Veterans to Receive More Healthcare and Compensation in 2014 - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Veterans to Receive More Healthcare and Compensation in 2014

New guidelines have been set by the Department of Veterans Affairs, paving the way for more veterans to receive healthcare and compensation for certain service-related traumatic brain injuries.

Beginning January 16th, illnesses like Parkinson's disease, dementia and depression will be included in the new regulations. Also added to the list are unprovoked seizures and hormone deficiency diseases related to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands.

"There's no doubt in my mind you end up with depression after serving. So it's definitely a good step in the right direction, and I hope it materializes," said U.S. Marine Core Veteran Jackie McLaughlin who fought in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

The Department of Defense has found since 2000, almost 290,000 active-duty service members and veterans have traumatic brain injuries. Out of those people, more than 51,000 are currently receiving benefits.

Exposure to blasts from a landmine or a roadside bomb often results in traumatic brain injuries. But studies found these injuries were more common in troops who were not deployed and instead were injured in vehicle crashes, training accidents and sports activities.

"It's very important to give them some type of help. It's 100% important. I mean, that's what they're depending on. They have got to have those benefits," said McLaughlin.

About 62,000 of those injured have occurred since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel Six.

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