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.

I'm so thankful and grateful for all the hard work Jason, Tina and Liz did for me. They went above and beyond to get the best outcome for me. They took the to explain everything that was going on with my case again I'm so thankful grateful and happy with the outcome of my workers comp case.Adrian Adams
First off, I must say thank you again to the office of Perkins Studdard. I appreciate all the hard work and dedication your office has shown to achieve a successful and happy outcome. You have forever changed my family’s life! Also, I wanted to give a special shoutout to Jessica Hyatt for her excellent attitude, advice, and overall professionalism throughout every step of this process. This journey has finally been complete after more than a decade of being denied and almost giving up. However, two of my old coworkers advised me that the office of Perkins Studdard had also successfully helped them achieve their proper rating too. Needless to say, this has been one of my best decisions in life. I can now sleep a little better and stress free knowing I finally got what I deserved all along. Once again, thank you for everything! And shoutout to Travis Studdard, “we did it.” Respectfully, Jonathon FloresJonathon Flores
My family and I are so grateful for Jason Perkins and his team. Jason explains thing's to detail and walks you through every step of your case. I would highly recommend Perkins Studdard for your legal needs. Thank you so much Jason and Tina!Chapin & Lea Anne Warner
The best I know for workers comp attorney'sDenise Williams
Jason really has helped me so much through this hard experience I have went through! And the ladies in the office was wonderful with any and everything I had questions about! I highly recommend using this lawyer office to everyone and Jason Perkins for sure!! Thank y'all for everything and making it easier to get through this long though experience! James HammittJames Hammitt
Thank you so much ! I received excellent representation from the entire Perkins Studdard Law firm, my VA claim was resolved and granted in a timely manner, they were hands on with me during the entire process. I would definitely recommend the firm to any veteran deciding to file a VA claim.Darrell Lynn
I would like to thank the law firm of Perkins-Studdard (Travis) and his team, for performing such an outstanding job, at every possible level, during my recent situation with the VA Disability Claims . From the first time I called and spoke with Mr Studdard with an overview of my situation, until the final settlement was executed (successfully I may add), I always felt that I was in good hands with this firm. Everyone in the office, Jessica, and April were responsive, approachable, knowledgeable, good listeners, and extremely professional. Mr. Studdard was realistic of the circumstances and of the potential difficult process that would lay ahead, should I proceed. I can’t say enough about Travis, and I will always be thankful to him. Travis was committed, and he instilled a real sense of confidence during both the highs and the lows. He ultimately prevailed and the outcome was very much in my favor. Of course, each case is different on its own merits and one can never predict how things ultimately will turn out. All I know is that the settlement far exceeded my expectation. Mr. Studdard has been a blessing to me. I strongly recommend that anyone who would find themselves in a similar legal situation with the VA to contact Law Offices of Perkins Studdard for a consultation. It was a very positive experience given the circumstances. Thank you again, I shall forever be in your debt.Concetta Hogg
Mr. Perkins, I cannot express enough how thankful I am for your exceptional representation. Your hard work, expertise, and unwavering commitment to my case have left an indelible mark. Thanks to you, I can now move forward with my life, confident that justice has been served.Esli Roque
Travis and his team have been a blessing for me and my family. They have done an amazing job in helping me navigate the VA appeals process. They kept their eye on the ball all the way through the long, difficult and confusing process. I highly recommend Travis and his team because thanks to their professionalism and know how, I got the benefits I deserve.Daniel patriot
Travis has been a blessing to our family, he left no stone unturned and delivered the "W" for my VA claim. Every bit of my experience with the Perkins Studdard team was respectful and they demonstrated their appreciation for our service as veterans. I highly recommend this Law Firm and truly appreciate their willingness to stand on my behalf.M L

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