VA “Whole Health” Program To Offer Drug-Free PTSD Healing

The Veterans Yoga Project works in concert with the VA, coordinating yoga and meditation classes across the country. Yoga and mindful resilience training is moving into mainstream mental health treatment programs at the VA, which is rolling out a national “whole health” program for veterans, offering tai chi, yoga and other alternative mental health therapies….Please click the link below to access the full article.  

http://www.ktvu.com/news/alameda-nonprofit-provides-yoga-for-veterans-with-ptsd

New Report Slams VA Choice Program

About one-third of VA outpatient medical appointments now take place outside VA facilities, but a new report shows that private referrals still involve lengthy wait times….Please click the link below to access the full article.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2018/06/05/trumps-readies-new-va-health-plan-as-report-slams-defective-choice-program/?utm_term=.2517b48a5c9f

Veterans Tip: Applying For PTSD Benefits

Veterans commonly apply for PTSD benefits without specifically identifying additional mental health diagnoses and symptoms.  Even if certain symptoms among PTSD, TBI and other mental health conditions overlap, the VA is required to consider the additional mental health diagnoses and symptoms; meaning that a claim for PTSD is rightfully a claim for any mental disability that is supported by a Veteran’s symptoms. Continue reading “Veterans Tip: Applying For PTSD Benefits”

Shoulder-Fired Weapons Linked to Traumatic Brain Injuries

Military personnel may be endangering their brains when they operate certain shoulder-fired weapons, according to an Army-commissioned report released recently.  These bazooka-like weapons pose a hazard because they are powered by an explosion just inches from the operator’s head… Please click the link below to access the full article.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/04/30/606142634/report-to-army-cites-concussion-risk-of-weapons-blast-to-the-shooter

TDIU: Increase Your PTSD Rating to 100%

Veterans suffering from severe PTSD are often assigned a 50 or 70 percent rating, as the criteria for a 100 percent rating is a very high bar.   However, if a Veteran is unable to work, or maintain employment due to their service-connected PTSD, the VA must consider entitlement to individual unemployability (TDIU).  Where a Veteran is determined to be unemployable (and meets certain ratings thresholds) due to the symptoms of their PTSD or another disabling condition, they will receive VA benefits at the 100 percent rate.  If you receive PTSD benefits and cannot hold a job, call (504) 235 4075 to ensure you’re awarded full TDIU benefits.  

Katrina Still Affects LA Veterans’ TBI Claims

From 2007 to 2015, nationwide, the VA performed thousands of TBI examinations with examiners lacking proper qualifications.  As Louisiana Veterans know, in the years following Hurricane Katrina, VA regional offices and medical centers in metro New Orleans lacked infrastructure, paper files, computer systems, civil servants and medical staff.  Continue reading “Katrina Still Affects LA Veterans’ TBI Claims”

Recently Discharged Due to a Mental Health Condition?

Under 38 C.F.R. § 4.129, when a Veteran is released from service due to a mental health condition caused by a highly stressful event, the VA is required to assign an evaluation of no less than 50 percent; and the Veteran must be examined within 6 months of discharge.  Veterans initially rated under § 4.129 should retain an attorney if they are notified the VA seeks reconsideration, i.e., a reduction/elimination of the rating, as the VA has that ability under certain circumstances.

TBI: What Recently Discharged Veterans Need to Know

Traumatic Brain Injury is an injury to the brain from external force, and it is a common condition among Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  65% of blast-exposed patients from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have been diagnosed with a brain injury. Continue reading “TBI: What Recently Discharged Veterans Need to Know”

Veterans Tip: Protect Your Earliest Effective Date

You may or may not have an attorney representing you before the VA. If you are unrepresented, the greatest obstacle you face is preserving the earliest effective date possible for your claim for service connection.  An earlier effective date can translate into a Veteran being awarded years, or sometimes even decades, of back benefits.  Continue reading “Veterans Tip: Protect Your Earliest Effective Date”

Asbestos Exposure in Iraq

Recently discharged Veterans have many health concerns, including PTSD, burn pit exposure, traumatic brain injury, and limb loss, among others.  One health issue for those who served in Iraq is the potential exposure to asbestos when older buildings were damaged and the contaminant released into the air.   As mesothelioma and other asbestos health issues often take decades to appear, Iraq Veterans need to advise all future medical providers that they may have been exposed to asbestos during service, so that all proper testing and diagnosis are provided.