veteran who is suffering from traumatic brain injury and need a veterans benefits lawyer in baton rouge louisiana
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By Eric Kallio
Founding Attorney

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious concern for many veterans, particularly those who have served in combat zones. The physical, emotional, and cognitive effects of TBI can be life-altering, impacting a veteran’s ability to work, maintain relationships, and enjoy daily activities. Fortunately, veterans with service-connected TBI may be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. In military settings, TBI can result from various incidents, such as:

  • Blast exposures, such as from improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Gunshot wounds

TBIs can range from mild (called a concussion) to severe, with symptoms that may include:

  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensory issues
  • Physical impairments

The effects of a TBI can profoundly impact a veteran’s quality of life, making it crucial for those affected to seek appropriate medical care and support.

Veterans’ Benefits for TBI

The VA offers several benefits for veterans with service-connected TBI, including the following.

Disability Compensation

Veterans with TBI may be eligible for monthly tax-free payments based on the severity of their condition and its impact on their ability to function. The VA assigns a disability rating from 0% to 100%, with higher ratings corresponding to more significant impairment and higher monthly payments.

Medical Care

Veterans with service-connected TBI can receive free or low-cost medical care through the VA healthcare system. This may include diagnostic tests, treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing support from specialists such as neurologists, psychologists, and occupational therapists.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)

The VR&E program helps veterans with service-connected disabilities, including TBI, prepare for, find, and maintain suitable employment. Services may include job training, resume development, and accommodations to help veterans succeed in the workplace.

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)

Veterans with severe TBI-related disabilities may qualify for SMC, which provides additional monthly payments to help cover the costs of necessary care and assistance.

Proving Service Connection for TBI

To receive veterans’ benefits for TBI, it’s necessary to establish a service connection – meaning that the injury occurred during or was caused by military service. Proving service connection can be challenging, especially if the TBI was not immediately diagnosed or documented in service medical records. However, there are several types of evidence that can help support a claim, including:

  • Service medical records showing treatment for head injuries or concussions
  • VA medical records documenting TBI symptoms and treatment
  • Private medical records and opinions from treating physicians
  • “Buddy statements” from fellow service members who witnessed the incident or observed symptoms
  • Military personnel records showing participation in combat operations or other high-risk activities

In some cases, the VA may presume service connection for TBI if a veteran experienced certain types of events during service, such as:

  • Being a prisoner of war
  • Participating in combat with enemy forces
  • Experiencing an improvised explosive device (IED) blast

A skilled veterans’ benefits attorney can help gather and present the necessary evidence to establish service connection and build a strong case for TBI-related benefits.

Seeking Help for TBI and Veterans’ Benefits

If you or a loved one is a veteran struggling with the effects of TBI, don’t hesitate to seek help getting the care and benefits you need. The first step is to contact the VA to learn more about your eligibility for benefits and the application process. It’s also essential to consult with a knowledgeable veterans’ benefits attorney who can prepare your claim and fight for your rights.

At Kallio Law Firm, LLC, our attorney is not just committed to providing veterans with the compassionate, personalized legal representation they deserve, he is also a veteran himself. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us show you our appreciation for your service.

About the Author
Attorney Eric Kallio is the founder of Kallio Law, focusing his practice on estate planning, wills, successions, business law, tax law, aviation law, and veterans benefit law. Eric brings the depth of his professional and educational experience to bear for his clients, advocating passionately on their behalf.