Since 1990, Gulf War Veterans have struggled with mysterious symptoms that can’t be explained by any other medical diagnosis. These Veterans qualify for VA disability benefits providing cash compensation and access to necessary medical care.
About Gulf War Syndrome
The VA refers to Gulf War Syndrome as medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (MUCMI) or CMI (chronic multi-symptom illness). Common symptoms can include:
- Memory impairment
- Joint pain
- Respiratory disorders
- Skin rashes
Doctors can’t say with certainty what causes Gulf War Syndrome, but exposure to oil well fires, depleted uranium, nerve gas, and particulate exposure are thought to be potential triggers. As many as one in three Veterans experience symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome.
Qualifying for a Presumptive Service Connection
Veterans with Gulf War Syndrome qualify for a presumptive service connection if they served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations between August 1, 1990, and December 31, 2021. This area includes:
- Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia
- Neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
- Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- The Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman
- Waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea
- The airspace above these locations
Generally speaking, Veterans of Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield during the Persian Gulf War meet the qualifying criteria, as well as Veterans of Operation New Dawn (OND) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). In some cases, Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) may also qualify.
Even though the presumptive service connection rules were intended to make it easier for Veterans to access their disability benefits, there can be unexpected complications. For example, if the source of your joint pain can be explained by a specific medical diagnosis such as degenerative disc disease, a presumption won’t be allowed. You may still qualify for disability benefits, but you will need to provide evidence linking your condition to your military service.
We’re Here to Help
The process of applying for VA disability benefits can be time-consuming and difficult—even when you qualify for a presumptive service connection. However, you’re not alone.
The office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, is committed to helping Gulf War Veterans receive full compensation for their service-connected disabilities. Contact our office to request a free, no-obligation consultation.