02 Jun VA Admits To Improperly Administering TBI Tests
According to Alive Atlanta,the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) admits that thousands of veterans were seen by unqualified personnel when tested for traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The VA has announced that new TBI exams will be offered to approximately 25,000 veterans across the nation, and that the affected veterans’ disability claims will be adjusted where appropriate.
What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)?
A traumatic brain injury is an intracranial injury that can be caused by a severe blow to the head or by a nearby blast. VA statistics indicate that men are more likely than women to endure a TBI, and that people who abuse substances have an increased propensity for suffering a traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries are serious, and a TBI victim can become disoriented, confused, experience memory loss, or even slip into a coma. According to the VA, the severity of a TBI can range from mild to severe and is based on:
- How long the individual was unconscious,
- How long the individual experiences memory loss or disorientation, and
- How responsive the individual was after the injury.
The VA helps treat veterans with TBI in a variety of ways including providing:
- Learning strategies,
- Rehabilitation therapies, and
- Technology that assists the patient with daily tasks.
For more information about TBI, see the VA’s article on Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a policy that requires an initial TBI diagnosis to be conducted by a qualified specialist. There are only four types of specialists, including neurosurgeons and neurologists, who are qualified under the VA’s policy to diagnosis a veteran with TBI. The problem is that some VA facilities across the country didn’t fully implement this policy, and as a result inappropriate personnel tested thousands of veterans for traumatic brain injuries. Improper TBI testing was conducted at 40 different locations across the country, at least one of which was in South Carolina.
As a consequence, some veterans who suffered from traumatic brain injuries did not receive their proper diagnosis, and therefore may have missed out on disability benefits that they were entitled to. Additionally, other improperly tested veterans did in fact receive a TBI diagnosis, and yet these veterans may want to be retested in case the severity of their injuries were not properly analyzed.
The VA is working on responding to and rectifying the problem so that those veterans who have wrongly been denied their full disability compensation (aka the financial benefits paid to veterans with disabilities caused by disease or injury incurred during active military service) can be compensated. VA officials say that veterans who were improperly tested with be contacted and given the opportunity for retesting and that retroactive benefits may date back to 2007.
How Can We Help?
If you are a South Carolina veteran and would like assistance with your veteran disability claim contact the Klok Law Firm LLC for assistance. Our experienced veterans’ disability lawyers can be reached by calling (843) 216-8860.