Veterans With ALS
Veterans Disability Lawyer
Veterans may be at a higher risk of developing ALS, also known as Lou Gherig’s disease.
Several studies have found a possible link between the disease and military service. Because of these findings, in 2008 the Department of Veteran Affairs began setting aside benefits specifically for veterans who developed the disease.
The results of these studies were mixed. Several suggested an increased incidence of the disease in veterans who served as far back as 1910. Another study concluded that veterans are 50% more likely to develop ALS than the general population.
The benefits provided to these veterans vary based on service time and other factors, but ALS is now presumed to be a disease compensable by VA. Veterans diagnosed with ALS are eligible for disability pay as well as money to modify their homes, vehicles to transport them, insurance for dependents, and survivors’ benefits.
However, none of the above studies have been able to find a common element among veterans with ALS. One study found increased levels of lead in the blood, but it is unclear if that was significant. Another found that ALS might be linked to head trauma, pesticides, or burning oil fields – but the findings weren’t conclusive.
For now, all that is certain is the link between ALS and military service is complicated, and there are probably a lot of factors at play.
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