As a reminder to the families of returning veterans, the VA has placed five additional defined illnesses to the list of conditions that may be eligible for compensation and health care for service connected issues related to traumatic brain injury(TBI).
Veterans who are diagnosed with Parkinsonism, unprovoked seizures, some forms of dementias, depression and hormone deficiency illness linked to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands may now apply for VA benefits.
From 2000-2012 approximately 250,000 troops have been given a TBI diagnosis, with just 81,000 being rated as service connected. This accounts for much of the backlog that is now front page news across the nation.
Another contributing factor to that backlog is the addition of Ischemic Heart Disease, about six years ago, to the Agent Orange related illness.
37% of the backlog are Vietnam Veterans, many of whom are just now getting care for exposure to Agent Orange.