News from all over the US has featured a phenomena called "The Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise funds for Lou Gehrig's disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Over $42 million has been raised so far. Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and former President, George Bush are included in the growing list of celebrities that have had a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads to raise funds for the ALS Association. Interest in donating to ALS research has skyrocketed since government funding was drastically reduced. There is no cure for this disease and patients die after suffering through gradual paralysis. Studies have shown white men and veterans are far more likely to develop ALS, but no one knows why.
Veterans suffering with ALS are eligible for service-connected disability; and their surviving spouses are eligible for death benefits, because this disease is considered a presumptive condition related to their military service. When the VA has determined the development of ALS manifested at any time after discharge or release from active military, naval, or air service, the evidence is suffient to establish service connection for that disease.
With ALS in the forefront of the news lately, news of the Ice Bucket Challenge can be a reminder to encourage veterans suffering from this disease to apply for service-connected disability benefits.
You may know a veteran suffering with ALS, or a widow of a veteran. Veteran Support Center's VA accredited staff are available assist with their applications.
Contact Veteran Support Center at 866-667-9360.