Many of us have seen the statistics that relate to the number of soldiers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries since the year 2000, which was just before the first of our two foreign wars began. Since that year, approximately 250,000 people have suffered traumatic brain injuries while serving in a branch of the armed forces. It took some time, but the military ultimately began to recognize traumatic brain injuries as those that should lead to the provision of benefits for veterans. Since then, the military has also invested enormous amounts of money into the study of traumatic brain injuries, their causes and potential treatments for them.
As they have continued to learn about this enormous problem, the military has also begun to expand the scope of the treatment for traumatic brain injuries for veterans. This is not an easy thing to do considering all of the complicated aspects of this type of injury and all of the different types of harm that it can entail. Given that reality, the military once again took a step forward in recent weeks when it added five different conditions to the realm of traumatic brain injury.
The story ran in the Tucson Citizen in Arizona, and this is considered a significant step because this addition will allow people with these health problems to be considered veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries. This designation will allow them to be eligible for compensation and for healthcare benefits provided by the Veterans Administration. These five health conditions include:
- Unprovoked seizures
- Some forms of dementia
- Hormone deficiency illness linked to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands
Soldiers who suffer from these conditions will now be able to jump into the system where they can avoid having to either pay for the care that they need on their own or forego it altogether because they simply cannot afford it.
We have been serving clients as traumatic brain injury lawyers for decades, and while we do not deal with injuries that were suffered while people were serving in the military and in combat zones, we do understand the harm that can be done to someone whose brain is damaged. In many cases the only viable decision is to attempt to manage the situation as effectively as possible, as there is no cure for some of these patients. This reality is only made worse by the fact that the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can change over time, creating an entirely new set of challenges for the patient and his or her entire support system.
We are glad to see that more people who suffered traumatic brain injuries while serving in the military are going to be able to have access to the help that they need. We owe that to our soldiers who volunteer to defend our nation. The Scarlett Law Group would like to applaud the VA for making this very good decision that will hopefully help a lot of people.