Update for 7/18
VA Not Sure How 24k Vets Were Diagnosed With TBI by Unqualified Personnel
The Department of Veterans Affairs told a House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee last week that they don't know how 24,000 veterans were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) by “VA physicians considered unqualified to make such a determination,” according to the Air Force Times. Officials also said that the department is working to resolve related disability claims problems.
From 2007 to 2015 roughly 24,000 veterans diagnosed with TBI by a VA health provider considered to be unqualified under VA policy, and some of them were denied disability benefits.
Dave McLenachen, deputy undersecretary for disability assistance at the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) told the HVAC subcommittee last week that he was unable to "find a reason” why the exams were conducted in violation of VA policy at a number of VA facilities.
Apparently more than 14,000 affected veterans already are receiving disability compensation for service-connected TBI, "many at higher rates of evaluation." So telling these veterans that the VA is “going to schedule an exam without their choice, might have a significant impact on their benefits," according to McLenachen.
More than 327,000 troops were diagnosed with a brain injury from 2000 to 2015. Roughly 80 percent of those diagnoses were for mild TBI, or concussion.
Roughly 170,000 veterans with TBI have filed disability compensation claims and 75,000 have been approved.
TREA: The Enlisted Association will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Family Hug- Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Amelia Powell hugs her family after returning home from deployment to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Wash., July 13, 2016. Powell is an aviation electronics technician assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 140, which conducted electronic warfare operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class John Hetherington