The Department of Veterans Affairs is releasing new rules for comment related to the proposed expanded benefits for TBI and related issues. The questions are already arising from many ranks concerning the expanded access to benefits. Critics are commenting on the limitations imposed by severity as the proposed benefits address only moderate to severe injuries as well as the time limits imposed on recognizing the injury-related problems. Mild TBI’s appear to be excluded. And, as we know, the majority of the battle-related brain injuries from this war are in the “mild” category.
Are the proposed expanded benefits adequate? Certainly Veteran’s support groups will argue those points. Is it a case of “too little, too late”? Those points will also come under scrutiny.
We need to recognize the extent of the problem. There are many undiagnosed brain injuries in the veteran’s returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and these soldiers will leave the military with undiagnosed injuries only to recognize these problems perhaps years beyond their discharge. The exclusion of “Mild TBI” troubles me as I know these individuals may be too easily categorized as “mental health cases” when they experience difficulties. While the war is winding down, the response to it’s aftermath seen in the lives of our returning soldiers is not “amping-up” to meet the true needs. Let’s hope that the period for comments to the proposed benefits expansion leads to a realistic proposal that will provide enduring help and resources for veterans living with the effects of TBI at all levels of severity.
Click here to read the New York Times story:
Tag lines: brain injury rehabilitation for veterans, vets with TBI’s