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Post Concussion Syndrome Vs. Tbi



Hello all, I am pretty new to this site. I just received my denial letter for tbi and headaches secondary to tbi. I take two meds for my headaches prescribed by va neurologist and have been seeing va speech path For help my memory problems. I was denied because they said I didn't have a diagnoses of tbi, I do however have a diagnosed of post concussion syndrome. From what I have read the two are the same thing or am wrong?

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Hello all, I am pretty new to this site. I just received my denial letter for tbi and headaches secondary to tbi. I take two meds for my headaches prescribed by va neurologist and have been seeing va speech path For help my memory problems. I was denied because they said I didn't have a diagnoses of tbi, I do however have a diagnosed of post concussion syndrome. From what I have read the two are the same thing or am wrong?

Please post all of and exactly what is stated in the Reasons and Bases Section

of the Rating Decision above.

Do not include info such as name, claim #, address, etc . . .

Here's a link to a good BVA case for this issue.


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Thank you for the reply carlie, below is exactly what the letter states,

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

  • Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some even or experience in service. Service connection for traumatic brain injury (TBI) is denied because the medical evidence of record fails to show that this disability has been clinically diagnosed.
  • Upon examination on May 3, 2014 the examiner found that you do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of TBI. With your receipt of the Combat Action Badge we requested the VA examination and asked the examiner to opine on the connection of any TBI diagnosis with the acknowledged events leading to your Combat medal. No diagnosis was found, therefore, service connection for traumatic brain injury (TBI) is denied.


  • Service connection may be granted for a disease or injury which resulted from a service connection disability or was aggravated thereby. The evidence does not show that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is related to service. Therefore, service connections for headaches on a secondary basis to this condition cannot be established. There is no evidence showing headaches was incurred in or aggravated by military service.

Also, I called VA to ask what this ment. I was told something about without a TBI diagnosis the examiner could not say I had TBI. I am totally comfused. I was told that the combat action badge (that i recieved for the IED attack) did not state what it was for. I sent in my DA Form 638 that states I was involved in an IED, but after reveiwing the list of evidence considered DA Form 638 was not listed. I am 100% sure I included it when I sent in my packet. I have requested the C&P exam notes and will be requesting my C-file. I have already set up an appointment with a private neurologist for next week. I plan on appealing the desicion and sending in a DBQ and Nexus letter.

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Sounds like a good plan.

Be sure to get a DX of TBI from that neuro doc that provides an

"at least as likely as not" or "more likely than not" related to active duty,

and how they are related.

Take your service medical records and all evidence for the doc to review

and be sure they state in the opinion that they reviewed them and support

their opinion with full medical rationale.

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Yes the two are basically the same thing. I have seen several vets run into the same problem as you.

Like carlie mentioned, you will need to get a diagnosis of TBI. Either from a VA doc or from a private doc. Try to see a neurologist if possible. Is it a possibility to see the same doc who diagnosed you with the post concussive syndrome and discuss with them that you feel it is a TBI? It sounds like you are already seeing a neurologist through VA for the migraines. Can you schedule an appt. with him and say, "I would like to be evaluated for TBI".

Once you get the diagnosis, then you can just file a FDC request to reopen (reconsideration) & include the diagnosis and again include the info regarding the IED or other incidents you believe caused the TBI.

What about going to a VA polytrauma center? They can evaluate and diagnose TBI.

TBI is one of the most complicated things you can file for. Lately, VA has been combining the ratings for things when vets have a TBI, instead of giving 2 separate ratings. For example, they have been combining PTSD and TBI or TBI and migraines. Just something to be aware of. If the symptoms are not pyramiding and can be clearly separated, then they are supposed to be separate ratings.

If you don't want to go to all this trouble to get the diagnosis, another option would be to submit articles that say that TBI and post concussive syndrome are essentially the same. A doctor's note stating this would make the case even stronger.

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Not sure if this post is still followed or relevant, but I wanted to post this to help anyone looking for more on this issue. I too was rated for post concussive syndrome in 1994. I received a tiny increase to 30% in 2006. In 2009 I received this letter (I cut off my personal information). I filled the forms out ant sent it back but never heard about it again. I have submitted the letter to see if it would help with my current claim but I’m still waiting. Hope it helps.


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is concerned about veterans who experienced head
injuries during military service.
Our recurds show that you received a disability rating for a
service-connected traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Recent medical studies focusing on TBI now provide a more thorough understanding of this
disability and the symptoms associated with it. VA responded to these studies by developing
new criteria for evaluating TBI disability levels and the compensation payments associated
with them. The new evaluation criteria became effective October 23, 2008.
You may have been rated before the new criteria became effective. If you still have residual
symptoms, you may be re-examined based on the new criteria. This examination may result
in a compensation increase even though your condition has not changed. You can request this
examination through your local regional office on the enclosed VA Form 21-4138, Statement
in Support of Claim. If you qualify for increased compensation, the increase may be paid up
to one year retroactively, but not before October 23, 2008, when the new criteria went into
As a disabled veteran, you may also be eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits. The
Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) Program can help you prepare for, get, and
keep a suitable job. If you are too seriously disabled to work, the program can help you learn
to live more independently. For more information, including how to apply, please review the
enclosed forms,
"Important Information about Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits,
" and the
"Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation."
Contact your local VA regional office or veterans service organization representative for
additional information. You may also telephone the VA information line toll-free at
VAF 21-4138
VAF 28-1900
VAF 28-8890


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You may have an open claim that has not been decided. I would contact a few of the law firms mentioned on Hadit for evaluation .

Could be significant back pay if you submitted additional evidence and they did make a decision.

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I have asked about it and nothing has been found. It was out of Baltimore MD, but my area of MD falls under Washington DC. So I kept the paper because I didn’t know how else to follow it. I posted it to my current claim in hope they might check into it. This recent effort to get benefits changed to the right SC disabilities has been a mess. It currently seems to be looked at by someone who knows the regulations, so I don’t want to jump too fast. It takes me a long time to type things out and line up my thoughts. I want to see how it goes by giving them the benefit of doubt in hope they are doing the same. I have nothing but time sitting here waiting. Having more time then money, I’m going to hope for the best!

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Well if they are truely working on it and then you get a decision that is low balled or denied, you have a year to appeal. But I'm not sure I'm in the same boat about assuming you should give them "the benefit of doubt". When they are evaluating a claim and the favorable decision would result in significant back pay, the VA has a nack of getting really good in-house legal scruitany. Best of luck Kitkat going forward on this.

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My doctor got involved this time. I just had an exam last week I think. I have no clue what it was for but my son tells me he thought it went well. I always do better when he is with me.

This claim started off as just trying to resubmit my claim and I think they changed it to a review and kept all my past paperwork submitted to the current one. That gave me some hope.

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I do value your input and it has helped me understand the steps I need to take if my faith in the system falls through. So please don’t mistake my current lack of action as dismissing your advice. I value other peoples points of view. With cognitive issues it helps when others give you points of views that you miss. I get a better sense between what is and what should be. 

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