Our staff is here to help: Monday-Sunday 9am to 6pm (800)-800-3332

Tag: Veteran Disability

Adam Neidenberg Disability Help Group

Posted on by Marissa-DHG

Adam Neidenberg is co-founder of Disability Help Group. He has been litigating claims since graduating law school in 1996.  Once he became an experienced trial attorney, he began focusing on representing disabled individuals.  Mr. Neidenberg has represents thousands of disability claimants and provides training to Disability Help Group advocates by teaching them how to assess legal issues, present evidence in cases, and cross examining experts. 

Adam Neidenberg is an Expert Disability Advocate

Adam Neidenberg has achieved much in life and feels a sense of pride in his ability to help disabled people receive the disability benefits they deserver. Some of Mr. Neidenberg’s educational and professional accomplishments include:

  • Firstly, University of Florida, Undergraduate Degree, 1993. 
  • Secondly, Hofstra University, Juris Doctor, 1996. 
  • Thirdly, Florida Bar Association
  • Fourthly, 11th Circuit Federal District Court
  • Moreover, United States Court of Veterans Appeals for Veterans Claims. 
  • Finally, Department of Veterans Affairs Accredited Attorney.

Getting the Help You Deserve

Mr. Neidenberg provides specialized services in disability law.  Disability Help Group’s experienced advocates can help you with your Social Security disability or Veteran’s disability claims.  We can help you understand which are the most advantageous disability rules for your claim.  Mr. Neidenberg and Disability Help Group help you build the strongest case possible. 

The Application Process

Mr. Neidenberg and his dedicated team help you file your disability claim.  We focus on making sure your disability application is accurate and complete.  Complete applications give you a better chance of winning your case at the earlier stages of the disability process. 

Understanding the Disability Process

Mr. Neidenberg and his team make sure you are in good hands during the Social Security disability process.

  • Firstly, provide an educated staff to answer your questions
  • Secondly, check on the status of your case regularly
  • Thirdly, ensure Social Security processes your case correctly
  • Fourthly, make sure documentation is submitted timely

Adam Neidenberg is an Experienced Hearing Advocate

Adam Neidenberg and Disability Help Group prepares you for you for your disability hearing.  Your advocate fully reviews your file.  We obtain any missing medical evidence you need and will discuss with you the questions the judge will ask you.  In addition the the administrative judge, there may be a vocational and/or medical expert that may be involved in your hearing.

Adam Neidenberg and Disability Help Group know what it takes to win your case. 

Case Study 1: Adam Neidenberg Disability Help Group

Donald had a car accident and hit his head losing consciousness.  Following his accident, Donald started having frequent headaches.  He also had problems with his balance, memory, and concentration. As a result, he became irritable easily.  After applying for disability, Social Security denied Donald’s case twice.  Donald hired Adam Neidenberg as his disability advocate. When we reviewed the file, it was clear that his doctor did not provide the necessary descriptions of Donald’s symptoms. Therefore, it was necessary to resolve the issues with the medical evidence. Once the issues were resolved, Donald had a hearing in front of an administrative law judge who found that Donald missed work frequently and determined that Donald met the Social Security disability rules and his case was approved.

Case Study 2: Adam Neidenberg Disability Help Group

Anne injured her neck in a car accident.  She required cervical spinal fusion surgery, however, surgery did not help improve her symptoms.  Likewise, she developed numbness and tingling in her arms., causing her problems using her hands.  Disability Help Group made sure that Social Security received all of Anne’s records.  Anne’s advocate suggested certain tests that could help her case, also provided additional forms for Anne’s doctor to complete.  Ultimately, Social Security found that Anne was unable to work and approved her case. 

Working with a Disability Expert 

The Social Security Disability process and rules can seem very confusing. For example, there several states in the process, an initial application, reconsideration, hearing, appeals council, and federal appeals. In addition, within each stage in the process there are has various forms that need to be completed and distinct rules that need to be followed. It is important that you hire an expert that understands how to apply the rules to your case that will benefit you. For example, Social Security has a rule that makes it easier for people over the age of 50 to win their case.

Case Study 3: Adam Neidenberg Disability Help Group

Janet, a 51 year old woman, applied for disability based on coronary artery disease, depression and anxiety.  She previously worked as a medical assistant.  She was unable to continue working because she suffered from frequent chest pain and swelling in her legs.  Due to her depression and anxiety symptoms, she had trouble concentrating and remembering things.  After being denied for disability by Social Security, Janet hired Disability Help Group.  Thereafter reviewing her file, we found that Janet did not provide Social Security with her psychiatrist’s information.  Her advocate requested her psychiatrist’s records and with the addition of these records, the judge found that Janet could not stand for long periods of time.  She also could not perform complex tasks.  Therefore, she could not return to work as a medical assistant.  Since Janet was over the age of 50, the judge was able to approve her case. 

Call Now for a Free Case Review, 800-700-0652

Make sure you start your SSDI and VA disability claim the right way and apply for all the benefits you deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation.

How to Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI

How to Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI. Veterans can receive both VA compensation and SSI.  Both VA compensation and SSI require that you have disabling conditions.  However, the requirements to qualify differ. 

How to Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI: VA compensation

VA disability compensation offers monthly payments to Veterans who got sick or injured while serving.  You must show that your disabling condition was “incurred or aggravated by your military service.”  The VA does not require total disability.  The VA awards benefits based in proportion to your percentage of disability.  Compensation rates range from 10%-100%, in 10% increments. 

VA pension

The VA also offers benefits for veterans who have non-service disabilities.  VA pension benefits require that you were not dishonorably discharged and you meet certain financial limits.  You must also meet certain service requirements.  Additionally, you show one of the following:

  • You are at least 65 years old
  • Have a permanent and total disability
  • Are a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability or
  • Are receiving Social Security disability insurance or SSI. The OT and ICS cyber security is what is needed to protect data.

How to Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI: SSI benefits

Unlike VA compensation, SSI does not offer partial disability.  You must prove that your medical conditions keep you from working in any job.  You must also show that you can’t work for at least 12 months.  SSI also has specific financial requirements.  Specifically, these requirements include:

  • You must have less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple)
  • Have a very limited income
  • Are a US citizen (there are very few exceptions to this)

VA compensation and SSI benefits

Since SSI is a needs-based program, other income affects the amount you receive from SSI.  Therefore, VA compensation will reduce your SSI payments.  Social Security considers VA compensation as “unearned income.”  Social Security deducts unearned income on a dollar for dollar basis with a $20 exclusion.  The SSI federal payment amount for 2021 is $794 per month. 

How to apply for VA compensation

You can apply for veterans benefits online.  You may also apply by using VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension.  Once you apply, the VA uses military doctors and other health personnel to evaluate your disability claim.  The VA may ask you to attend a C&P exam to help rate your claim.  The VA assigns a disability rate to each of your conditions.  These rates determine your Total Combined VA disability rating.  The VA then uses this rate to figure out the amount of your benefits. We Can Help You Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI.

How to apply for SSI

You must contact your local Social Security office to file. Unlike the VA, Social Security doesn’t rate your conditions separately.  Social Security looks at how the combination of your conditions impacts your functioning.  First, they consider if any of your conditions meet certain conditions under their listing of impairments, known as the “Blue Book”.  Most conditions will not meet these strict requirements.  Next, Social Security considers your residual functional capacity or RFC.  Your RFC includes both physical and mental limitations.  If Social Security determines that your conditions keep you from working, they will approve your disability claim.  Like the VA, Social Security may ask you to attend a medical exam to help evaluate your claim. 

Disabled veterans and your age

Social Security has special disability rules the older you are.  They look at a chart known as the Medical-Vocational guidelines to evaluate your claim called the “grid rules.”  The grid rules make it easier for older people to win their case.  Social Security considers your age, education and work background.  The older you are, the easier it can be to win your case. 

Can a veteran work and receive both VA and SSI?

If you are working, you may not qualify for SSI.  Social Security considers work earnings over a certain amount “substantial gainful activity” or SGA.  If you earn over the SGA limit, you will not qualify for Social Security disability.  For 2021, SGA is earnings $1,310 per month or more (before taxes).  However, if you earn more than $794 per month, you will not qualify to receive SSI payments.  Unlike Social Security, veterans can work while receiving VA disability benefits unless you receive Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU). We can help you Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI.

VA and SSI medical benefits

Veterans receiving VA disability automatically receive TRICARE benefits.  TRICARE covers health costs found “medically necessary” for your condition.  SSI recipients receive Medicaid benefits.  If you receive both TRICARE and Medicaid, TRICARE becomes your primary insurance. 

Getting help with your VA compensation and SSI claims

Get help with your case now. Firstly, your advocate helps you with your application and can make sure you provide all necessary information.  Secondly, your advocate walks you through the process and can answer all of your questions. Thirdly, your advocate knows what it takes to get your case approved.

Call Now for a Free Case Review, 800-700-0652

Make sure you start your SSDI and VA disability claim the right way and apply for all the benefits you deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation.

VA Benefits Appeal

Posted on by Ken LaVan

VA Benefits Appeal. To win a VA disability claim, a veteran must prove all elements.  Generally, VA will approve a VA benefits claim when a veteran proves the following:

  1. In-service event, disease or injury,
  2. Current disability, and
  3. Medical nexus between the in-service event and the current disability.

After you submit your claim, VA is obligated to issue a decision.  Based on the evidence, VA may decide to approve your claim completely.  Alternatively, VA may either deny the claim outright, or grant your benefits at a low disability rating.  Regardless, veterans have the right to appeal any VA benefits decision to a higher authority.

What is the point of an appeal?

VA decision-makers are not perfect.  They often make mistakes.  For a disabled veteran who is barely making ends meet, VA’s mistakes can be costly.  This is why Congress created the appeals system.  It gives veterans a fighting chance to correct VA’s mistakes without losing years of benefits.

VA benefits appeals are great because they preserve the earliest effective dates.  Take the example of J. Stone, who filed a claim for PTSD in 2011.  VA denied his claim in 2013 because they could not confirm the traumatic in-service event.  His friends told him to just file another claim.  Instead, he consulted the experts at Disability Help Group (DHG). 

A DHG representative helped him file an appeal along with evidence of the in-service event.  In 2015, VA decided the appeal in Mr. Stone’s favor.  As a result, he received a 70% rating effective 2011, the date he filed his claim.  He received

Appeals in the Legacy System

The Legacy system refers to the VA appeals structure for decisions issued prior to February 19, 2019.  When VA first denies a claim in Legacy, the veteran may appeal with a Notice of Disagreement (NOD).  The deadline to file a legacy NOD is 1 year from the date of the decision. 

When you file a timely NOD, you are asking a senior VA officer to overrule the previous decision.  If the VA agrees with you, then it will issue a new decision awarding benefits.  If not, VA will issue a Statement of the Case (SOC) to explain why the previous decision should stand.

Fortunately, an SOC is not the end of the road.  Using a VA Form 9, you can appeal an SOC to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (the Board).  Unlike the lower decision, you have only 60 days to appeal an SOC.  A VA Form 9 is a request for a Veterans Law Judge to take a fresh look at your case.   If the judge finds in your favor, he/she will award benefits effective the date you first filed.  If the judge finds against you, then you can appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims.

The Appeals Modernization Act changed everything

Any decisions issued on or after February 19, 2019 fall within the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA).  If VA denies your claim, or approves it with a very low rating, you can appeal it by filing one of these forms:

  • VA Form 20-0995 Supplemental Claim, 20-0996 Request for Higher Level Review, or 10182 Notice of Disagreement to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Each lane has its pros and cons.  Visit this link for more details [Link to the AMA article].

What’s the downside of an appeal?

First, a VA benefits appeal can take a very long time.  Take a look at the search results when you Google “VA appeals backlog.”  Prior to the AMA, VA took an average of 2.5 years to process appeals. 

Second, you may have to appeal several times to get the job done.  If your first appeal is not successful, then you should appeal to a higher tribunal (like the Board of Veterans’ Appeals).  When you believe in your claim, you should never give up.  Don’t let VA win.

Hire an expert to give yourself the best chance to win

Every VA benefits appeal is different.  The best indicator of success is having an experienced representative.  This is a very complex system.  Most veterans are not equipped to force VA to change a decision.  Some cases already have the evidence needed to win, but are lacking a good legal argument.  Other cases lack both evidence and argument.  An experienced representative can plug the holes in your case. 

At DHG, our experts review each case with a fine-toothed comb.  This is how we figure out the best path forward.  We don’t just file a VA benefits appeal and then wait around for VA to act.  Instead, we actively develop winning evidence and arguments to deliver for our clients.

Do you need help with your VA benefits appeal?  Contact the experts at DHG for a free consultation.

Disability Help Group, Call Now for a Free Case Review, 800-700-0652

Make sure you start your claim the right way and apply for all the benefits you deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation.

Get Help Now

Call, 1-800-700-0652

Because memory deficits are common VA TBI residuals, a veteran should always have an advocate. Disability Help Group specializes in TBI cases and is here to answer your questions now.

Additional Information

Should I Hire a VA Disability Lawyer?

Posted on by Ken LaVan

Should I Hire a VA Disability Lawyer?

You should hire a VA disability lawyer, especially from https://www.lipconlawfirm.com/truck-accidents/. With a budget over $217 billion, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one of the largest federal agencies.  VA’s disability benefit program was intended to be veteran-friendly.  However, for most veterans, applying for VA benefits is a long and frustrating process.  A veteran who represents himself is at a huge disadvantage.  There are hundreds of rules and regulations about the veteran’s rights and VA’s duties.  The process becomes even tougher when VA sends mixed messages, requests information it already has, or issues a decision that completely ignores the evidence.

Do You Have the Expertise?

Most veterans have not studied VA disability law.  Even fewer veterans follow the Federal court cases that change the law every year.  But without that knowledge, many VA claims are doomed to fail.  A VA Disability Attorney’s knowledge and experience can make all the difference.  Specifically, an attorney, especially the professionals from https://www.denvercocriminaldefenselawyer.com/, can determine exactly how to turn a loss into a win. 

Who Needs a VA Disability Lawyer?

Beeman Heifner Benge – Personal Injury Lawyers says that in this fight, a veteran needs someone who is aiming for the same target.  That’s why many of our clients left previous arrangements. Before hiring DHG, many of our veteran clients did not have a VA disability attorney.  Some represented themselves.  They learned very quickly that VA didn’t share the same urgency and had a different result in mind.  Others were represented by a Veteran Service Organization (VSO) such as DAV or American Legion.  Because they work out of VA facilities, there is a perceived conflict of interest.  Does a VSO work for VA or the veteran? 

What is a VA Disability Lawyer’s Role?

Your VA disability claim is too important to risk.  When you hire a VA Disability Attorney, you’re hiring your own specialist to get the job done.  Most of them work for a contingency fee.  They don’t get paid unless they win past-due benefits for the veteran.  And because the contingency fee is usually a fixed 20%, the attorney has every incentive to win the largest possible award.  Plus, the attorney-client relationship ensures he/she is on your side.  Both you and the attorney would be aiming at the same target.

An experienced VA Disability Attorney knows VA’s written and unwritten rules has the knowledge to prepare a game plan to best achieve your objective.  Working together with your attorney, you have a better chance to hit your target.

When Should I Hire a VA Disability Lawyer?

Immediately!  The earlier you can prove your case the faster you can receive your VA disability benefits. In addition, the VA Disability Lawyer will be able to analyze your disability onset date and make sure you receive the maximum back benefits, according to an experience elder abuse law firm Chicago. Generally, a veteran must prove the following to win a VA disability claim:

  1. Current diagnosis,
  2. In-service event, disease or injury, and
  3. Medical nexus between the first 2 elements.

If you don’t have a medical diagnosis, then you need to see your doctor.  Only licensed medical professionals can diagnose medical conditions.  Attorneys cannot do so.  However, if VA denies your claim for any of these reasons, you should probably hire a VA Disability Lawyer:

  • Negative medical nexus (“less likely than not”),
  • No documented proof of in-service event, disease or injury, , or
  • VA ignored evidence proving all 3 elements.

Which VA Disability Lawyer Should I Hire?

VA Accreditation

Only attorneys who have been accredited by VA can represent veterans in disability cases, as a result, VA holds Disability Lawyers to a high ethical standard.  Accreditation reflects VA’s standard for responsible, qualified representation of this nation’s veterans.  A searchable database of VA accredited attorneys, claims agents and VSOs is available here.

Experience

Experience makes a world of difference. Since 1993, the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA) has been the leading organization for training and support of VA Accredited representatives. At Disability Help Group, our representatives are long-standing NOVA members. You know what you are looking for, the https://www.sweetesq.com/car-accidents/ has all details you need and you can choose your lawyer easily.

Speak to The Lawyer

There are many firms out there that you never get to speak with the attorney. At Disability Help Group our representative will talk to you and be your main contact during your entire case. When you hire an attorney you should ask: 

  1. When will I get to speak with my lawyer?
  2. Who will be my main point of contact?
  3. How many cases has my lawyer won?

Disability Help Group, Call Now for a Free Case Review, 800-700-0652

Has VA ever denied your case?  You may be entitled to significant compensation.  Contact us now for a free consultation.

Additional Articles You May Find Helpful

Can I Get TDIU for Blue Water Agent Orange?

Starting, January 1, 2020, veterans can get TDIU for Blue Water Agent Orange Exposure.

Blue Water update

During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military used herbicides such as Agent Orange to clear trees and plants.  Unfortunately, herbicide exposure has caused a myriad of health problems to Vietnam veterans.  By passing the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the government conceded a relationship between herbicide exposure and 14 medical conditions.  However, VA interpreted the law to exclude Blue Water veterans of the Vietnam War.  Veterans advocates have sought an update ever since.

For over 20 years after the Agent Orange Act, VA split disabled Vietnam veterans into 2 distinct groups:

  1. Those who either set foot in Vietnam or served on boats patrolling inland waterways (also known as “Brown Water”), and
  2. Those who served on ships off the coast of Vietnam (also known as “Blue Water” veterans).

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, Agent Orange Exposure

This all changed on January 1, 2020, when the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 took effect.  For the first time, Blue Water veterans are entitled to the same presumptions as those who served inland.  In addition, Blue Water veterans who could not support themselves due to Agent Orange exposure now have a path to TDIU.

What is TDIU, Exactly?

TDIU is a special benefit for veterans who cannot support themselves due to service-connected disabilities.  To qualify, a veteran must meet certain requirements.  First, a veteran must prove that he cannot earn a living because of service-connected disabilities.  Second, those disabilities must meet the percentage requirements.  If the veteran has only one service-connected disability, it must be rated 60% or higher.  If the veteran has more than one service-connected disability, then at least one must be rated 40% or higher.  Also, there must be “sufficient additional disability to bring the combined rating” to 70% or higher.  38 C.F.R. § 4.16(a).  These rules apply regardless of whether the disabilities are due to Blue Water Agent Orange Exposure.

TDIU – Total disability and individual unemployability

Also known as Unemployability, TDIU pays the same monthly amount as a 100% disability rating.  Under 2019 rates, VA will pay TDIU recipients a minimum of $3,057.13 per month tax free.  Before you can get TDIU for Blue Water Agent Orange exposure, you have to have a qualifying disability at a high enough rating.

Agent Orange is not a disability in of itself

Agent Orange exposure is not a disability in of itself; it causes disabilities.  If you don’t have a diagnosed disability yet, then any VA claim would be premature.  If you suspect you have a disability, then ask your doctor to confirm.

  1. Chronic B-cell leukemia,
  2. Hodgkin’s lymphoma,
  3. Multiple myeloma,
  4. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,
  5. Prostate cancer,
  6. Respiratory cancers, including lung cancer,
  7. Soft tissue sarcomas,
  8. Amyloid light-chain (AL amyloidosis),
  9. Chloracne,
  10. Diabetes mellitus type 2,
  11. Ischemic heart disease,
  12. Parkinson’s disease,
  13. Peripheral neuropathy, and
  14. Porphyria cutanea tarda.

By law, VA can only assign up to a 30% rating for chloracne and Parkinson’s disease.  For the 12 other conditions, VA may assign ratings of 60% or higher if the symptoms are severe enough. 

A few examples of how VA would decide TDIU claims based on Blue Water Agent Orange exposure:

Case Study 1: VA 100% blue water agent orange exposure

A Blue Water Vietnam veteran served on the USS Intrepid CVS-11 during the applicable time period.  About 25 years after service, his doctor diagnosed him with congestive heart failure.  As a result of the congestive heart failure, the veteran was forced to stop working.  The veteran filed a claim for TDIU and congestive heart failure secondary to Agent Orange Exposure.  Because congestive heart failure fits the definition of ischemic heart disease, VA would likely grant a 100% rating.  VA would then declare TDIU moot because it pays the same as a 100% rating.

Case Study 2: TDIU blue water agent orange exposure

A Vietnam-era Navy veteran served on the USS Bronstein DE-1037 during the period.  About 15 years after service, he developed chronic b-cell leukemia.  As a result, he stopped working and hired a full-time home healthcare aide.  He filed a claim for TDIU and b-cell leukemia secondary to Blue Water Agent Orange exposure.  Here, VA would either grant the leukemia at 100% or grant TDIU.

Case Study 3: TDIU blue water agent orange exposure

A Vietnam-era Navy vet served on the USS Ajax AR-6.  Due to peripheral neuropathy in both legs (rated 20% each) and residuals of prostate cancer (rated at 60%), he was forced to retire at 46 years old.  His combined rating is 70% overall.  The day after his retirement, he files a claim for TDIU.  Because he meets all the criteria, VA would likely grant TDIU effective the last day he worked.

What If VA Denied My Claim?

Keep fighting!  After fighting for over 20 years, Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans are finally eligible for the same presumptions as those who served inland.  VA’s previous denial does not necessarily mean that you don’t deserve benefits.  VA may have misunderstood the law or overlooked evidence.  Alternatively, you might need just one more piece of evidence to complete the puzzle.  VA’s complex rules can make any veteran’s head spin.  But the experts at Disability Help Group can guide you through the process. 

Disability Help Group, Call Now for a Free Case Review, 800-700-0652

Has VA ever denied your Agent Orange exposure claim because you are a Blue Water Navy veteran?  You may be entitled to significant compensation.  Contact us now for a free consultation.

Additional Articles You May Find Helpful

Additional Information

Can I get VA 100% for Blue Water Exposure?

Can I get VA 100% for Blue Water Exposure? Yes. Thanks to the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 and the Agent Orange Act of 1991, certain diseases are presumed to be related to in-service exposure to herbicides (including Agent Orange).

Generally, a veteran must prove 3 elements for service connection

Before VA will assign a rating for a disability, a veteran must first prove the disability is related to service.  In general, VA will grant disability compensation if the following elements are met:

  1. current diagnosis,
  2. in-service event, disease or injury, and
  3. medical nexus between the first 2 elements.

Special rule, Agent Orange Act of 1991

Instead of proving the 3 elements listed above, a veteran only needs to prove:

  1. Inland service in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, and
  2. A diagnosis of one or more of the 14 presumptive conditions.

Limitation of Agent Orange Act of 1991

For over 2 decades, this presumption extended only to veterans who either set foot in Vietnam or served on boats patrolling inland waterways (also known as “Brown Water”).  This excluded thousands of veterans who otherwise would have received VA 100% due to blue water exposure while serving on Navy ships offshore during the same period.

Major win for veterans, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019

Everything changed on January 1, 2020, when the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 took effect. As a result, VA extended Agent Orange presumptions to veterans who served in the offshore waters of Vietnam, permitting veterans to get VA 100% for Blue Water Exposure.

What does the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act Mean?

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act requires VA to treat your Vietnam Agent Orange claims as if you served “boots-on-the-ground”.  If you have any of the 14 presumptive disabilities, and you served on a blue water ship that operated within 12 nautical miles of Vietnam, then you may be entitled to VA 100%. 

Presumed Disabilities Caused By Blue Water Exposure

VA presumes that the following conditions are related to blue water exposure to herbicides such as Agent Orange:

  1. Chronic B-Cell Leukemia,
  2. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,
  3. Multiple Myeloma,
  4. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,
  5. Prostate Cancer,
  6. Respiratory Cancers, including Lung Cancer,
  7. Soft Tissue Sarcomas,
  8. Amyloid Light-Chain (AL Amyloidosis),
  9. Chloracne,
  10. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2,
  11. Ischemic Heart Disease,
  12. Parkinson’s Disease,
  13. Peripheral Neuropathy, and
  14. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda.

Which Presumptive Disabilities Can Be Rated VA 100% Due to Blue Water Exposure?

Below is the list of presumptive disabilities that can be rated VA 100% for Blue Water Exposure. Firstly, the criteria tells VA which ratings it may assign depending on how severe the symptoms are.  Secondly, the Schedule tells VA the maximum ratings for each disability.  Thirdly, VA may only assign a 100% rating for 10 of the 14 presumptive disabilities.   

Chronic B-cell Leukemia

VA will assign a 100% rating while the leukemia is active or during a treatment phase.  This rating continues for six months after the last treatment.  When the six-month period expires, VA will rate it as either anemia or aplastic anemia, whichever would result in the greater benefit.  Under DC 7700 for anemia, VA will grant a 100% rating for the following symptoms:

  • Hemoglobin level at 5gm/100ml or less, with findings such as high output congestive failure or dyspnea at rest.

Under DC 7716 for aplastic anemia, a 100% rating is warranted if it:

  • Requires bone marrow transplant,
  • Requires transfusion of platelets or red cells at least once every six weeks, or
  • Infections recurring at least once every six weeks.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Prostate Cancer, Respiratory Cancers (including Lung Cancer), Soft Tissues Sarcomas

VA rates these Blue Water presumptive cancers identically.  In short, VA will grant a 100% rating for any one of these cancers while it is active or during a treatment phase.  This rating continues for six months after the last treatment.  Thereafter, VA will schedule an examination to assess the appropriate rating.If the disease does not become active again, VA will rate it based on the residuals.

Amyloid Light-Chain (AL Amyloidosis)

AL Amyloidosis is a rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein builds up in organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver and spleen.  There is no cure to AL Amyloidosis, which subsequently can lead to life-threatening organ failure.  VA will assign a 100% rating for this disability regardless of the current symptoms.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Depending on the symptoms, VA may assign either 10%, 20%, 40%, 60%, or 100% for diabetes mellitus type 2.  As a result, VA will grant a 100% rating for Blue Water Navy veterans if they require:

  • More than one daily injection of insulin,
  • A restricted diet,
  • Regulation of activities (avoidance of strenuous activities),
  • Either 3 hospitalizations per year OR weekly visits to diabetic care provider due to episodes of ketoacidosis or hypoglycemic reactions, and
  • Treatment for progressive complications such as loss of weight or strength.

Ischemic Heart Disease

VA will assign a 100% rating if any of these requirements are met:

  • Chronic congestive heart failure;
  • workload of 3 METs or less results in dyspnea, fatigue, angina, dizziness, or syncope; or
  • left ventricular dysfunction with an ejection fraction of less than 30%.

Examples of disabilities not eligible for 100% Rating

There are four diseases you cannot get a VA 100% rating for Blue Water Exposure. For example, the maximum rating for chloracne is 30%.  Another example is peripheral neuropathy, which maxes out at 80%.   VA may grant no more than 60% for porphyria cutanea tarda.  And then there is the rating criteria for Parkinson’s disease.  It starts with a minimum of 30%, but VA may grant additional ratings if there are severe residuals such as difficulty swallowing, speech problems, and bladder control problems. 

Call Disability Help Group, 1-800-700-0652

Additional Articles You May Find Helpful

Additional Information

FAQs

What are the 14 Blue Water Presumed Diseases?

Chronic B-Cell Leukemia,
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,
Multiple Myeloma,
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,
Prostate Cancer,
Respiratory Cancers, including Lung Cancer,
Soft Tissue Sarcomas,
Amyloid Light-Chain (AL Amyloidosis),
Chloracne,
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2,
Ischemic Heart Disease,
Parkinson’s Disease,
Peripheral Neuropathy, and
Porphyria Cutanea Tarda.

Should I hire an advocate?

Most importantly, you should hire a disability expert that has argued hundreds of VA Compensation claims.

What is a veterans disability advocate?

A veterans disability advocate represents you before the VA. Hire a representative that has argued similar fact patterns to your case.

How Are TBI and PTSD Rated Together?

VA Compensation Ratings

TBI and PTSD are frequently rated together. VA pays compensation to veterans for disabilities incurred in or aggravated during their active duty service. In short, there are 10 grades of VA disability compensation: 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, and 100%. Therefore, the higher the disability rating, the higher the monthly compensation VA will pay to the veteran.  For example, a veteran with severe TBI and PTSD will probably receive a higher rating than a veteran with mild hearing loss.

Relations between TBI and PTSD

According to the Department of Defense, more than 313,816 service members have sustained a TBI in training or combat Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. For instance, common causes of this kind of head trauma include blast-related concussion events resulting from training or combat.  On the other hand, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. In most cases, veterans with TBI also develop PTSD from the same event.

Separate Ratings but Rated Together

In most cases, VA will award separate ratings for service-related TBI and PTSD.  However, VA will rate TBI and PTSD together – as a single disability – if they present with identical symptoms.  This is because VA cannot pay a veteran twice for the “same disability” or “same manifestation.” 

Are TBI and PTSD Distinct and Separate?

If VA finds that your PTSD and TBI are indistinguishable, it will assign one rating instead of two.  Therefore, in order to avoid the “same manifestation” issue, figure out which symptoms are from TBI and which are from PTSD. 

TBI causes dysfunction in 3 main areas:

  • Cognitive (such as decreased memory or concentration),
  • Emotional (such as anxiety, crying spells, or panic attacks), and
  • Physical (such as motor and sensory dysfunction, visual impairment, seizures, etc.).

PTSD symptoms fall into 4 categories

  • Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories, nightmares or flashbacks of the traumatic event;
  • Avoiding people, places, objects or activities that trigger traumatic memories;
  • Negative thoughts and feelings toward oneself or others; and
  • Arousal and reactive symptoms such as angry outbursts, reckless or self-destructive behavior, and having problems concentrating or sleeping.

Example Case: PTSD and TBI Rated Separately

Let’s say a Marine Corps veteran has TBI and PTSD due to an IED attack he suffered in Iraq and three of his buddies died in the attack.  As a result, he lost part of his left ear in the aftermath.  Today, his TBI presents with mostly physical dysfunctions, including seizures, loss of sense of smell, and inner-ear balance problems.  However, he also experiences frequent flashbacks of the attack.  Unfortunately, he has frequent suicidal thoughts and avoids people because he is racked with survivor’s guilt.  Because they have distinct and separate manifestations, VA will rate them separately.

 

However, some veterans with TBI and PTSD together only experience emotional/behavioral dysfunction.  In those cases, VA may assign one rating instead of two.  By law, VA must assign the higher of 2 applicable ratings.  So if your PTSD is at a 70% level but your TBI would only rate at 10%, VA would grant “PTSD with TBI” at 70%.

How VA Assigns Ratings for PTSD

The criteria for each VA disability rating for PTSD is listed here:

  • 100% = Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as:
    • gross impairment in thought processes or communication;
    • persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior;
    • persistent danger of hurting self or others;
    • intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene);
    • disorientation to time or place;
    • memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name
  • 70% = Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as:
    • suicidal ideation;
    • obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities;
    • speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant;
    • near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively;
    • impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence);
    • spatial disorientation;
    • neglect of personal appearance and hygiene;
    • difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a work-like setting);
    • inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.

50% and lower

  • 50% = Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as:
    • flattened affect;
    • circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech;
    • panic attacks more than once a week;
    • difficulty in understanding complex commands;
    • impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned ……….. material, forgetting to complete tasks);
    • impaired judgment;
    • impaired abstract thinking;
    • disturbances of motivation and mood;
    • difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.
  • 30%= Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms   as:
    • depressed mood,
    • anxiety,
    • suspiciousness,
    • panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events).
  • 10% = Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which:
    • decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or;
    • symptoms controlled by continuous medication.
  • 0% = A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.

How VA Assigns Ratings for TBI

VA divides the rating criteria for TBI residuals into 10 categories.  Veterans are then rated based on how severe the deficits are in each of these areas:

  1. Memory, attention, concentration and executive functions
    • Executive functions include goal setting, planning, self-monitoring, and flexibility in changing actions when they are not productive.
  2. Judgment
    • Is the veteran able to make reasonable decisions?
  3. Social interaction
    • How often does the veteran act appropriately in social situations?
  4. Orientation
    • Is the veteran aware of who, where, and when he is?
  5. Motor activities
    • Is the veteran able to perform previously learned motor activities (such as riding a bike)?
  6. Visual spatial orientation
    • Does the veteran get lost even in familiar surroundings?  Is he able to point at or name own body parts?
  7. Subjective symptoms
    • Symptoms that cannot be measured with objective tests, such as panic attacks and thoughts of suicide.
  8. Neurobehavioral effects
    • Examples include lack of motivation, verbal aggression, physical aggression, and lack of empathy.
  9. Ability to communicate
    • Can the veteran communicate either by spoken or written language?  Can he communicate basic needs?
  10. Consciousness
    • Is the veteran in a coma or a vegetative state?

VA Rates TBI residuals

VA rates these TBI residuals on a scale of 0, 1, 2, 3, or total.

  • 0 = 0% (normal functioning)
  • 1 = 10% (mild)
  • 2 = 40% (moderate)
  • 3 = 70% (severe)
  • Total = 100%

If any residuals of TBI are rated “total”, then VA will award a 100% rating.  If no residual is rated “total”, then VA must assign a percentage based on the highest rated residual.   For example, let’s say a veteran has TBI residuals in 3 out of the 10 categories.  He has a 1 for Judgment, a 3 for Ability to Communicate, and a 2 for Orientation.  In this example, VA will award 70% because 3 is the highest residual rating.

Get Help Now

Call Disability Help Group, 1-800-700-0652

Because memory deficits are common VA TBI residuals, a veteran should always have an advocate. We specializes in TBI cases and is here to answer your questions now.

Additional Information

FAQs

How does TBI effect you?

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can cause cognitive (such as decreased memory or concentration), emotional (such as anxiety, crying spells, or panic attacks), and physical (such as motor and sensory dysfunction, visual impairment, seizures, etc.) problems.

Should I hire an advocate?

Absolutely. You should hire a disability expert that has argued hundreds of VA Compensation claims.

What is a veterans disability advocate?

A veterans disability advocate represents you before the VA. Hire a representative that has argued similar fact patterns to your case.

What are VA TBI Residuals?

If you do not understand how VA rates or weighs TBI residuals this article will help.

Are Your VA TBI Residuals Related to Service?

Before VA will assign a rating for TBI, it must first determine whether it is related to service.  The question is whether VA should award service connection for TBI. Generally, VA will deny service connection for TBI unless the following elements are met:

  1. Proof of a current diagnosis,
  2. Proof of an in-service event, disease or injury, and
  3. Proof of a medical nexus between the first 2 elements.

Do you have a current TBI diagnosis

If you file a claim for TBI without a confirmed diagnosis, then you should expect VA to deny the claim.  It is not enough for the veteran to say they have VA TBI residuals.  Before VA will rate TBI, it must confirm that it has been medically diagnosed.  For VA purposes, only one of the following specialties can diagnose TBI:

  1. Neurologist,
  2. Neurosurgeon,
  3. Physiatrists, or
  4. Psychiatrist.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. If you had sudden head trauma during service, you may have VA TBI residuals in the following areas:

  • Cognitive (such as decreased memory, concentration, or attention),
  • Emotional/behavioral (such as anxiety, crying spells, short temper), or
  • Physical (such as seizures or balance problems)

If you have any of these symptoms, then you should probably get checked for a TBI.  To prove the current diagnosis element, one of the approved specialties must provide the diagnosis.

In-service event, disease or injury

According to the Department of Defense, more than 313,816 service members have sustained a TBI in training or combat. Common causes of this kind of head trauma include blast-related concussion events resulting from training or combat.  In fact, TBI is known as a signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars due to the frequency of IED attacks.  However, a simple fall down a 10-foot ladder could also damage the brain.

 

If you cannot prove that your VA TBI residuals are related to service, then VA may assume that it happened after discharge.  For this reason, it is critical that service members document any and all head injuries.  Your case is much easier to win if head trauma is clearly documented in your service medical records.  In the absence of official records, statements from witnesses would be helpful.

Medical nexus is required to prove VA TBI residuals

Proving the first 2 elements of the claim is not enough.  To win a TBI claim, you still need medical evidence linking your current diagnosis to the in-service event.  In most cases, a statement from your doctor can provide a medical nexus.

 

Fortunately, a medical nexus does not have to express 100% certainty.  Instead, here is the question: is it at least a 50/50 chance that the TBI was caused by in-service head trauma?  If your doctor’s answer is “Yes” and he provides a reasonable explanation, then you have your medical nexus. 

Rating VA TBI Residuals

After VA concedes service connection for TBI, it turns to the rating percentage.  The rating percentage determines how much money VA must pay to the veteran.  The ratings for TBI residuals are covered in the VA Schedule of Ratings.

 

VA divides the rating criteria for VA TBI residuals into 10 categories.  Veterans are then rated based on the level of severity and impairment in each of these areas:

  1. Memory, attention, concentration and executive functions: Executive functions include goal setting, planning, self-monitoring, and flexibility in changing actions when they are not productive.
  2. Judgment: Is the veteran able to make reasonable decisions?
  3. Social interaction: How often does the veteran act appropriately in social situations?
  4. Orientation: Is the veteran aware of who, where, and when he is?
  5. Motor functions: Is the veteran able to perform previously learned motor activities (such as riding a bike)?
  6. Visual spatial orientation: Does the veteran get lost even in familiar surroundings?  Is he able to point at or name own body parts?
  7. Subjective symptoms: Symptoms that cannot be measured with objective tests, such as panic attacks and thoughts of suicide.
  8. Neurobehavioral effects: Examples include lack of motivation, verbal aggression, physical aggression, and lack of empathy.
  9. Ability to communicate: Can the veteran communicate either by spoken or written language?  Can he communicate basic needs?
  10. Consciousness: Is the veteran in a coma or a vegetative state?

VA rates TBI residuals on a scale of 0, 1, 2, 3, or total. Each increment corresponds to a disability rating:

  • 0 = 0% (normal functioning)
  • 1 = 10% (mild)
  • 2 = 40% (moderate)
  • 3 = 70% (severe)
  • Total = 100%

If any residuals of TBI are rated “total”, then VA will award a 100% rating.  If no residual is rated “total”, then VA must rate based on the highest rated residual.   For example, let’s say a veteran has TBI residuals in 3 out of the 10 categories.  He has a 1 for Judgment, a 3 for Ability to Communicate, and a 2 for Orientation.  In this example, VA will award 70% because 3 is the highest residual rating.

Get Help Now

Call, 1-800-700-0652

Because memory deficits are common VA TBI residuals, a veteran should always have an advocate. Disability Help Group specializes in TBI cases and is here to answer your questions now.

Additional Information

How Does VA Rate TBI?

What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Understanding the basics will help you learn how VA Rates TBI. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. According to the Department of Defense, more than 313,816 service members have sustained a TBI in training or combat.  Common causes of this kind of head trauma include blast-related concussion events resulting from training or combat.  In fact, TBI is known as a signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars due to the frequency of IED attacks.  However, a simple fall down a 10-foot ladder could also damage the brain.  Any veteran who suffered TBI during service should obtain a VA rating to fairly compensate for this significant injury.

Only Specific Doctors can Diagnose TBI

Because TBI involves damage to the brain, it may affect nearly every other body system.  Any symptoms secondary to the initial brain trauma are called residuals.  Before VA will rate TBI, it must confirm that it has been medically diagnosed.  For VA purposes, only one of the following specialties can diagnose TBI:

  1. Neurologist,
  2. Neurosurgeon,
  3. Physiatrists, or
  4. Psychiatrist.

Ultimately, TBI is a medical question best answered by a doctor.  However, a veteran and his family should be on alert if any common TBI residuals present themselves.

Common Residuals – VA Rates TBI

There are 3 main areas of dysfunction that may result from TBI:

  • Cognitive (such as decreased memory, concentration, attention, and executive functions of the brain)
  • Emotional/behavioral (such as anxiety, crying spells, panic attacks, short temper), and
  • Physical (such as motor and sensory dysfunction, including pain, of the extremities and face; visual impairment; hearing loss and tinnitus; loss of sense of smell and taste; seizures; gait, coordination, and balance problems).

If you have any of these symptoms after a sudden hit to the head during service, then you should get checked for TBI immediately.

VA Rates TBI

After VA concedes service connection for TBI, it turns to the current TBI residuals.  VA divides the rating criteria for TBI residuals into 10 categories.  Veterans are then rated based on the level of severity and impairment in each of these areas:

Rating based on level of severity

  1. Memory, attention, concentration and executive functions: Executive functions include goal setting, planning, self-monitoring, and flexibility in changing actions when they are not productive.
  2. Judgment: Is the veteran able to make reasonable decisions?
  3. Social interaction: How often does the veteran act appropriately in social situations?
  4. Orientation: Is the veteran aware of who, where, and when he is?
  5. Motor functions: Is the veteran able to perform previously learned motor activities (such as riding a bike)?
  6. Visual spatial orientation: Does the veteran get lost even in familiar surroundings?  Is he able to point at or name own body parts?
  7. Subjective symptoms: Symptoms that cannot be measured with objective tests, such as panic attacks and thoughts of suicide.
  8. Neurobehavioral effects: Examples include lack of motivation, verbal aggression, physical aggression, and lack of empathy.
  9. Ability to communicate: Can the veteran communicate either by spoken or written language?  Can he communicate basic needs?
  10. Consciousness: Is the veteran in a coma or a vegetative state?

TBI disability rating

  • 0 = 0% (normal functioning)
  • 1 = 10% (mild)
  • 2 = 40% (moderate)
  • 3 = 70% (severe)
  • Total = 100%

If any residuals of TBI are rated “total”, then VA will award a 100% rating.  If no residual is rated “total”, then VA must rate based on the highest rated residual.   For example, let’s say a veteran has TBI residuals in 3 out of the 10 categories.  He has a 1 for Judgment, a 3 for Ability to Communicate, and a 2 for Orientation.  In this example, VA will award 70% because 3 is the highest residual rating.

Special Monthly Compensation -VA Rates TBI

If you are trying to get the most VA compensation for TBI, then do not stop at the standard rating criteria.  Depending on the circumstances, a veteran may be entitled to Special Monthly Compensation for TBI.  This would be in addition to any ratings VA assigns under § 4.124a.

How We Won This Case

We represented a 30 year-old combat veteran of the Army.  He came to us with a 10% rating for residuals of TBI.  After developing the case, we urged VA to rate his TBI residuals at no less than 70%.  In addition, we discovered that his mother had been his primary caregiver since his return from military service.  Among other duties, the veteran’s mother assisted with medication management, personal hygiene, reminding him of and taking him to appointments, and paying his bill.  The local VA hospital had already appointed the mother as his VA caregiver.  We argued that the record clearly showed the veteran has a permanent need for regular aid and attendance due to his TBI.  In response, VA increased the TBI rating to 70% and granted Special Monthly Compensation at the (r)(2) rate.  As a result, the veteran’s monthly payment changed from $264.02 to $8,343.91.

Get Help Now

Call, 1-800-700-0652

Every C&P exam involves the doctor asking questions of the veteran.  The doctor relies on the veteran to explain his symptoms, some of which may not present or observable on the day of the exam.  Because memory deficits are common TBI residuals, a veteran should attend C&P exams with a spouse, family member, or friend who knows them well.  They can fill in the blanks if the veteran is unable to either remember or communicate certain residuals during the exam.

Related Articles

Additional Information

TBI C&P Exam

TBI VA Disability Benefits

Before we discuss the TBI C&P Exam, unless special rules apply, VA will deny service connection for Traumatic  Brain Injury (TBI) unless the Veteran can prove a:

  1. Current diagnosis,
  2. In-service event, disease or injury, and
  3. Medical nexus between the first 2 elements.

Reason for TBI C&P Exam

In any VA claim, it is the veteran’s burden to prove he deserves the benefit.  In certain circumstances, VA has a duty to help the veteran meet his burden.  A compensation & pension (C&P) exam is one example of how VA helps veterans develop evidence.  In a C&P exam, VA asks a qualified professional to answer medical questions related to your claim.

When to Expect a TBI C&P Exam

If you file a claim for TBI based on sudden head trauma during service, then you should expect VA to schedule a C&P examination.  A C&P exam can help VA answer the following medical questions:

  • Does the veteran have a confirmed diagnosis of TBI?
  • Is it at least as likely as not that the TBI was caused or aggravated during active duty service?
  • How severe are the residuals of TBI?

Who Can Conduct a TBI C&P Exam:

  • Neurologist,
  • Neurosurgeon,
  • Physiatrists, or
  • Psychiatrist.

Diagnosis of TBI

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. According to the Department of Defense, more than 313,816 service members have sustained a TBI in training or combat.  Common causes of this kind of head trauma include blast-related concussion events resulting from training or combat.  In fact, TBI is known as a signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars due to the frequency of IED attacks.  However, a simple fall down a 10-foot ladder could also damage the brain.

TIP: Always document injuries

If you cannot prove that your TBI is related to service, then VA may assume that it happened after discharge.  For this reason, it is critical that service members document any and all head injuries.  Your case is much easier to win if head trauma is clearly documented in your service medical records.  In the absence of official records, statements from witnesses would be helpful. If you file a claim for TBI without a confirmed diagnosis, then VA may refer you for a C&P exam.

Medical Nexus for TBI

After a TBI C&P exam confirms a diagnosis, the next question is: what caused it?  Is it at least a 50/50 chance that the TBI was caused by in-service head trauma?  If your doctor’s answer is “Yes” and he provides a reasonable explanation, then you have your medical nexus.   If the doctor answers “No”, then you should consider a second opinion from a private doctor.

TBI Residuals

Veterans with TBI may experience problems long after the initial head trauma.  These problems are known as residuals.  During a TBI C&P exam, the doctor will determine which TBI residuals are present.  For VA purposes, TBI residuals are broken down into the following 10 categories:

  1. Memory, attention, concentration and executive functions Executive functions include goal setting, planning, self-monitoring, and flexibility in changing actions when they are not productive.
  2. Judgment – Is the veteran able to make reasonable decisions?
  3. Social interaction How often does the veteran act appropriately in social situations?
  4. Orientation Is the veteran aware of who, where, and when he is?
  5. Motor functions Is the veteran able to perform previously learned motor activities (such as riding a bike)?
  6. Visual spatial orientation Does the veteran get lost even in familiar surroundings?  Is he able to point at or name own body parts?
  7. Subjective symptoms Symptoms that cannot be measured with objective tests, such as panic attacks and thoughts of suicide.
  8. Neurobehavioral effects Examples include lack of motivation, verbal aggression, physical aggression, and lack of empathy.
  9. Ability to communicate Can the veteran communicate either by spoken or written language?  Can he communicate basic needs?
  10. Consciousness Is the veteran in a coma or a vegetative state?

TBI Rating, TBI C&P Exam

After the TBI C&P exam, the doctor will send a written report to VA.  The report will include how severe your residuals are.  If VA ultimately approves your claim, it will likely use this report to assign a percentage rating.  VA rates TBI residuals on a scale of 0, 1, 2, 3, or total.

  • 0 = 0% (normal functioning)
  • 1 = 10% (mild)
  • 2 = 40% (moderate)
  • 3 = 70% (severe)
  • Total = 100%

Get Help Now

Call, 1-800-700-0652

Every C&P exam involves the doctor asking questions of the veteran.  The doctor relies on the veteran to explain his symptoms, some of which may not present or observable on the day of the exam.  Because memory deficits are common TBI residuals, a veteran should attend C&P exams with a spouse, family member, or friend who knows them well.  They can fill in the blanks if the veteran is unable to either remember or communicate certain residuals during the exam.

Related Articles

Additional Information