VA and Spinal Cord Injury
What is SCI?
The spinal cord is the main pathway for transmitting information between the brain and the nerves that lead to muscles, skin, internal organs and glands. Injury to the spinal cord disrupts movement, sensation and function. SCI requires ongoing management of impairments and prevention of related problems.
Of the more than 250,000 Americans with serious spinal cord injuries and disorders, about 42,000 are veterans eligible for medical care and other benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many Veterans with spinal cord injuries qualify for disability compensation because their health problems occurred during military service. Veterams with spinal cord injuries unrelated to their mility service may receive VA medical care under rules governing veterans with catastrophic disabilities or low incomes. Spinal cord injuries or commonly referred to the by the acronym SCI.
Veterans with SCI may receive up to $2,673 in monthly disability compensation. They may receive additional compensation if the injury resulted in loss of use of hands or feet or in other disabilities. The rating may include other service-connected disabilities not related to their spinal injury.
Health Care for Veterans with SCI
VA has the largest single network of SCI care in the nation. It provided a full range of care to more than 26,000 veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders, last year, and SCI specialty care to about 13,000 of these veterans. VA integrates vocational, psychological and social services within a continuum of care and addresses changing needs throughtout the veteran's life. VA provides supplies, preventative health care and education for veterans with SCI. VA also maintains medical equipment.