Will Expanded Veteran’s Benefits for Brain Injury Really Work


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

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.
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