Selected Major Accomplishments In Va Research
- 2001: six VA Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers
- 2003:Initiated a landmark clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation for PD
- 2009:Determined that DBS may hold significant benefits for people with PD who no longer respond to medication
- 2014:Found that walking is a safe and accessible way to improve PD symptoms
- 2015:Developed a procedureto convert fibroblasts into dopamine neurons
- 2017:Found that DBS in PD patients gives a slight survival advantage
- 2019: Found that fatigue in PD patients may be a result of lower diastolic blood pressure
- 2020: Teamed up with the Parkinsons Foundation to support Veterans living with PD
Parkinsons Disease As A Presumptive Condition
In a 2009 report, scientists working for the federal government that connected Parkinsons disease to Agent Orange.
As a result, in 2010, the VA added Parkinsons disease to the presumptive condition list associated with the Vietnam War. The disease was also added to the list of presumptive conditions associated with two other places and times:
Thus, if you are suffering from Parkinsons disease and fall into any of these categories, initially applying for VA disability benefits is a straightforward process.
Va Disability Rating For Parkinsons Disease
The VA rates Parkinsons Disease under the rating for Neurological Conditions and Convulsive Disorders. This code assigns an automatic 30 percent rating for the condition, but does not take into account the symptoms associated with it.
After beginning with the minimum 30 percent rating the VA should continue rating as follows:
- Evaluate each of the veterans symptoms/residuals associated with the disease
- Calculate the combined disability rating for those symptoms
- Assign the higher evaluation either the minimum 30% rating OR the combined rated of symptoms
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A Comments Concerning The Effective Date
VA received more than 20 comments concerning the effective date of the regulation. Comments included suggestions that this rule should be effective on the date the Secretary announced his decision to establish the new presumptives or on the date an eligible veteran incurred one of the presumptive diseases. Other commenters stated that the rule should be effective when an eligible veteran was diagnosed with a presumptive disease, rather than when the veteran submitted a claim for compensation.
Significantly, however, VA may pay benefits for periods prior to the rule’s effective date in certain circumstances which are set forth in detail in and . These provisions, which implement a stipulation and various court orders in the Nehmer class action litigation, pertain to claims where VA previously denied benefits or VA received a claim for benefits for a newly added condition between September 25, 1985, and the date VA publishes the final regulation adding the new condition to the list of diseases presumptively associated with exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam.
Veterans And Agent Orange: Update 2014 Parkinsons
In 2016, the Institute of Medicine published its 10th edition of Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014 regarding the health effects related to Agent Orange exposure. This update included some clarification about Parkinsons disease and how it is diagnosed that may be beneficial for veterans pursuing VA disability compensation. Specifically, the report noted that Parkinsons disease is diagnosed by exclusion . Doctors will diagnose the condition by taking into account all of the veterans symptoms and then ruling out other possible conditions that could be causing them. When all other possible conditions are effectively eliminated, the doctors will then formally diagnose Parkinsons disease.
After releasing Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014, the IOM urged VA to act on its recommendations and extend the presumption of service connection to Parkinsons-like symptoms, as well as bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and hypertension. However, VA has continued to prolong this process.
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Va Adds Atypical Parkinsonism To List Of Agent Orange
That will make U.S. military veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange eligible for the VAs disability compensation benefits.
Atypical Parkinsonism refers to any condition characterized by Parkinsons-like symptoms such as tremors, slow movement, impaired speech, or muscle stiffness caused by health conditions or factors other than Parkinsons hallmark progressive loss of nerve cells in the brain.
Bladder cancer and hypothyroidism a disorder in which the activity of the thyroid gland is impaired also were added to the list of Agent Orange-associated conditions. Altogether, there now are 17 conditions on the list. Parkinsons disease has been included since 2010.
Many of our Nations Veterans have waited a long time for these benefits, Denis McDonough, the VA secretary, said in a recent agency blog post.
VA will not make them wait any longer, McDonough said, adding that this is absolutely the right thing to do for Veterans and their families.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. used several herbicides, including Agent Orange, to destroy foliage in the jungle and increase visibility. The herbicide, named for the orange band around its storage barrel, also was used to destroy enemy crops, so as to limit their food supply.
What Is Agent Orange
Agent Orange was a powerful herbicide used by the United States during the Vietnam War to destroy agriculture and forest cover in Vietnam and Korea. However, this military tactic came at a great cost, causing irreversible illness and genetic damage in those exposed to Agent Orange.
Some of the illnesses associated with Agent Orange exposure include leukemia, Hodgkins lymphoma, various types of cancer, and Parkinsons disease. Also, children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange can have severe birth defects and deformities that affect their quality of life.
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Va Disability Rating For Parkinsons Disease Overview
If you are a veteran who develops Parkinsons disease, you might find yourself curious as to how Parkinsons disease can affect VA disability benefits.
Generally speaking, VA benefits are a form of tax-free, monthly compensation that the VA pays to veterans who suffer from disabilities related to their military service.
To determine how much compensation an individual veteran gets, the VA gives them a disability rating. Additional disabilities, like Parkinsons disease, can affect your disability rating.
Parkinsons disease is one of the many disabilities recognized by the VA.
Regardless of whether you are already receiving VA disability benefits, as a veteran developing Parkinsons, it helps to have some general knowledge about how Parkinsons disease can affect those benefits.
Many veterans depend on disability benefits. For those veterans, it is absolutely crucial to understand what changes they can expect from the VA regarding Parkinsons disease.
You may have questions like, Is Parkinsons disease a 100% compensation disability? Or, What factors can impact my Parkinsons disease disability rating?
If you have these kinds of questions about VA disability benefits and their interaction with Parkinsons disease, dont hesitate to give us a call at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys.
Our VA disability benefits team is always happy to answer your questions and set you in the right direction.
Important Tips For Applying For Disability
When youre applying for VA disability compensation, one of the most important things you can do is not delay. As soon as you begin showing unusual symptoms, you need to make an appointment with your doctor. Delaying your diagnosis could lead to serious problems with your claim down the road.
Its also a good idea to keep copies of all the paperwork, files, and evidence you send to the VA for your claim. Files get lost in the shuffle sometimes and having copies of your service record, your C file, and your medical history can come in handy. Make sure you also show up on time for all exams and hearings during your application process.
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Disabilities Secondary To Parkinsons Disease
While most people tend to think of Parkinsons disorder as a neurological movement disorder, and it most certainly is, many people do not realize that other systems in the body can also be severely affected by Parkinsons. Often, the same chemical exposure can also cause other disorders, such as ischemic heart disease. However, often it is the Parkinsons itself, or the medication used to treat it that is the causal factor in the development of a new disorder. Whether a veterans Parkinsons was caused by exposure to the TCDD in agent orange, pesticides, trichloroethylene, or its origins are unknown, Parkinsons cause many secondary health effects and disabilities.
Parkinsons is known as a neurodegenerative disorder that is, it causes neurons to degenerate or decay. The most famous area for PD degeneration is in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra, where Parkinsons causes the death of neurons that generate dopamine, a neurotransmitter which is involved with movement. However, more recent studies have also shown that Parkinsons also attacks nerves in the heart which produce another neurotransmitter, noradrenaline. This typically takes place in the left ventricle and can have many complications.
Chemical Exposure & Parkinsons Disease
Of the chemicals that have been most suspected risk factors for Parkinsons, TCE holds the most proof of causing Parkinsons. A colorless, non-flammable halocarbon, trichloroethylene dissolves most fixed and volatile oils. It is a powerful solvent action for fats, greases, waxes, oils, and tars. Type 1 TCE is used in dry-cleaning and for general solvent purposes. Type 2 TCE is used for vapor degreasing of metals. Over 90 percent of TCE is consumed by the metal degreasing and dry-cleaning trades.Studies of discordant twins, as well as experiments in laboratories, have shown that people chronically exposed to TCE were more likely to develop Parkinsons than the those who had not.
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Service Connection For Parkinsons Disease
Some former service members may be eligible for direct service connection, meaning something happened in military service that caused your Parkinsons or the disease was first diagnosed or manifested during service. This service connection is not easy to prove and will almost always require an independent medical opinion to show that you were beginning to show signs of Parkinsons during service or a particular chemical you were exposed to caused the condition.
So Yes Parkinsons Does Qualify For Disability
Yes, it qualifies, we just have to work on getting it service-connected for you. Parkinsons disease is a presumptive condition for those who served around Agent Orange or at Camp Lejeune. But even for veterans who dont meet that qualification, you can still qualify for disability compensation.
If youd like to get help in filing and appealing your VA disability benefits claim, get in touch with us at Woods and Woods. We fight for veterans every day, and you dont pay anything unless we win your case. Contact us today to start getting the disability compensation youre entitled to.
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Parkinsons And Agent Orange
Parkinsons disease is unfortunately a very common disability among Veterans. The VA estimates that 110,000 Veterans currently have Parkinsons disease. A large number of these are Vietnam Veterans, largely due to their exposure to Agent Orange. Many Veterans are undercompensated for their Parkinsons because of the complicated manner the VA uses to evaluate it.
Va Medical Care And Treatment For Pd
This page provides the location of the six PADRECCs, links and phone numbers to learn more about PADRECCs, check your eligibility for VA care, and apply.
There is also information about veterans’ eligibility to participate in research studies, including the Parkinsons Foundation PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinsons Disease study, with links to learn more and to sign up.
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Va Disability For Parkinsons Disease
Berry LawAgent Orange
Parkinsons disease is a very serious progressive brain disorder, meaning it gradually gets worse over time. According to Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical center, typical symptoms associated with the disease include tremors, slowed movement, rigid muscles, balance problems, loss of automatic movements, speech changes, and writing changes.
Anybody who has been diagnosed with Parkinsons is dealing with a serious disorder that can drastically change your life. However, Veterans may be able to receive VA disability for Parkinsons disease if they can prove it was caused by military service.
Parkinsons Disease And Agent Orange Exposure
In 2009 the VA added Parkinsons Disease to its list of presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure. This means that veterans who served in the following locations during the specified time periods and later developed it do not have to prove that their condition is related to service:
- Veterans with boots on the ground, those serving on inland waterways in Vietnam, and blue water Navy veterans between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975
- Veterans who flew or worked in C-123 aircraft during the Vietnam War era and
- Veterans who served along the Korean Demilitarized Zone between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971.
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Federal Benefits For Veterans Dependents And Survivors
This 76-page Benefits Handbook for Veterans and Dependents provides information on benefits and services currently available by law and regulation. However, due to VAs ongoing response to COVID-19, Veterans, their families, and caregivers are encouraged to visit VA.gov, specifcally for information about COVID-19 and how it affects VA health care and benefits services.
Statements About Personal Situations And Hypothetical Benefit Questions
Many commenters made general statements about their own personal difficulties battling one or more of the presumptive diseases. Another commenter inquired as to the possible implications of Bradley v. Peake, 22 Vet. App. 280 . The commenters who inquired about Bradley asked whether, hypothetically, an IHD disability rating in addition to another disability that meet the statutory criteria under 38 U.S.C. 1114, could potentially establish eligibility for special monthly compensation.
VA Response: Comments regarding hypothetical situations involving the possible outcome of benefit claims or the medical or claims history presented by individual veterans are beyond the scope of this rulemaking. Claimants should contact their VA regional office for assistance with their individual claims.
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What If I Have More Questions About My Va Claim
I understand you want your VA claim to be done as quickly as possible. But remember the ultimate goal to win your VA disability compensation claim.
You may eventually get there on your own, but it may be after a series of decisions by the Regional Office and Board of Veterans Appeals. Sometimes claims are appealed and remanded several times, which can cause a claim to drag on for years. If you are interested in avoiding unnecessary delay in your claim and want to do everything you can to maximize your chances of success, it is probably a good idea for you to consult with an accredited veterans disability attorney.
Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims. He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.
Risk Factors For Vets
There are a few factors that can increase your risk of developing Parkinsons disease. First among these is age young people rarely develop Parkinsons Disease. The disease generally starts presenting in middle age, around 60 or so, and gets worse as you age.
If you have a history of Parkinsons in your family, you may be at greater risk of developing the disease. Men are more likely than women to develop Parkinsons, with more than 63 percent of Parkinsons patients being men. People who have been exposed to herbicides and pesticides, including Agent Orange, are also at greater risk.
There is still research ongoing about links to Parkinsons and burn pits and Gulf War syndrome. The important thing about getting your VA disability application in is that sometimes new discoveries only apply to people that get their applications in before a certain date or policy change.
Parkinsons Disease might just be part of your VA disability claim if you were near burn pits during your service. Here is a video detailing burn pit claims.
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The Right Legal Guidance Can Make The Difference In Getting Disability Benefits For Parkinsons Disease
At Marc Whitehead & Associates, we can help you prepare an initial SSDI or LTD application for the best possible outcome. If youve already been denied benefits for Parkinsons, our attorneys will develop and file a solid appeal to rebut a wrongful claim denial.
Our accredited veterans claims lawyers help vets across the U.S. get their rightful benefit payments approved in the shortest amount of time possible.
We have helped hundreds of claimants with Parkinsons disease get disability benefits. and as we analyze your situation, we identify and fix critical information gaps in any of part of your claim including missing medical data or incomplete vocational and functional evidence. We work in cooperation with your treating physicians and may enlist the assistance of qualified vocational experts, and much more.You must never give up. Call us toll free at or request a Free Legal Consultation to learn how we can help. Parkinsons is a serious disability, and we are able to assist you wherever you live.
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