Resources for Military & Veterans
Veterans and ALS
Veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces are at an increased risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The connection between military service and ALS is still being studied, but veterans diagnosed with ALS may be eligible for specific benefits and support through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Presumptive Services Connection
The VA presumes that specific disabilities diagnosed in certain veterans were caused by their military service. People living with ALS that meet eligibility criteria may be eligible for 100% service-connected rating through the Veterans Administration.
Eligibility requirements include that the Veteran must have served served at least 90 continuous days of active-duty service, must have been honorably discharged, and must have a confirmed diagnosis of ALS made by a qualified healthcare professional. We highly recommend speaking with a Veteran Service Organization to see if you qualify or for questions about eligibility.
Some of the benefits that Veterans living with ALS may qualify for include:
Compensation: The VA provides disability compensation to veterans with ALS. This compensation is designed to provide financial support to veterans who can no longer work due to the disease.
Healthcare Services: Veterans with ALS may receive healthcare services through the VA, including medical care, prescription drugs, and assistive devices to help manage the disease's symptoms. In Oregon and SW Washington, many Veterans living with ALS establish care at the Portland VA for Multidisciplinary ALS Care.
Adaptive Equipment: The VA can provide adaptive equipment such as mobility aids, communication devices, and home modifications to improve the quality of life for veterans with ALS.
Home Healthcare Services: Veterans with ALS may be eligible for home healthcare services, which can include nursing care, physical therapy, and speech therapy, depending on individual needs.
Caregiver Support: The VA's Caregiver Support Program offers assistance to family members or friends providing care to veterans with ALS. This includes education, training, and respite care.
Veteran Service Organizations
Many veteran service organizations such as the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) or the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) advocate for veterans' rights and benefits, including those diagnosed with ALS. They work to ensure veterans receive the support they deserve. For more information about service organizations visit:
The ALS Center at the Portland Veterans Administration Health System, Portland OR: 3710 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Rd. Portland, OR 97239 / 503-220-8262 / Medical Director: Dr. Noona Leavell
Veterans with ALS and their families should be aware of the available benefits and resources provided by the VA and advocate organizations. Seeking support and staying informed about the latest developments in ALS research and treatment is crucial for improving the quality of life for veterans living with this challenging disease.