VA Agrees to Offer New Traumatic Brain Injury Exams to 24,000 Vets
On June 1, 2016, VA Secretary Robert McDonald agreed to provide new examinations to over 24,000 veterans who received Compensation & Pension examinations for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) between 2007 and 2015. A letter to vets that are part of this group is expected to be sent very soon. VA is circulating a draft of the letter this week.
To ensure that TBI is properly evaluated for disability compensation purposes, VA developed a policy in 2007 requiring that one of four specialists – a psychiatrist, physiatrist, neurosurgeon or neurologist – complete TBI exams when VA does not have a prior diagnosis.
The impacted veterans had C&P exams that were not conducted by one of the four designated medical specialties. However, only about half of the veterans that were effected have been approved for benefits. The remaining 12,000 or so were denied benefits for TBI, in large part because of the improper exams. The VA agreed to contact all of the vets who were impacted when it issued its press release on the subject in June.
Our firm has routinely seen VA C&P examiners reject TBI in short exams that often do no cover everything that needs to be addressed. Any veteran that makes a service connected claim for TBI should insist that the VA provide the right specialist if VA schedules a C&P. However, keep in mind that having your own doctors from the right specialties document your TBI is always preferred over hoping that you get a favorable C&P exam from the VA.
If your VA service connected compensation claim involving a TBI was denied or not properly rated, call John V. Tucker at (866) 282-5260 for a free consultation. We represent veterans in VA disability claims all over the USA.