VA Deals With Aftermath of TBI Exam Error

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 31, 2016 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has admitted that around 24,000 veterans were improperly screened and given a traumatic brain injury (TBI) diagnosis by VA doctors deemed unqualified to conduct such examinations under departmental policy. As a result, some veterans diagnosed with TBI between 2007 and 2015 did not receive disability benefits.

VA officials told Congress in July that the department is reviewing the cases concerning veterans who underwent incorrect exams and trying to settle their disability claims. Officials announced the VA sent letters offering re-examinations to the affected veterans.

“It is unclear how the VA overlooked the problem for so long,” said David Magann, a Florida-based veterans attorney. “Failing to accurately diagnose veterans’ TBIs could mean they did not receive proper treatment or the compensation they deserved. However, the VA is taking a step in the right direction by following up with veterans who may have been improperly screened.”

The issue emerged after a series of NBC investigations. The KARE 11 team reported that the VA mix-up resulted in around 300 veterans at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center being denied benefits. Combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who may have suffered TBIs were supposed to be screened by one of four specialists consisting of either a neurologist, neurosurgeon, psychiatrist or physiatrist. Among the 21 health care professionals who performed the TBI screenings only one was a qualified specialist.

The VA is still trying to determine the cause of the inappropriate screenings at their facilities. Dave McLenachen, deputy undersecretary for disability assistance at the Veterans Benefits Administration, explained to a House Veterans’ Affairs panel, “I don’t know if it was a lack of capacity, whether that was an issue at the particular time, or to the extent whether there were enough of those specific specialists available at the time. I don’t know the answer to that question.”

Department officials said new measures have been implemented to try and prevent the error from reoccurring. The VA said it will monitor the situation and consider using an outreach program if necessary.

Learn more at http://www.tampaveteranslawyer.com/

David W. Magann, P.A.
Main Office:
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175

Tampa Office:
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618

View Larger Map

  • PTSD, "Post" Means After And At Any Time
    Government analysis finds Veterans with PTSD can suffer for decades before acknowledging the disorder. The year 2014 marks the 100th-year anniversary of the beginning of World War I, the so-called war to end all wars. And in a bit of irony, a study was released on August 8 that has found that, like the consequences of the “Great War,” the after-effects of combat stress among veterans, just like the after-effects of old wars upon conflicts years later, seems to linger for decades. The study, which was commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs, tracked veterans from as far back as the Vietnam […]
  • Attorney Fees in VA Compensation are Contingent Upon You Winning
    Attorney fees in VA Compensation claims are contingent upon winning benefits. The VA’s General Counsel office and regional offices must approve of all fee agreements, which allows 20% of the veteran’s BACK benefits, not future benefits, to be withheld to pay the representative. The attorney does not collect the fee directly from the veteran, but reasonable costs may be collected directly from the veteran claimant. By law, an individual must be accredited by VA as an agent, attorney, or representative of a VA-recognized veterans service organization to assist in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of a claim for VA benefits.  […]
  • Camp Lejeune Tainted Water Claim? New Rules You Can Use: Justice Delayed
    For decades there has been medical complications statistically abnormal for those who were based in Camp Lejeune. Recently there has been considerable media and Congressional attention to the past contamination of the water supply at Camp Lejeune. From 1953 to 1987, the water supply was contaminated with TCE, PCE, benzene, vinyl chloride and “other compounds.” see https://clnr.hqi.usmc.mil/clwater/Site/background_information.html. Because of legislation passed in 2012, the VA now recognizes the medical problems caused by the Camp LeJeune water contamination. There are two areas that a Veteran may be awarded benefits listed below: (1) VA health care benefits may be available. These are […]