Attorney Ron SykstusGiven the high denial rates by the VA for Gulf War veterans, here is an interesting article about veterans who are doing something about it and helping other veterans.

This information is directly from the article in Stars and Stripes:

“In 1994, Congress passed legislation allowing a “presumption” for Gulf War veterans with undiagnosed illnesses — meaning they don’t have to prove their illnesses were caused by military service.

Undiagnosed illnesses are a group of undefined and unexplained symptoms found in veterans of that era — headaches, fatigue and joint pain and neurological, skin and respiratory issues. One problem, Brown said, is that once a doctor makes a diagnosis – even if veterans have received different diagnoses for the same issue – they’re no longer eligible for the presumption. VA medical examiners find it difficult to identify something as undiagnosed or inexplicable, the GAO report says.

The majority of Gulf War claims between 2010 and 2015 were from veterans with undiagnosed illnesses, and that was the type of claim that was most-often rejected.

Overall, the VA approved only 13 percent of veterans claims for undiagnosed medical issues during that period, according to the GAO report. Of the 58 VA offices nationwide that decide the claims, eight offices approved fewer than 5 percent of those types of claims.

One office in Muskogee, Okla., approved 70 claims and denied more than 2,000.

The GAO reported the same phenomenon 20 years ago. Between 1994 and 1996 – the first two years the presumption existed — the VA denied 7,424 of 7,845 claims of undiagnosed illnesses in Gulf War veterans – an approval rate of 5 percent.”

For a veteran to receive disability compensation, he or she must have a current disabling condition that is related to an event in service, which is called service-connection.  Since a service member is a member of our military 24/7, as long as the event that caused the disabling condition occurred on active-duty orders, then that condition is considered service- to fight for yourself and your family.  The following are previous blog posts that I have written that may assist veterans in their fight for their disability claim:

VA Disability Blog Posts

If you need help with your VA disability claim, as a veteran myself, I have been handling these cases for many years and I would be happy to review your situation with you. You can send me an email here. Thank you for your service.

Navigating Legal Issues for Military Veterans   – Co-Author

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