According to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), TBI often results from a “blow or jolt to the head or an object penetrating the brain.” TBIs can be caused by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), vehicle collisions, physical assaults, training accidents, or due to combat injuries.
Based on recent research, we now know that TBIs can be caused by both injuries to the head as well as full body traumas and can be associated with or without a loss of consciousness.
The consequences of a TBI may be immediate, such as head trauma, wounds, loss of consciousness, vision, and hearing, and in some cases, the impacts could also be long-term and appear months or years later. This includes headaches, dizziness, vertigo, problems walking, fatigue, irritability, memory problems, and issues with concentration.
Because TBIs can produce both physical and mental health problems, they have become a signature “invisible wound of war,” impacting the health hundreds of thousands of Veterans. Advancements in medical technology have enabled better standards of care and treatment for TBIs sustained during military service.
In addition, because traumatic brain injuries vary in severity and need for ongoing care, it may be possible for the Veteran to obtain Special Monthly Compensation to assist with these costs.
For more information about TBI, visit VA’s website.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), also referred to as posttraumatic stress or posttraumatic stress syndrome, is caused by experiencing a traumatic event. Even though the event has passed, many people continue to experience symptoms for months or even years afterward.
Once VA grants service connection for a disability, they then assign a rating based on the severity of the condition. The rating assigned correlates with a monetary amount to be paid monthly. In most cases, the veteran is compensated retroactively back to the effective date of the claim. This means that VA must pay the monthly amount for the disability for each month the claim was open, usually awarded in a lump sum, in addition to the monthly benefits going forward.
Veterans who were injured while in the military, or who aggravated those injuries while in the military, may be eligible for disability compensation. In some cases, compensation claims injuries are immediately obvious, such as when a service member is physically injured while on active duty. Other times, veterans don’t experience symptoms until many years after service, such as in the form of a mental health condition or cancer due to exposure of hazardous materials like Agent Orange, Burn Pits, or Asbestos.