Parkinsonism is a general medical term that refers to a group of neurological disorders that cause movement problems similar to those seen in Parkinson’s disease such as tremors, slow movement and stiffness. Although the Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease share a similar name and similar symptoms, Parkinsonism is not the same thing as Parkinson's disease.
In the Vietnam War thousands of U.S. service members were exposed to Agent Orange and other defoliants which have been proven to cause Parkinsonism. The disease is on the VA’s list of presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange exposure. When a veteran is diagnosed with a disease classified as presumptive, that veteran can qualify for disability benefits without the burden of proving the condition was caused by military service.
In addition, Parkinsonism is also a presumptive condition for veterans who served in the Korean DMZ from April 1968 to August 1971. If you served in any of these places during the specified time periods, to establish your claim for disability you need only show that you have a current diagnosis of Parkinsonism and VA documentation to show when and where you served.
If you suffer from Parkinsonism, but did not serve at one of these places, you still may be eligible for VA disability benefits. But, because your condition is not automatically presumed, you will have to submit additional evidence proving that you were exposed to toxic chemicals—typically from herbicides or noxious smoke from burn pits—or that you suffered a traumatic brain injury while you were in the service. You will also need medical proof which links your current condition to that toxic exposure or TBI.
At Cuddigan Law, we understand how critical it is for veterans who have honorably served their country to get the disability benefits they have rightfully earned. Our VA accredited attorneys are ready to fight for you. Call or email us for a free evaluation of your situation.