Q Am I able to collect veterans' disability benefits for a brain injury if I was originally injured before I started to serve?
Individuals who have a pre-existing condition that is exacerbated due to military service might qualify for veterans' disability benefits. Eligible health conditions do not necessarily need to initially occur during active duty or the scope of military service. An individual might be eligible for benefits if combat or another military activity or military environment caused an existing brain injury (or other condition) to become worse.
Military members could experience a number of situations that might intensify an existing condition. Whether a blast-related concussion or a slip-and-fall head trauma increased the severity of a brain injury, the individual or someone working on their behalf can gather medical records and prepare an application for veterans disability benefits.
Brain injuries could fall on a wide spectrum of severity. Traumatic brain injury symptoms can range from sporadic memory loss to permanent memory loss, partial paralysis to full paralysis, unpredictable emotions that cause a danger to others or oneself, or inability to care for oneself. Depending on the nature of the injury, the individual might require daily visits from a home health aide, 24/7 professional care, home modifications, and more. Veterans disability benefits can help contribute to these costs, treatments, or replace lost income. When an individual applies for veterans' disability benefits, the Department of Veterans' Affairs will issue a disability pay rating. The rating will determine the value of the monthly compensation the applicant is entitled to receive.
Individuals who had an injury prior to starting their military career and whose injury became worse as a direct result of military service should review their case with a veterans disability attorney before preparing their application for benefits. Our North Carolina injury law firm provides a complimentary consultation with a veterans disability attorney. Reviewing an application with an attorney can ensure all required documents and supporting materials are completed accurately and by certain deadlines. Contact us to schedule a consult with a North Carolina veterans disability attorney.