Resources for Veterans and Veterans' Care Partners

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that 110,000 veterans have Parkinson's disease (PD). In response, the VA has established six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (PADRECCs). In addition, a network of 51 Consortium Centers offer veterans and their care partners administrative assistance, professional collaboration, and educational support from PADRECCs. Veterans who cannot visit a PADRECC facility can be treated at their nearest Consortium Center or through telemedicine.

These resources help you understand the relationship between military exposures and Parkinson’s disease, clinical care for Parkinson’s disease at the VA, how to apply for benefits or get help doing so, and more.

Downloadable Documents | Online Articles | Podcasts, & Webinars

Downloadable Documents

California Veterans Resource Book

Published by the California Dept. of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), January 2019

This 225-page reference guide includes a benefits timetable, information about California state benefits, USDVA claims and benefits, healthcare, education, housing, employment, advocacy and assistance, and other benefits and services.

Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors

Published by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 2020 

This 76-page Benefits Handbook for Veterans and Dependents provides information on benefits and services currently available by law and regulation. However, due to VA’s ongoing response to COVID-19, Veterans, their families, and caregivers are encouraged to visit, specifcally for information about COVID-19 and how it affects VA health care and benefits services.

Helping Those Who Serve: Fact Sheet 

Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association, 2020 

This 2-page fact sheet briefly covers environmental exposures common to military service that increase the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease (PD), and legislation related to those exposure which help veterans get the care they are entitled to.  Also outlined are the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECCs) created by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as centers of excellence for PD treatment and the national consortium of regional PD treatment centers, with instructions for how to get a referral to the PACRECC or Consortium Center nearest you, the PADRECC/Consortium Hotline & web address for the PADRECC website.

Helping Those Who Serve: Parkinson's Disease Information for the Veteran's Community

Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association, 2020 

This 40-page booklet provides information about PD, its symptoms, how it is treated, and the benefits available to you as a veteran of the United States armed services. Also included is information about the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECCs) created by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as centers of excellence for PD treatment, as well as the national consortium of regional treatment centers. These centers are staffed by specialists in the treatment of PD, working as team members with a wide variety of other healthcare professionals to deliver a full range of services. 

Online Articles

Agent Orange & Other Toxic Exposures

By the Parkinson's Foundation

This webpage has a brief overview of Agent Orange, who may have been exposed, a link to the VA page on eligibility and hazardous materials, the phone number for the Agent Orange Helpline, a list of exposure locations, and other service-related causes of Parkinson's symptoms.

Are You a Veteran with Parkinson's?  There's Help!

Published by, November 6, 2017

US military Veterans with Parkinson's disease (PD) have access to specialized medical care and financial assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  In some cases, Veterans' PD may be related to their service.  Veterans and their families can get help with applying for care and benefits from Veterans Service Officers and other resources.

Caring for a Veteran with Parkinson's

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation

Along with information and resources available to all Parkinson's caregivers, this page adds links and phone numbers to resources specifically available through the VA for Parkinson's care partners.  Also included are the signs of depression, hospital preparedness, and the phone number to the Parkinson's Foundation's Helpline.

California County Veterans Service Offices

Published by CalVet

County Veterans Services Offices are agencies which provide California's veterans with assistance and connection to benefits and services in local communities throughout the state.  Find your local County Veterans Services Office with this search tool.

Court Ruling, New Law Support 'Blue Water Veterans' with Parkinson's Disease

Published by U.S. Medicine, September 9, 2019

This article discusses the history of veterans exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and the difficulty veterans have had in qualifying for disability and health care benefits.  H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 was signed into law in June 2019 and expands coverage for veterans who served on Navy ships deployed to Vietnam and those working in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECC)

Published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

This webpage provides brief information about making an appoinement at a PADRECC, Parkinson's Disease (PD) and military exposure, several support groups for veterans with PD, PD educational information, and the phone number to the VA National Caregiver Support Line.

Resources for Veterans

Published by the American Parkinson's Disease Association

This webpage makes readers aware of the six PADRECCs  and more than 51 Consortium Centers around the US, provids the link and phone number for the US Dept. of Veteran's Affairs, Agent Orange Exposure for those who may have been exposed to Agent Orange to ask about registry health examination, health care benefits, and disability compensation.

Training Dempsey, My Parkinson's Service Dog

By Brian Reedy, Published by the Davis Phinney Foundation, February 7, 2018

Veteran Brian Reedy was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2011.  He decided to get a service dog and train it himself.  This article tells what a service dog can do for someone with PD, offers tips if you decide to train your own service dog, and a link to an online article on how to afford a service dog.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Expands Benefits for People with Parkinsonism Associated with Agent Orange Exposure

By Christina Destro.  Published by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, June 11, 2021

This is a single-page article about the Michael J. Fox Foundation's encouragement of the passing of legislation and implementation of that legislation to provide health care and benefits for veterans who served in the military in Southwest Asia with Parkinsonism related to Agent Orange exposure. (Agent Orange is an herbicide that was used by the U.S. military to destroy unwanted plants.)

VA Disability Compensation for Veterans with Parkinson's

Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association

This comprehensive webpage summarizes VA disability compensation benefits, who is eligible, what determines a monthly benefit amount, Presumptive Service Connection for Parkinson's and service connection for Parkinson's without a presumption, how to file a claim, and what to do if your claim is approved or denied.

VA Medical Care and Treatment for PD

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation

This page provides the location of the six PADRECCs, links and phone numbers to learn more about PADRECCs, check your eligibility for VA care, and apply.

There is also information about veterans' eligibility to participate in research studies, including the Parkinson’s Foundation PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease study, with links to learn more and to sign up.

VA Research on Parkinson's Disease

Published by the US. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research & Development

This webpage summarizes new, ongoing, and published research by the VA PADRECCs since the centers were formed in 2011.  Discoveries include information about the warning signs of PD, deep brain stimulation (DBS), PD and exercise, PD and mental symptoms, PD and genomics, PD and gene therapy, and more.  Also included are links to scientific articles by VA scientists.

Veterans and Parkinson's Disease

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation

This short webpage provides an overview of the number of veterans diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD), the possible causes of PD, including those veterans may have been exposed to environmental factors during their service, and links to VA services.

Veterans Benefits

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation

This webpage summarizes who may be eligible for veterans benefits and provides links to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and the VA's webpage on benefits. 

Also included is a list of VA financial aid programs, including pensions, VA aid and attendance and housebound allowance, VA healthcare, and service-connected disability compensation, with links to information about each.  

Finally, you will find links to organizations including Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and information on VA programs for geriatrics and extended care, including how to get help applying for benefits.

Podcasts & Webinars

My Parkinson's Story Videos

By the U.S Department of Veteran's Affairs

NW PADRECC Portland/Seattle posted 16 My Parkinson's Story videos on this webpage.  Each short video (less than 10 mins.) addresses a different aspect of Parkinson's Disease from the perspective of a veteran and/or care partner living with the disease.  Topics include DBS, depression, early PD, falls, thinking & memory, sleep, environmental exposure, genetics, advanced PD, impulsive behaviors, the caregiver, driving, exercise, medications, hospitalization, speech & swallowing.

Parkinson Disease and the Enviornment

By the American Parkinson Disease Association, June 16, 2021.  

In this episode of the Dr. Gilbert Hosts series, APDA’s Chief Scientific Officer, special guest Carlie Tanner, MD, PhD, speaks for about 15 minutes on the effects of the environment and the risk of developing Parkinson's disease before answering listener questions for another 25 minutes.

Parkinson Disease and the Veteran Community

By the American Parkinson Disease Association, November 10, 2021.  

In this 1-hour webinar, movement disorder specialist Ruth Walker, MD, discusses the relationship between military exposures and Parkinson’s disease, clinical care for Parkinson’s disease at the VA, and scientific research into military exposures and Parkinson’s disease.  Additionally, you’ll hear directly from a Veteran who is living with Parkinson’s disease.

Understanding Your VA Benefits

By Neuro Challenge, March 2021

This hour-long webinar features two representatives from County Veterans Services in FL.  The first speaker shares who qualifies for disability compensation for the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease or a parkinsonism and how to file a claim, even if you have previously been denied VA Health benefits.  The second speaker talks about why you should seek assistance with VA benefits and services from County Veterans Services, which is offered in every state.  She then provided details on qualification and how to apply for Nonservice-Connected Pensions, also called Aid and Attendance, or Widow's Pension.

Veteran's Day Bonus Episode

By the Parkinson's Foundation, November 22, 2020

This 8-minute episode of the Substantial Matters podcast is in honor of Veterans Day.  Listen to retired Army nurse and author Lou Eisenbrandt's story about her experience as a Vietnam Veteran whose Parkinson's is a result of exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange during he war.  

Last updated November 2021 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach