Gulf War Diseases and Disabilities

Many Gulf War veterans suffer from diseases and disabilities as a result of their service.  These veterans can apply for and receive disability compensation benefits if they can demonstrate that their disabilities are service-connected.  Sometimes this is difficult to do, but certain Gulf War diseases and disabilities are easier to prove because of a presumption established by VA.

What Gulf War diseases are easier to prove?

VA has established a presumption in favor of Gulf War veterans who suffer from the following conditions:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Dyspepsia
    • Functional abdominal pain syndrome
  • Undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.

A review of these disabilities shows that a wide range of medical problems may be covered by the Gulf War presumption.  In addition to the specific diseases mentioned, the “undiagnosed illnesses” condition covers a wide range of symptoms including cardiovascular, muscular, neurological, psychological, and respiratory conditions among others.

Is the Gulf War presumption the same as the Agent Orange presumption for Vietnam veterans?

No. This presumption is somewhat different than the Agent Orange presumption. The Gulf War presumption does require VA to presume that the conditions mentioned above were caused by the veteran’s military service. However, the Gulf War presumption is different because there are time limits on when the diseases and/or symptoms must appear. To qualify for the Gulf War presumption, the veteran must have served in the Southeast Asia theater of military operations sometime after August 2, 1990.  Also, the illnesses must have appeared either during active duty or by December 31, 2016.  Finally, the illnesses must be at least 10% disabling.

This presumption is different than the Agent Orange presumption because the Agent Orange presumption has no time limit for when the diseases must appear.  Even though the Gulf War presumption has time limits, it is still extremely beneficial to veterans.  A veteran who meets the presumptions requirements should have a much greater chance of establishing that his or her disability is service connected.

Is there anything else to do if I have already filed for benefits?

If VA denies your claim for any reason, you should certainly consider filing a notice of disagreement.  Even if VA determines that your disability is service connected, VA may give you too low a rating or the incorrect effective date for benefits.  If you need help filing a claim or an appeal or have any other questions, many people find it helpful to have a free consultation with one of our veterans disability attorneys.  You can set one up by completing the “Free Consultation” form – or you can just call the phone number on the bottom of this page.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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