If you have served in southwest Asia military operations at any time from August 2, 1990 to the present and you suffer from an undiagnosed or chronic medical condition, you may be eligible for veterans’ disability benefits.
What Conditions Are Included?
Presumptive diseases for Gulf War veterans are sometimes referred to as Gulf War Syndrome or Gulf War illness.
They include symptoms of undiagnosed illnesses such as:
- Abnormal weight loss
- Cardiovascular disease
- Muscle and joint pain
- Menstrual disorders
- Neurological and psychological problems
- Skin conditions
- Respiratory disorders
- Sleep disturbances
Other presumptive diseases for Gulf War veterans include diagnosable gastrointestinal disorders such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Functional dyspepsia
- Functional vomiting
- Functional constipation
- Functional bloating
- Functional abdominal pain syndrome
- Functional dysphagia
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are also considered presumptive diseases for Gulf War veterans. Other conditions may also qualify you for benefits.
How to Prove Eligibility
To qualify for benefits because of an undiagnosable illness, a gastrointestinal illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia you need to prove that:
- The condition began during active duty or prior to the end of 2021. If your illness or disability did not begin during active duty, it must be at least 10 percent disabling.
- There is no other cause for your illness or disability than your service in southwest Asia.
- Your illness or disability has existed for six months or longer.
You must provide evidence of your service in the Gulf region and medical evidence of your diagnosis and treatment. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may request an examination if there is no medical evidence of treatment for your disability or illness.
You may apply for benefits online or in person at your local VA office. You have the right to consult with an experienced veterans’ disability lawyer prior to applying, or after, to make sure that your rights and benefits are protected. If we can help you during this time, please do not hesitate to contact us through this website or by phone.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.