The veterans who originally became ill thought they were alone. But as more and more Gulf War veterans came forward, they realized that they had something in common. Their medical condition, an illness most likely caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, affects many veterans of the Gulf War.
Whether it is called Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) or Gulf War Illness (GWI), the symptoms are often the same. They include a broad range of chronic and acute illnesses:
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Memory loss
- Muscle and joint pain
- Immune system problems
- Diarrhea/irritable bowel syndrome
According to the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, roughly one in four veterans who served in the first Gulf War are affected. If you are one of them, you should know that you may be eligible for veterans disability benefits — and the VA-accredited claims agents at The Rep For Vets can help you get them.
What Are the Causes of Gulf War Syndrome?
The exact medical causes of the illness continues to stump the scientists, but the underlying causes are clear enough. Johns Hopkins Medicine groups possible causes into three categories:
- Agents of chemical warfare – nerve gas, and the pyridostigmine bromide soldiers used to protect against such agents
- Exposure to other chemical agents – chemical-laden smoke from burn pits and from the burning of oil wells, pesticides, depleted uranium ammunition, and more
- Psychological factors – Gulf War veterans have high rates of mental illness such as PTSD, which can exacerbate symptoms
Infectious diseases, such as malaria, have also been linked to Gulf War Syndrome symptoms, and are presumed by the VA to be connected to service.
Why is “Presumption of Service Connection” So Important?
Presumptive service connection, as the VA calls it, is important because it allows you to skip the “nexus” requirement, meaning you don’t need a doctor to state that all of your symptoms stem from a particular event that occurred during your Persian Gulf deployment. If you served in the first Gulf War, it’s presumed that your symptoms are service-connected. This cuts through a layer of red tape. The requirements for presumptive service connection for Gulf War syndrome are as follows:
- You qualify as a Persian Gulf War veteran
- You suffer from a qualifying chronic disability (from the group of unexplained symptoms)
- The disability first arose during your time of active service in Southwest Asia, or has been at least 10% disabling since you returned from service
Gulf War syndrome claims can get complicated, but the benefits are worth fighting for. Many Gulf War veterans are receiving over $2,900 a month in disability compensation for impairments associated with Gulf War syndrome.
Getting You the Maximum VA Benefits
You face enormous challenges when dealing with Gulf War Syndrome, so our claims agents focus on getting the best possible results for you. This includes the maximum VA benefits for veterans and their eligible dependents.
Our claims agents don’t like to see vets get pushed around and promise to serve you as honorably as you have served your country. Call 888-573-7838 nationwide for a free initial consultation or complete the online contact form.