Stroke and Your Claim for Disability Benefits

Stroke and Your Claim for Disability Benefits

A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. This can be caused by a blood clot that obstructs the flow of blood to the brain, or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing the flow of blood to the brain.

The effects of a stroke can vary depending on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much of the brain is damaged. Some individuals are able to recover completely from a stroke, while others are left with permanent disabilities, such as partial paralysis. Speech problems, vision problems, and memory loss can also be cause by a stroke.

The VA categorizes strokes under several different categories. An embolism of the blood vessels in the brain occurs when a blood clot that occurs somewhere else in the body travels to the brain. A thrombosis of the blood vessels in the brain occurs when blood clots form in the brain’s blood vessels. A hemorrhage of the blood vessels in the brain occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures.

All of these types of strokes will be rated at 100% for the first six months  The Veteran will then be reevaluated and assigned ratings based on the residual symptoms.  For example, if a veteran suffers from partial paralysis due to a stroke, then the Veteran would receive a rating based on the level of paralysis.  

Veterans may be able to receive presumptive service connection for a stroke in some situations. This is important when applying for VA disability benefits because it can be difficult to prove the exact cause of a stroke. 

First, some forms of stroke receive presumptive service connection if the Veteran is at least 10% disabled due to the stroke within one year of discharge. Because of the way a stroke is rated, this effectively means that the stroke must have occurred within a year of discharge.

Former prisoners of war also receive presumptive service connection for strokes. This applies to any form of stroke for a prisoner of war that was in captivity for any length of time.

If you need assistance with your appeal, contact Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick. Our veterans law practitioners have experience with every aspect of the appeals process. Call us at 401-331-6300 for a no-cost case evaluation.

Category: Veterans Law