The NFL agreed to shell out $765 million Thursday to settle a lawsuit brought by thousands of retired players accusing the league of hiding the dangers of brain injury. The settlement may be perceived as a win for the league, which makes nearly $10 billion in annual revenue, as terms do not require the NFL to admit guilt.
Mike Rioux waited 18 months to have his disability benefits claim processed after returning from the war in Afghanistan. As Randy Kaye of CNN reports, when the decision was finally reached, Rioux was told he qualified for a monthly payment of under $700 and was only 40 percent disabled. The Department of Veterans Affairs did not provide compensation for his traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder, both acquired during his military service. His PTSD diagnosis was even given by a VA doctor.
According to CNN, Rioux and his family are not alone in fighting with the VA to obtain monetary benefits, and the economic struggles are taking their toll.
Most of the difficulty with making decisions and evaluating claims appears to be the result of “severe and complex mental injuries” like traumatic brain injuries and PTSD.
The report compared these injuries to Agent Orange and Gulf War syndrome, meaning that the VA is trying to determine the right benefit amount for those affected by things like PTSD. Because terms used to describe these conditions are relatively new, it can be hard to compare these more “hidden disabilities” to those with obvious physical manifestations.
Officials with the VA are expecting to process approximately one million applications from veterans by the end of 2012, and they say the goal is to process incoming applications within 125 days, according to CNN.
John Lamie survived six roadside bombings in Iraq, only to have the Department of Veterans Affairs refuse to accept three months’ worth of medical tests he underwent for jaw and shoulder wounds — tests performed by VA-approved doctors at VA facilities.
We’re continuing our series this month with a discussion and as much educational information as possible about traumatic brain injuries. Today, we’d like to describe some of the possible disabling conditions that can result from a TBI.
SAN ANTONIO — Richard Martin keeps a rearview mirror on his desk to prevent co-workers from startling him in his cubicle. The walls are papered with sticky notes to help him remember things, and he wears noise-canceling headphones to keep his easily distracted mind focused.
TAMPA, Fla. — As the president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the daughter of their owner, Gay Culverhouse was the woman in the men’s locker room. Twenty years later, she is trying to keep her former players out of the emergency room.