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Monday, March 10, 2014

The VA automatically connects dementia, depression, and more, to TBI

In January 2014, the VA passed a regulation automatically linking dementia, depression, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonism, seizures, and hormone deficiencies caused by damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, to traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Studies done by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) now show undeniable links between these conditions and TBI. Since many of these conditions will not develop until significantly after the initial TBI incident, these conditions had to be proven to be caused by the TBI in order for the VA to give them a VA Disability Rating for VA Disability. This change in regulations now makes “it easier for qualifying claimants to establish service connection for these conditions,” meaning that they will be automatically assumed as caused by TBI in certain circumstances, and thus eligible to receive disability compensation.

The regulation states, “By eliminating the need to obtain medical opinions or other evidence in certain circumstances, this rule will enable the VA to decide these claims more expeditiously and efficiently.” We hope so!

While this seems to be an umbrella rule, there are still certain circumstances that must be met before a condition can be considered caused by TBI. These qualifications are based on the idea that, according to the studies, after TBI, a condition can be expected to develop in a certain timeframe depending on the severity of the TBI. These requirements are thoroughly explained on our site at

If your condition does qualify, then you can submit a VA Disability Claim to have it rated for VA Disability, even if you were denied disability for the condition in the past. If your claim is now being processed, then this new regulation will be automatically applied. All compensation for these conditions, however, will only be applied on or after January 16, 2014. No compensation will be given for this ruling before that date if your condition was previously denied compensation.

See if your secondary condition caused by TBI qualifies for additional compensation.

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