Many veterans who served in the first Gulf War are developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS falls into the category of medically unexplained illnesses—health conditions that present a number of chronic symptoms that are difficult to diagnose and have no known cause.
If you are a Gulf War veteran and you think you might have CFS, talk to a VA doctor about diagnosis and talk to a Houston VA attorney about what kind of benefits you may qualify for.
Diagnosis of CFS is complicated by the following:
- Symptoms are different for everyone.
- Other conditions have similar symptoms.
- The condition has a tendency to improve and worsen unpredictably.
- There are no medical tests that definitively identify CFS.
- Signs of CFS may not be apparent to the examining physician.
If you’ve demonstrated six or more consecutive months of intense CFS-type symptoms, your physician will usually start the diagnostic process by ruling out health conditions with similar symptoms. You’ll need:
- A detailed medical history, including a comprehensive list of medications that may be responsible for symptoms.
- Comprehensive physical and mental examinations.
- Lab screening tests to identify or rule out other causes for symptoms.
- Physician’s follow up tests.
Because diagnosis of CFS is difficult and the cause is unknown, diagnosed veterans of the first Gulf War don’t need to make a service connection to the illness to be eligible for benefits, as long as the CFS:
- Is at least 10% disabling
- Emerges by December 31, 2016
To learn more about VA benefits for CFS and other medically unexplained illnesses, call a Houston VA benefits lawyer at Morgan & Weisbrod toll free: 800.800.6353. Don’t wait.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.