Is VA Lowballing Veterans in TBI Claims? Speak Out!

140424 Brain

Reports indicate large numbers of OEF/OIF combat veterans should be granted TBI claims due to blasts and other head injuries. Yet, the numbers of disabled veterans getting service-connection grants for traumatic brain injury (TBI) are staggeringly low.

Failure to get a proper service-connection can affect your ability to get both health care benefits and compensation benefits for the TBI and residuals. In the long term, a bad rating will impact recovery in ways that will cost the veteran and society billions in economic loss.

Meanwhile, VA continues in a direction of denial and acts as if it does not understand this injury and its residual impacts. VA tries to pigeonhole veterans into mild TBI or to just deny it all together to save millions while forcing veterans to cope on their own.

Reporters are now starting to investigate this scandal, and we are hoping to pull in your stories to lend a greater voice to the issue. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, please take a few seconds to answer the questions below.

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  1. I have been fighting this for 5 years, the physical as well as the mental health issues, I worked as long as I could and then all but collapsed in my professional life. Its documented all over my medical, all my symptoms, from the mental health to the physical. It finally got in front of a VLJ and he kicked it back because none of the proper work got done on the C&P, go figure. No wonder so many of us feel so alone and abandoned.

  2. Was treated for TBI while still serving in the Army but the diagnosis was late and not added to my medical board so i claimed it after I got out. It was denied as PTSD symptoms. Put in a claim for increase of PTSD. I was then placed in the VA mental facility where two doctors said I had moderate TBI after my claim was entered in to increase my PTSD rating. My regional compensation branch then cold called me wanting me to file a new claim for TBI.

  3. I am currently 70% SC(70 PTSD, 10 Tinnitus, 0 for knees/back/joints/ankles), and denied TBI even after an appeal. I have documented times of being blown up and being unconscious, just that my MRI didn’t show anything and I did ‘average’ on the VA’s quick n dirty tests. Plus there is a lot of TBI and PTSD overlap, which I agree with, So I have mTBI by the VA in CPRS notes but no SC for it.

    I can kind of understand it, because the vets who have bad TBI are really messed up(hard to talk, process, balance, etc). Its just sucks for VA clinicians to literally to tell and recognize what happened to you and then VA raters to reject it. Also I’m not sure how the rating process for TBI works in terms of percent. I’d just like to even get a 0% so I’m covered in the future for it.

    Also, for people who say ‘its about the money’, for most vets, that’s bullshit. Sure the extra cash is nice, I won’t deny. Its steady and tax free. But every vet that I’ve talked to(thankfully I haven’t personally run into any fakers) shares the same sentiment. We’d gladly give up our VA cheques if we didn’t have to deal with the demons we have on a daily basis. Whether they are mental health or physical related, we’re just looking to get rid of them.

    1. Agreed. I can’t speak for others, but I would give up every penny for just one day of normalcy.

      Currently I receive 10% for tinnitus & hearing loss, 0% for a knee injury and was denied TBI even though there’s a 3 inch scar on the back of my head among other problems since I was injured.

      For everybody here, thank you for your service. I myself did 5 years in the Marine Corps and 2 deployments to Afghanistan.

  4. The comment’s of the lack luster doctor’s that know nothing of their discipline, such as the Neurologists at the Martinez, VA Medical Clinic is appalling to say the least! I was retired from the military for my head wound which is a 2 square inch hole in my scull with no plate, and with most of the shrapnel still in my brain with other injuries to my head as well. On my last visit to the VA a doctor Rey Alba suggested I have a MRI…really with metal in my head and a bullet in my side a MRI? They collect their money and screw the veteran for the bonus and a doughnut!

  5. The “doctor” that reviewed me for TBI wasn’t even certified in that area. Her diagnosis was that if I had a TBI it was like a cut on the hand and would heal with time!

    1. I had something similar happen. I am Service Connected 40% TBI but I put in an appeal and application for unemployability. The Dr. who evaluated me for TBI and Migraines doesn’t specialize in these and stated that the majority of TBI recipients heal within the first few weeks to months and because mine was 16 years ago he said that all the symptoms are not due to TBI, therefore are not residuals of TBI and therefore are not factors of unemployability for TBI.

      I’m currently looking for counter statements from speciailists before the VA renders a decision and I potentially have to wait 2+ years to appeal something that I think is fairly obvious and is well documented.

  6. The time for today’s veterans to raise Hell with the VA is NOW. Unless you want to end up 50 years from now like Vietnam vets are today, old, sick and screwed by corrupt VA and corporate owned politicians. Veterans do NOT get what they deserve from the VA, veterans get what they STRIDENTLY DEMAND from the VA. And, if you wait for your corrupt Congress, the VFW or the DAV to help you, you are really screwed, because those rats are ALL part of the problem not part of the solution. I have had my nose rubbed in that harsh truth for FIFTY FREAKING YEARS. .

  7. Well, considering all the media attention that the VA has made about veterans and TBI, this is a rather surprising development; but then again when I think about it, it’s not so surprising at all considering the very adversarial position the VA always has towards veterans. It’s typical VA, once again. That is what is not so surprising to me!

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