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Lebanon VA re-examining some vets for traumatic brain injuries

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jun 9, 2016 4:15 PM
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(Lebanon) -- Confusion around the Veterans Affairs's policy for traumatic brain injury examinations is giving some vets a second chance to get a diagnosis.

The opportunity for a re-examination comes after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs realized some unapproved health care workers were conducting the tests.

Some 24,000 veterans received traumatic brain injury examinations from a health care professional, but not from an approved specialist, like a psychiatrist, physiatrist, neurosurgeon or neurologist.

So the VA is allowing for re-examinations, and if an injury is found, it will award benefits retroactively.

Justin Remsnyder with the Lebanon VA says his bosses recognized the issue even before the national guidance came out.

"They decided, let's be proactive and look back and so I actually personally contacted every veteran we found, and spoke to them directly," says Remsnyder.

Remsnyder says of the 48 cases he found, about half of the veterans decided to come back in for a new examination.

He adds: "It's probably largely resolved on our end, but that's hard to answer. I can't sit here and say they might not be a veteran that shows up and we'll simply try to schedule them as soon as possible."

He says the change is simply a case of evolving science, and there is nothing inappropriate in how the VA acted in this case.

The confusion affected veterans pursuing disability compensation claims.

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