Many Georgia residents recently celebrated another Thanksgiving, where they expressed their gratitude for their loved ones, among other things. Many individuals undoubtedly gave thanks for those who serve, especially those who have sacrificed life and limb in their service to the country.
As discussed previously in this blog, there are a number of programs that exist for veterans, who frequently suffer serious injuries in connection with overseas deployments. For instance, veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities may be eligible for veteran's benefits.
In connection with an application for disability benefits, veterans may be subject to certain medical evaluations to determine whether they are disabled. This evaluation can change the military's assessment of veterans when they are in service. For example, a veteran deemed to have a disability rating of 70 can be dropped down after a medical evaluation performed pursuant to the application for benefits.
Recently, an investigation revealed that a number of veterans around the country may have been improperly denied disability benefits because an improper test was used by the agency to measure whether the veterans had a traumatic brain injury. The short test was not thorough enough to fully evaluate the veterans' actual brain injuries, and, as a result, veterans who were suffering from brain injuries were being denied benefits.
It remains to be seen how widespread the problem is with the test discussed above. However, the matter demonstrates how important it is for veterans to continue fighting for disability benefits, even after an initial denial of benefits. Indeed, one veteran at the heart of the investigation received reinstatement of his benefits after fighting the matter. Accordingly, veterans should vigorously enforce their rights to disability benefits when mistakes are made.
Source: KARE 11, "Veterans denied benefits due to improper medical testing," A.J. Lagoe and Steve Eckert, Dec. 8, 2015