The Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have been working together to expand care for military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). More specifically, they are focusing on helping those after they’ve been discharged from their rehabilitation centers. This comes on the heels of a 2007 law requiring the departments to work together to improve TBI treatment.
Each department is making their own contributions to the overall goal of enhancing TBI treatment. The two departments working together have developed a completely inclusive plan to improve:
- Early detection;
- Treatment; and
The DoD’s focus on improving prevention has resulted in more effective protective equipment to include a new combat helmet still being designed. In improving early detection, the DoD has amplified its mandatory concussion screenings to 4 levels and will now begin screening as close to the time the injury occurred as possible. The DoD’s contribution to treating TBI has come in the forms of a published clinical practice guideline and an electronic consultation service.
The VA and the Brain Injury Center have also teamed up with private service organizations. They have been working with the Assisted Living for Veterans with TBI project to help those veterans suffering from TBI.
The VA also works with the VA Polytrauma/TBI System of Care which offers many different levels of care and support. They work to integrate family involvement as much as possible and VA case managers handle every case.
Of the 1,736 soldiers and veterans identified with severe brain injuries between March 2003 and December 2009, 879 were active duty. Of those, 736 received their injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan.
While not every soldier or veteran suffering from TBI is completely disabled, there are still many that are. Hopefully the VA and the DoD working together as a united front will continue to develop more comprehensive care.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.