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Increase in combat-related brain injuries raises questions regarding Vet’s disability benefits

By April 20, 2012 VA Disability

Buffalo, NY — Pentagon reports find this spring has brought the highest rate of traumatic brain injuries to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan for any period during the past 10 years of conflict. Health officials state this is partially due to improved diagnoses of concussions.

“All soldiers in close proximity to an explosion are now monitored for signs of concussion — dizziness, problem solving difficulties, sensitivity to light, and headaches — and are kept out of combat until the symptoms disappear,” said Jeffrey Freedman, CEO, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys PLLC. “Medical experts now know that if a brain injury doesn’t have time to heal, another concussion can cause permanent injury.”

Prior to the new policy, however, cases of traumatic brain injury may have passed under the radar of the Veteran’s Administration because the diagnosis was missed. A Veteran who is experiencing cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues may in fact be suffering the effects of a brain injury.

“It is not always easy to connect the mental problems experienced by a soldier to his or her military service once the individual has left the service,” Freedman said. “Ensuring the Veteran with a head injury or other mental health issues receives fair compensation in disability benefits requires the expertise of an attorney who is familiar with the VA claims process.”

Traumatic brain injuries often mimic other mental health issues. Attorneys who represent Veterans in obtaining benefits review the Veteran’s service records, have all mental health records since the individual left the service reviewed by a trained psychologist or psychiatrist, and interview family members, friends, and fellow soldiers who served with the person.

“Building a case for awarding or increasing Veteran disability benefits is a complex process,” Freedman said. “If you are a Veteran or have a loved one who is a Veteran and who is experiencing mental health problems that could be the result of a brain injury, contact our firm. We’ll help you get the assistance you need in obtaining fair compensation.”