- Joint pain
- Respiratory disorders
- Memory problems
These symptoms may appear as a part of several diagnosable or undiagnosable conditions recognized as related to Gulf War service. If they exist for six months or more, the VA presumes they are related to Gulf War service. As a disability claim progresses, the VA may refer to the condition as “chronic multi-symptom illness” or “undiagnosed illnesses” instead of “Gulf War Syndrome.”
The eligible Gulf War veteran applying for disability benefits does not have to prove a triggering exposure if he or she has medical evidence of:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a condition of long-term and severe fatigue that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other conditions.
- Fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread muscle pain. Other symptoms may include insomnia, morning stiffness, headache, and memory problems.
- Functional gastrointestinal disorders, a group of conditions marked by chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Examples include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, and functional abdominal pain syndrome.
- Undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to:
- Abnormal weight loss
- Cardiovascular disease
- Muscle and joint pain
- Menstrual disorders
- Neurological and psychological problems
- Skin conditions
- Respiratory disorders
- Sleep disturbances
Also, the VA assumes that Gulf War service either caused or aggravated certain presumptive diseases, even if there was no evidence of them during active service. All but three, as noted below, must have caused at least a 10 percent disability within one year of separation from active service. They are:
- Campylobacter jejuni
- Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
- Nontyphoid Salmonella
- West Nile Virus
- Visceral leishmaniasis (no time limit)
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis (no time limit)
- Malaria (if not 10 percent disabling or more within one year of separation, may be 10 percent or more within a recognized incubation period that commenced during active service)
Undiagnosed illnesses presumptive for disability are not limited to those listed above or to illnesses as of yet identified by the VA. Medical understanding of disease and illness among Gulf War veterans continues to evolve.
In addition to presumptive illness, Gulf War veterans may seek to establish service connection for “non-presumptive” diseases and illnesses. This requires evidence of exposure during active duty that resulted in the veteran’s condition.
Any eligible Gulf War veteran who has medical evidence of any disability should consider a claim for VA disability benefits. If you are a Gulf War veteran and the VA has denied your disability claim or assigned an inadequate disability rating, you should appeal.
Berry Law Firm can help you seek the VA disability benefits you deserve for service in the Gulf War. We can review your existing claim file and/or medical records and determine whether they accurately reflect your disability. If you need an updated medical exam, we can help in the process of obtaining one.
Most of all, Berry Law Firm provides experience with litigating VA claims. We know the system and what’s required to get results. We know how to navigate cases through the VA appeals process efficiently and successfully. Let us put our knowledge to work for you. Schedule a consultation today.