Possible Future Expansion of List of Presumptive Conditions for Gulf War Veterans

According to an article published by USA Today, members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Veterans Affairs requested that VA expand the list of  presumptive conditions for veterans that served in the Gulf War.  The letter noted that brain cancer, lung cancer and chronic migraines should be added to the list of presumptive conditions.

What does it mean to have a Presumptive Condition?

Currently, there are a number of conditions that are presumed to be service connected for individuals who qualify as a veteran with Gulf War service.  Those conditions include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, certain gastrointestinal disorders, and a number of other symptoms associated with neurological, psychological, cardiovascular, respiratory and other types of disturbance.  A Gulf War veteran who is diagnosed with a presumptive condition does not have to prove that the condition was caused by his or her service.  Instead, VA must presume that the condition is service connected.

For example, Vietnam veterans are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.  So, when a Vietnam veteran develops certain medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and other conditions), those conditions are presumed to have been caused by the veteran’s exposure to Agent Orange.  These presumptions can be crucial for veterans because it can otherwise be difficult to prove that a particular medical condition, such as cancer,  is service connected when the veteran does not become aware of the condition until many years later.

Questions about Presumptive Conditions

If you are a veteran and believe that you are suffering from a condition connected to your service, you can talk with one of our attorneys for free about pursuing a claim for disability compensation benefits or appealing the denial of your claim.  To do so, simply complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page or call the phone number in the upper right hand corner.