Ronkonkoma Veterans Disability Claims Attorney
Serving your country is a noble calling, but unfortunately there are significant risks associated with military service. In fact, many military members develop various service-connected disabilities. These members of the military who become sick or hurt as a result of any service-connected incident should be entitled to veterans disability benefits when they leave the service, provided they meet basic requirements to qualify. The amount of benefits available can vary depending on the nature of the disability and the VA will assign a disability rating that determines how much compensation veterans are able to receive.
A Ronkonkoma veterans disability claims attorney at Turley Redmond & Rosasco can help veterans and their families understand their entitlement to disability benefits and get them the help and support they need to cope with serious conditions. A wide array of medical problems could result in veterans receiving disability benefits, but some of the more common medical conditions that former military members experience typically include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Radiation Poisoning
- Cognitive Disabilities
- Physical Disabilities
- Exposure to Agent Orange (Vietnam Veterans)
- Former Prisoner of War
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
If you suffer from any of these conditions or if you develop any other ailments that are directly related to your time serving in any branch of the United States military, you should reach out to a veterans disability claims attorney to find out about your options for obtaining the help you need to cover care costs, support yourself and your family and achieve the best quality of life possible.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder results from experiencing traumatic events, which can be defined broadly to include events that cause shock or disturbance. That said, veterans may develop PTSD as a result of witnessing or experiencing traumatic events. PTSD can also result from being threatened or victimized by abuse, as well as from suffering a physical injury or being in any situation that causes extreme fear.
PTSD symptoms can range from mild to severe, with severe symptoms often impacting your quality of life in extreme ways. Often, symptoms change over time or come and go when triggering events occur. It may be difficult to hold a job if you have PTSD. You may also suffer from violent outbursts or mood swings, or you may experience depression, anxiety or an inability to concentrate. Nightmares are also common among vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Treatments for PTSD can include therapy and medications, among others. Often, there is no cure, but PTSD can be managed and symptoms can improve over time.
Exposure to ionizing radiation can cause serious illnesses to develop. Radiogenic diseases that can result from radiation exposure include various types of cancer, posterior subcapsular cataracts, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-malignant thyroid nodular disease, among other serious and potentially fatal conditions.
It can sometimes be difficult to prove that cancer or another radiogenic disease was actually caused by exposure to radiation that occurred while serving in the military – especially as many medical conditions such as cancer can have multiple causes (or no known cause) and these conditions also afflict many people who have not been exposed to radiation.
Still, certain servicemembers can become eligible for benefits for radiation poisoning if they can demonstrate exposure to radiation during their military service. This could include servicemembers who participated in the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, the occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki after the war, were prisoners of war in Japan or were exposed to radiation by working in a reactor plant or working as an X-ray technician while on active duty.
The Veterans Administration treats all cognitive impairments, except for traumatic brain injury, as a form of mental disorder when determining your disability rating and the amount of benefits available. A wide variety of cognitive impairments can classify a veteran for benefits for cognitive disabilities, including:
- Organic mental disorders
- Mood disorders
- Somatoform disorders
- Chronic adjustment disorder
- Eating disorders
In order to receive veterans disability benefits for a cognitive disability, you will need to demonstrate that you were diagnosed with a qualifying condition and that a specific event, illness, injury or activity during active duty was the direct cause of the development of that disorder. You will need medical evidence to demonstrate the link between your activities while in-service and the medical problems that you are experiencing.
Cognitive disabilities can range from mild to severe, so it will also be important to carefully document symptoms in order to demonstrate the extent of the disabling mental condition on your health and your ability to work.
If you suffered a physical injury while you were on active duty, whether in combat, on a military base, or while otherwise performing your required obligations as part of your service, you should be entitled to receive disability benefits for your physical impairments.
Many different kinds of physical injuries can affect veterans, including:
- Acid reflux
- Back pain
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Dental problems
- Hearing problems
- Heart disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Joint disorders
- Loss of limbs
- Neck pain
- Phantom limb pain
- Spine disorders
- Varicose veins
- Vision problems
Your physical injuries could have occurred due to any service-related causes while you were on active duty. This includes not only injuries sustained in combat, but also injuries that occurred due to carrying heavy objects or participating in military training exercises.
Veterans may be eligible not just to receive benefits for a physical injury they developed for the first time while in combat, but also for the exacerbation of any pre-existing conditions they may have already had when they entered the military but that were made worse as a result of a service-connected incident.
Exposure to Agent Orange
Many Vietnam veterans were exposed to Agent Orange while they were serving in the military. Agent orange was an herbicide and a defoliant chemical that was widely used as part of the military’s tactical strategy. Unfortunately, Agent Orange has been linked to the development of very serious health conditions. If Vietnam veterans develop any of these conditions, they should be entitled to receive disability benefits as a result of their illness.
The Veterans Administration considers certain diseases to be “presumptive diseases” because if they are developed by a veteran that was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the military, it is presumed that the development of the medical condition occurred because of that exposure. Some of the presumptive diseases that are associated with exposure to Agent Orange include:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B cell leukemia
- Acneiform diseases, including chloracne
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peripheral neuropathy (early onset)
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Prostate cancer
- Respiratory cancers, including lung cancer
- Soft tissue sarcomas
If you develop any of these conditions, you should work with a Ronkonkoma veterans disability claims attorney to pursue a claim to recover disability benefits. Both veterans and their survivors could potentially be eligible to receive benefits if these illnesses develop after being exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the military during the Vietnam War.
Former Prisoners of War
Those who were held as prisoners of war are eligible to receive disability benefits if they develop conditions that are connected to their captivity. There are certain conditions that have been proven to be connected to being held prisoner, and veterans who develop any one of these medical ailments are presumed to have a service-connected disability that entitles them to benefits.
Some of the conditions that can create the presumption that a veteran is entitled to disability benefits after being held as a prisoner of war include:
- Neuro-Psychiatric conditions including depressive neurosis, dysthymic disorder, psychosis, PTSD or other anxiety-related conditions
- Cold injury
- Traumatic arthritis
- Heart Disease
Each of these conditions can create the presumption of a service-connected disability, regardless of how long the military member was actually held captive. For those who were imprisoned for a lengthy period of time, there are additional presumptive conditions that can entitle a veteran to receive benefits.
For those who were held prisoner for at least 30 days, other conditions that can result in access to disability benefits include nutritional deficiencies, such as malnutrition, beriberi, avitaminosis and pellagra, as well as helminthiasis, peripheral neuropathy and digestive disorders including chronic dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver and peptic ulcer disease.
When former prisoners of war have any of these conditions that are found to be at least 10 percent disabling, they are presumed to be entitled to benefits because their condition is seen as a consequence of their imprisonment connected with their military service.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury is one of the most common service-connected disabilities, especially for veterans of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can occur as a result of any type of trauma to the head. This can include being struck by explosive devices, motor vehicle accidents and falls. Additionally, because Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were an especially common weapon used extensively against U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a substantial number of veterans suffered traumatic injuries to the brain.
TBIs can occur not only if someone’s head strikes an object or if someone is struck in the head by an object, but also in circumstances where a nearby blast or explosion occurs and affects the head. The brain hitting the skull can cause a TBI to develop, even if no outside object ever actually hit the military member.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury can vary from person-to-person and can develop or change over time. Often, symptoms become more apparent in the weeks and months following the incident that resulted in the traumatic brain injury. Some of the symptoms include:
Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood changes
- Memory problems
- Cognitive defects
- Speech impairment
- Loss of senses, including hearing, vision, or taste
- Difficulty concentrating
Those who suffer injury to the brain are also facing greater risks of developing dementia and serious cognitive conditions later in life. Even a mild traumatic brain injury could result in an increased risk of mental and cognitive health issues as you get older.
Treatments for TBI can be helpful to assist in managing symptoms, but there is often no cure available once the brain has suffered a traumatic injury. Veterans can manage their condition with medication, therapy, rehabilitation and assistive devices or technology. Accordingly, veterans should be sure to talk to a Ronkonkoma veterans disability attorney about the possibility of obtaining benefits for this service-connected disability. TBIs can often make it difficult to continue working to earn money to support yourself or a family.
What Should You Do If You Suffer a Service-Connected Disability? Contact a Ronkonkoma Veterans Disability Claims Attorney
The above-mentioned are just some of the many medical conditions that commonly result from serving in the U.S. Military. You take on many risks when you devote your life to protecting our country, and you deserve to receive appropriate benefits and compensation if you are harmed as a result of your service.
A Ronkonkoma veterans disability claims attorney can help you determine if your condition is likely to qualify you for military disability benefits and can provide you with assistance in making your claim and fighting to get the full benefits that you deserve.
To find out more about the ways in which Turley Redmond & Rosasco can help you protect your interests and make sure you get the money and support you need and deserve, give us a call today at 877-693-2529 or reach out to us online.