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Gulf War Veterans and Presumptions

Military Exposures & Your Health: Information for Veterans who servedthe gulf war era and their families
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For Veterans who served during the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, to the present and who have certain heath conditions, VA presumes service connection and provides disability payments and health care benefits.

Unexplained illnesses

VA presumes that unexplained symptoms are related to Gulf War service if a Veteran has experienced the symptoms for six months or more; if the symptoms first appeared during active duty service in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations up until December 31, 2021; and if the symptoms are at least 10 percent disabling.

VA may compensate Veterans who have the following unexplained signs and symptoms:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is long-term and severe fatigue not relieved by rest or directly caused by other conditions.
  • Fibromyalgia, which includes widespread muscle pain with possible additional symptoms including insomnia, morning stiffness, headache, and memory problems.
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders, which includes irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, and functional abdominal pain syndrome.
  • Undiagnosed Illnesses, the symptoms of which 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.

Learn more about unexplained illnesses.

Infectious diseases

Nine infectious diseases qualify as presumptive conditions.

  • Malaria
  • Brucellosis
  • Campylobacter Jejuni
  • Coxiella Burnetii (Q Fever)
  • Nontyphoid Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • West Nile Virus
  • Visceral Leishmaniasis
  • Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

These infectious diseases must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year from the date of military separation (or when the accepted incubation period began for malaria), except for visceral leishmaniasis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Learn more about these infectious diseases.

Filing a claim

Veterans who think they have one or more of the above conditions may file a claim and may receive a compensation and pension (C&P) exam. Those who have had a Gulf War Registry exam can submit the findings in a claim, but it does not take the place of a C&P exam.

Changes to disability claims

new rule in processing disability claims for many infectious diseases and for chronic fatigue syndrome takes into consideration whether the disease is active and at what level.

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