Typically, when someone becomes disabled as a result of their military service, it is fairly obvious how they got their disability. However, a surprising number of veterans can spend months or years seemingly fine, only to manifest a service-related disability a long time afterwards. Here are five service-related disabilities that often do not appear right away:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Psychological issues are sadly common among veterans, with PTSD being one of the more notable problems that many veterans struggle with. Veterans with PTSD can acquire the condition for a number of reasons, including exposure to combat, getting into an accident, or being the victim of sexual assault or other forms of violence. However, the symptoms of PTSD may not appear right away, with some people going weeks or months until they notice the symptoms.
- Hearing impairment
- As far as service-related disabilities go, hearing problems are shockingly common, but are also easy to miss. Between the sounds of gunfire, bombs, airplanes, and the various other loud noises that soldiers are regularly exposed to, it is common for veterans to suffer from tinnitus or hearing loss. Tinnitus, the formal name for ringing in the ears, is often not diagnosed until long after a veteran has returned home, simply because the veteran does not realize something is wrong.
- Back and neck injuries
- Being a soldier involves a lot of strenuous physical activity, with soldiers notoriously needing to march with 100 pounds or more of gear. Suffice it to say that doing this is not good for a person’s back or neck, and even without combat injuries, it is not uncommon for veterans to come home with service-related injuries that affect the spine. For example, sciatica, which is caused by irritation or damage to the sciatic nerve, often goes untreated until it becomes bad enough to hinder a person’s ability to move around.
- Migraines are somewhat unusual in that they can be both a disability unto themselves, as well as a symptom of a deeper problem. While everyone gets migraines from time to time, they become seriously debilitating when they persist for a long period of time, or when they become intense enough to impair a person’s ability to work or perform chores. Persistent or recurring migraines that resist conventional treatment can have a number of causes, including a variety of service-related disabilities.
- Most people may not think of cancer as a service-related disability, but the fact of the matter is that veterans are often exposed to toxins that significantly increase their risk of developing cancer. The nature of cancer, however, means that it rarely develops quickly, and it may be years or decades before these carcinogens take their toll. However, veterans who suffer from certain cancers may still be able to get disability benefits if they can link their cancer to their service.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.