Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Home Gulf War Syndrome Disability Compensation for Gulf War Veterans’ Illness

Disability Compensation for Gulf War Veterans’ Illness

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Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation (a monthly monetary allowance) for injuries or diseases related to active military service, called “service-connected.” VA assumes that certain diseases or illnesses called “presumptive diseases” are related to qualifying military service.

Eligibility for disability compensation benefits

Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation if they have a service-connected disability and were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

Gulf War Veterans with the following presumptive illnesses do not need to prove a connection between their military service in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations and these illnesses:

  • Medically unexplained illnesses (popularly called "Gulf War Syndrome")
  • Infectious diseases

Also, VA presumes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnosed in all Veterans who had 90 days or more continuous active military service is related to their service.

Find out more about disability compensation and how much VA pays.

Presumptive diseases: VA decides which Gulf War Veterans’ illnesses are “presumptive” based on medical and scientific evidence of connections between the illnesses and exposure to toxic agents, environmental or wartime hazards, or preventive medicine during military service.

Non-presumptive diseases: Claimants may still seek to establish service connection individually for other, “non-presumptive” diseases and illnesses related to service in the Gulf War. However, there must be medical and scientific evidence that shows an actual connection between a Veteran’s illness and his or her military service. Contact your nearest VA benefits office to learn more.

VA and other researchers continue to conduct research to investigate how service in the Gulf War is linked to illnesses Gulf War Veterans have experienced.

How to apply

You may apply for disability compensation online.

After VA receives your application, we’ll send you a letter that explains what evidence we need in order to grant your claim. We will help you get records to support your claim.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 15:03  

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Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.