The VA wants to establish new presumptions of service-connection for nine specific diseases associated with Gulf War military service in Southwest Asia from 1990 to the present, and in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001.
- The proposed rule will require that a Veteran show service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan.
- The Veteran must have been diagnosed with one or more of the nine diseases within the presumptive period to qualify for a service-connection decision.
- The presumptive period is regarded as within one year of return from Southwest Asia, with the exception of some conditions that may manifest after that time frame.
VA Attempt for Clarity
The Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, is not a stranger to the paperwork required for any military request or transaction. He is a retired Army Four Star General, and the seventh US Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He understands the frustration that the veterans and their families acquire as they attempt to understand the complexities of possible VA health coverage.
Diseases being reviewed
The proposed rule has information about the following nine potentially associated diseases:
- Campylobacter jejuni
- Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- Nontyphoid Salmonella
- Visceral leishmaniasis
- West Nile virus
Purpose of Change
Setting up logical standards for presumptive service-connection will result in less paperwork for the veteran and more “given” data to help them prove their claims.
Other Gulf War Statistics
WorldNetDaily.com reported on January 25, 2003, that out of 540,000 Gulf War Veterans, 209,000 had applied for disability benefits as a result of illnesses sustained during the conflict. Of that number, 161,000 were approved and receiving benefits: roughly, 2 out of every 5 Veterans. Any veteran who was denied benefits for any of the above diseases should contact the VA regarding a possible review..
An announcement of the final regulation is expected in the fall. The required comment and review period will complied with by that time.
The VA welcomes all veterans or interested persons with questions about military service during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, disability benefits and other VA benefits, to look at this website, www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/GulfWar
Gulf War Review, Vol. 17 No. 1, July 2010, VA Seeks to Cover New Illnesses for Gulf War VeteransWorldNetDaily.com, January 25, 2003, 2 of 5 Gulf War Vets on Disability