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Wounded Warrior Project Calls Upon Congress to Provide Needed Benefits to Brain Damaged Troops

Caregivers of veterans recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) at risk for being left out of Congressionally mandated benefits by VA according to the Wounded Warriors Project. 

The Wounded Warriers Project (WWP) has issued the following statement at the commencement of brain injury awarness month:

As we enter Brain Injury Awareness Month, the Wounded Warrior Project  (WWP) is committed to ensuring that veterans injured during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and their caregivers receive the benefits included in the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act signed into law last year by President Obama.

"In 2010, Congress put assistance in place to ensure that the caregivers of these brave men and women are able to continue providing the necessary support for their recovery," said Steve Nardizzi, Executive Director of WWP. "Nearly a year later and ironically coinciding with Brain Injury Awareness Month, family caregivers of as many as 2,500 severely brain-injured warriors may now be ineligible to receive benefits promised under a plan the VA continues to defend."

"Last month, the VA submitted a plan that would shrink the number of families qualifying for benefits by more than three-quarters, hitting those with cognitive and related brain-injury impairments hardest," Nardizzi continued. "It is unacceptable for the Administration to deviate so dramatically from the clear direction Congress set, and jeopardize the care of these service members to meet a new agenda."    

TBI has emerged as one of the signature wounds of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result, amazing strides have been made in the medical intervention and treatment of TBI.  But with that comes a long road of treatment and care for these veterans when they return home. It's a labor of love for the family caregivers of these severely wounded warriors, but also an all-consuming one in which many families have had to commit all of their resources to their loved one's recovery process.

In providing for caregiver assistance, Congress clearly specified that the law covers caregivers of veterans who sustained traumatic brain injury in the line of duty and who were "in need of personal care services because of ... a need for supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological or other impairment or injury."   It is apparent when reviewing the Act as a whole, that the rehabilitation of veterans with traumatic brain injury was an intended goal with respect to each of these provisions.

WWP is calling on the Administration and the VA to recognize the severity and complexity of these injuries and guarantee that these American heroes and their families are provided the best support and care possible. 

 

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