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The Department of Veteran affairs extended the Persian Gulf War chronic undiagnosed illness presumptive deadline from December 31, 2021, to December 31, 2026. Persian Gulf War veterans with eligible chronic undiagnosed illnesses or unexplained medical illnesses with symptoms that are at least 10% or more disabling may qualify for presumptive service connection if the symptoms develop before December 31, 2026. Persian Gulf War Veterans are Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations. This new deadline aims to ensure fair benefits distribution by Congress, benefiting veterans yet to exhibit symptoms or document them with a medical provider.

Qualifying Medical Disabilities – Presumptive Conditions for Gulf War Veterans

The VA automatically assumes certain chronic, unexplained symptoms persisting for 6 months or more are connected to Gulf War service, regardless of cause. This is commonly referred to as Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) or Gulf War Illness (GWI) affect roughly 30% of veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War from 1990 to 1991. Despite veterans sharing their tough experiences, the Veterans Administration (VA) was slow to recognize their issues.

This law made the VA acknowledge many medical problems linked to Gulf War service, mainly because of exposure to harmful smoke from military burn pits. This new recognition gives hope to veterans who were previously denied the medical help and compensation they deserved.

Gulf War Veterans meeting the following criteria are not required to establish a link between their military service and illnesses to receive VA disability compensation. These “presumptive” illnesses must have manifested during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater or by December 31, 2026, and must be at least 10 percent disabling. These illnesses encompass:

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), characterized by long-term and severe fatigue unalleviated by rest and not directly caused by other conditions.

Fibromyalgia, marked by widespread muscle pain along with symptoms like insomnia, morning stiffness, headache, and memory issues.

Functional gastrointestinal disorders, comprising chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the gastrointestinal tract, without structural tissue changes. Examples include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, and functional abdominal pain syndrome.

Undiagnosed Illnesses is a combination of medically unexplained symptoms such as fatigue, constant muscle and joint pain, trouble concentrating and remembering things, frequent headaches, stomach troubles, breathing difficulties, and troubling skin conditions.  The mix of these symptoms makes Gulf War Syndrome hard to understand and treat.

VA Persian Gulf War VA Medically Unexplained Illness Presumptive Deadline Extended to 2026 Chad Barr Law

Finding out exactly why Gulf War Veterans experience these chronic illnesses is tricky. While experts are still searching for a clear cause, they believe it might come from a mix of things like being around dangerous chemicals, feeling stressed from being in a war, getting sick from germs, and other tough experiences during the Gulf War.

Even though it took a long time for their struggles to be recognized, the Gulf War Chronic Illness Presumptive marks a significant step forward in getting justice and support for those affected by this challenging condition. As we continue to learn more about and address Gulf War Syndrome, it is crucial to provide ongoing care and unwavering support to the courageous men and women who bore the burdens of war in service to their nation.

Time and Location

To qualify as a Gulf War Veteran, you must have served from August 2, 1990, to present in one or more of the following locations:

  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
  • U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates)
  • Bahrain
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Gulf of Aden
  • Gulf of Oman
  • The Waters of the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea
  • The airspace above these locations

Other Presumptive Medical Conditions for Gulf War Veterans Based on Toxic Exposure

You may also want to Read our PACT ACT Blog HERE

  1. Adenocarcinoma of the trachea
  2. Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung
  3. Asthma that was diagnosed after service
  4. Brain cancer
  5. Chronic bronchitis
  6. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  7. Chronic rhinitis
  8. Chronic sinusitis
  9. Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
  10. Emphysema
  11. Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
  12. Glioblastoma
  13. Granulomatous disease
  14. Head cancer of any type
  15. Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  16. Kidney cancer
  17. Large cell carcinoma of the lung
  18. Lymphatic cancer of any type
  19. Lymphoma of any type
  20. Melanoma
  21. Neck cancer
  22. Pancreatic cancer
  23. Pleuritis
  24. Pulmonary fibrosis
  25. Reproductive cancer of any type
  26. Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type
  27. Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung
  28. Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea
  29. Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung
  30. Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx
  31. Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea
  32. Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung

Presumptive service connection streamlines the process by automatically granting service connection for your illness, reducing the steps in the application process. However, the VA may still deny benefits or provide a lower disability rating than warranted. Veterans have the option to appeal for benefits if desired.

Chad Barr Law Can Help

If your claim for VA disability benefits was denied or you were awarded a lower disability rating than what is truly warranted for your medical conditions, our team of experienced VA Disability Attorneys are here to fight tirelessly on your behalf. We understand the importance of obtaining the correct disability rating to ensure you receive the benefits and support you rightfully deserve for your service-related injuries or illnesses. With our knowledge and dedication, we will navigate the appeals process and work diligently to secure the maximum compensation and benefits to which you are entitled under the law.

VA Persian Gulf War VA Medically Unexplained Illness Presumptive Deadline Extended to 2026 Chad Barr Law