Disability Benefits Eased for Veterans with Brain Injury and LBD
LBDA applauds the new ruling by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) that eases access to healthcare and disability pay for five different conditions—including Lewy body dementia—when linked to traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The new regulations state that for certain veterans with a service-connected TBI who also develop one of these five secondary conditions, then the second illness will also be considered as service-connected for the calculation of VA disability compensation. Those conditions include certain forms of dementia (Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal degeneration), Parkinson’s disease, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain hormone deficiency diseases.
Specific criteria must be met in order to the link service-connected TBI to these conditions, including the degree of severity of the TBI and the time frame in which the secondary condition develops. For example, dementia must develop within 15 years of a moderate to severe TBI in order to be considered service-connected. Parkinsonism or Parkinson’s disease is linked only to moderate to severe TBI, but there is no defined timeframe during which it must appear.
Veterans who have questions or who wish to file new disability claims may use the eBenefits website, available at www.eBenefits.va.gov.
The published final rule is available at www.regulations.gov.