Gulf War Presumptive Illness

For Gulf War Presumptive Illness, the VA has a limited list of diseases, conditions and illnesses it considers presumptive to service for these veterans.

The VA’s most recent rule took effect on Aug. 15, 2011, specifying that functional gastrointestinal illnesses (FGIDs), such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia (indigestion), are included in the existing presumption of service connection for medically unexplained chronic illnesses and eligible veterans may receive disability compensation for these disorders.

This rule determination is the VA’s response to the 2006 and 2010 reports by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). You can view those here.

The VA also decided against extending presumptive status to other diseases, conditions or illnesses contained in the IOM’s 2006 and 2010 reports. You can view the VA’s reasoning here.

The VA is currently reviewing the IOM’s 2013 report, “Gulf War and Health: Treatment for Chronic Multisymptom Illness,” and the 2014 report, “Gulf War and Health: Long-Term Effects of Blast Exposures.”

Veterans may still seek to establish a service connection on their own for diseases or illnesses they believe are associated with their service during the Gulf War.

Gulf War Connected Illnesses

  • The VA presumes amyotrophic lateral sclerorsis (ALS) diagnosed in all veterans, including Gulf War veterans, with 90 days ore more continuous active military service is related to their service.
  • Gulf War veterans who have received a valid diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be granted if the illness is associated with an in-service stressful event.
  • The VA presumes certain medically unexplained illnesses are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause. These include: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to: abnormal weight loss, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.

Recognized Infectious Diseases

The VA also recognizes nine infectious diseases as associated with service in Southwest Asia, Iraq, and Afghanistan:

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