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