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Are there additional Parkinson’s disability benefits for veterans?

Veterans that have received a service-related Parkinson's diagnosis are eligible for benefits according to their level of impairment, as denoted by their disability rating.

Due to the condition's irreversible damage and its debilitating symptoms, diagnosed veterans may be impacted to an extensive degree that qualifies them for additional disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Recognized by the VA as a presumptive disease that can result from toxic exposure, Parkinson's may incapacitate veterans to the point where compensations based on disability rating don't adequately cover the cost of living. Many other herbicides such as paraquat are believed to increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. The VA currently provides afflicted veterans with two avenues of claiming supplementary benefits to address their needs:

Veterans with a service-related Parkinson's diagnosis receive an automatic 30% disability rating that qualifies them for Social Security compensation. However, if the symptoms prevent them from engaging in gainful employment within a competitive work environment, veterans may be entitled to Individual Unemployability, which provides benefits afforded for 100% disability ratings.

Gainful employment is defined as any earning from paid work above the annual poverty level. Paid work below this threshold is considered marginal employment and entitles veterans to IU benefits. Notably, "sheltered employment" in a protected work environment or family business with earnings above the annual poverty level may still qualify individuals for IU benefits since it doesn't take place in a competitive environment, and veterans are provided leniencies to accommodate their condition. 

If the symptoms of service-related Parkinson's are so severe that they impact veterans to a physically-immobilizing extent, they may be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation. SMC benefits are above 100% disability rating payments and are provided to housebound veterans who require special assistance and attendance.

SMC is not a separate claim but part of the initial appeal and is meant to compensate veterans for factors other than earning capacity, such as:

Atraxia Law can help you gain additional benefits for your Parkinson's diagnosis

With over three decades of experience, Atraxia Law's legal specialists work tirelessly on behalf of clients with Parkinson's resulting from toxic exposure to secure the compensation they deserve.

To fully assess your situation, we will require only verifiable proof of exposure to paraquat and a valid medical diagnosis of Parkinson's. We advise seeking us out immediately after obtaining the diagnosis.