VA Compensation for Alzheimer’s Disease — Everything You Need To Know
Military Veterans With Alzheimer’s Disease May be Eligible for VA Disability Compensation
Alzheimer’s disease has a significant hereditary component, with genetics among the most common causes of the condition. But other factors, including hypertension, poor nutrition, and traumatic brain injury, can increase one’s risk of Alzheimer’s.
If an event during your military service caused you to suffer any of these issues, and you later received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, you may be eligible for VA disability based on your condition being connected to your service. A lawyer can review your military and medical records and help you appeal your case.
A few examples of military service events that could play a role in a later diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- A head injury suffered during service, for example during combat or during a rigorous training exercise.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) brought on by the stress of military combat or training or if your hypertension is established due to another service-connected condition.
- Poor nutrition during combat or training.
- Lack of blood to the brain during an injury suffered in combat or training.
It is sometimes difficult to link a specific event to your diagnosis. A lawyer can help you pinpoint the evidence which may already be in your file and help you fight the denial of your claim.
To receive a free VA disability case evaluation, call (888) 392-5392.
A Veterans’ Disability Lawyer Can Help You Submit a Compelling Appeal for VA Disability
A veterans’ benefits lawyer can build a compelling VA disability appeal on your behalf. For your appeal to have the best chance of approval, three things must be established: diagnosis, specific event, and a connection between the event and your condition.
Diagnosis of a Disabling Condition
Your appeal must show that you have a diagnosis of a medical condition. A lawyer can show this by gathering your medical records, physicians’ statements, test results, and other evidence.
A Specific Event During Your Military Service
You must also identify a specific event during your military service that caused you to suffer harm, or that your condition started while you were in the service.
A Nexus Between the Event and Your Condition
Finally, your appeal must show that a cause-and-effect link, or “nexus,” exists between the event and your Alzheimer’s diagnosis. This proves your condition is related to service and there are several ways to obtain this type of evidence.
To start building a compelling appeal, call (888) 392-5392.
Your Monthly Compensation Depends on Your Disability Rating
The amount you will receive each month depends on your VA impairment rating. The more convinced VA is that your condition is severe, the higher the impairment rating you will receive. Higher ratings correspond to greater monthly compensation.
For Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders, you will receive a rating of 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, or 100 percent. VA determines your rating using the following Federal Code of Regulations criteria:
- 100 percent rating: “Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.”
- 70 percent rating: “Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively; impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a work-like setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.”
- 50 percent rating: “Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.”
- 30 percent rating: “Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events).”
- 10 percent rating: “Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled by continuous medication.”
- 0 percent rating: “A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.”
Here is the monthly compensation you can expect at each rating as of 2019 for a single veteran with no dependents:
- 0 percent rating: $0 per month
- 10 percent rating: $142.29 per month
- 30 percent rating: $435.69 per month
- 50 percent rating: $893.43 per month
- 70 percent rating: $1,426.17 per month
- 100 percent rating: $3,106.04 per month