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New regulations for Gulf War veterans' illnesses

Tuesday 26 July 2011

From US newspaper The Daily Nonpareil:


The Daily NonpareilNew regulations for Gulf War veterans’ illnesses

Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 11:20 AM CDT

New Veterans Affairs regulations taking effect on Aug. 15 specify that functional gastrointestinal disorders are covered as presumptive illnesses.

Gulf War veterans who meet the criteria listed below do not need to prove a connection between their military service and medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses in order to receive VA disability compensation.

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 Dec. 31, 2011, and be at least 10 percent disabling.

For VA benefit purposes, Gulf War service is active military duty in any of the following areas in the Southwest Asia Theater of military operations any time during the first Gulf War starting Aug. 2, 1990, through the current conflict in Iraq. This includes veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-10) and Operation New Dawn (2010 and continuing).

Included in the Southwest Asia theater are Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea and the airspace above these locations.

These illnesses include:

  • 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, headache and memory problems.
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders, a group of conditions marked by chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Functional condition refers to an abnormal function of an organ, without a structural alteration in the tissues. Examples include irritable bowel syndrome, 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, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.

To receive assistance in filing a claim and obtaining the necessary documentation, contact the Pottawattamie County Veteran Affairs Office, 223 S. Sixth St., Court House Annex, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, or call (712) 328-5797.


The above originally appeared here.


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