she indicated I get along well with people, but then said I am aggressive,lack empathy, self centered. She did not discuss any of the residual physical injuries such a neck injury, and she did not address my sleep issues, headaches etc… I have already completed my NOD. First not to be cocky, but if all a veteran has to do is answer questions about how they feel I don’t see how anyone could get less than 40%, and if the examiner is scoring the veteran only on what the veteran states, a 70% rating is very easy. Basically, all I had to do was have an MRI that showed brain damage, and produce about 9 pages of medical records from 1974, and answer a few questions over a 45 minute period. I have not received any treatment since 1974, but will now get treatment based on the award.

rick B
rick B

Mr. Krause,

what goes does it do veterans to leave a comment if you do not provide feedback when asked to respond?

Christopher Kruppa
Christopher Kruppa

I was diagnosed with mild TBI by my VA Neurologist who was treating me for a condition called “Essential Tremor” It was the opinion of my Neurologist that the cause of my essential tremor was most likely the result of the mild TBI from an IED blast. In his exact words, my MRI brain scan looked like that pf an 80 year old dementia patient. In fact, I’m his youngest patient at the VA hospital in Houston. Naturally i filed for disability for both TBI and essential tremor and TBI…. Both were recently denied because in their words, couldn’t be proven service related. I’ve never had any head trauma prior to my Iraq deployment or tremor issues. I’m currently 60% combined rated for PTSD, Left shoulder injury, and tinnitus. I feel I’m being screwed here!

cj
cj

@Christopher Kruppa: Appeal the decision, it is their standard way of doing things. I also have a tbi, non combat veteran. I had a private doctor send me to a specialist in treating tbi’s, who have been treating me for over a year now. They will also back up their diagnosis in a court of law. Do not stop applying, do the appeal. And if neccissary go in front of the vba. Whatever you do, do not give up. There is a lot of good info both on this site for free, and also check out “hadit.com” The va sucks, they use any excuse not to give you a service connection for tbi’s. They are notorious for using unqualified shrinks to deny your claim. Don’t let them win. You deserve all you can get. Any questions. find the newest topic at the homepage. and post on that page. It is where most of us are at. Vets there can also chime in on what your going through, YOUR NOT ALONE.

Luana2sea
Luana2sea

Special Forces A team 21 years shot in head. Received 0 . Review is coming up. God help us all. Wife of 30 years

Jen Salisbury
Jen Salisbury

Thank you for the information that you are providing here. I am currently assisting my brother who suffers from PTSD and TBI, among other issues, get service connection for his disabilities. This information has been extremely helpful for what we have been dealing with currently.

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