Gulf War Illness or Gulf War Syndrome is a prominent condition affecting Gulf War veterans. It is a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders and memory problems. The VA refers to these illnesses as “chronic multi-symptom” and “undiagnosed illnesses.”
Gulf War veterans who meet the criteria below do not need to prove a connection between their military service and illnesses in order to receive VA disability compensation.
The VA presumes certain chronic, unexplained symptoms existing for six months or more are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause.
These “presumptive” illnesses must have appeared during active duty in the Southwest Asia Theater of military operations or by December 31, 2016 and be at least 10% disabling.
• 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, headaches and memory problems.
• Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, a group of conditions marked by chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Other symptoms may 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, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headaches, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders and sleep disturbances.
Gulf War service is active military duty in the Southwest Asia Theater of military operations at any time during the first Gulf War starting August 2, 1990 through the Iraq War. This includes veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010) and Operation New Dawn (2010-2011). Specifically, these areas include:
• Saudi Arabia
• The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
• The United Arab Emirates
• Gulf of Aden
• Gulf of Oman
• Waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea
• The airspace above these locations
Tammy Walters can be reached at (715) 369-6127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.