Gulf War Syndrome

Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War are provided with free, comprehensive medical examinations, including laboratory and other diagnostic tests deemed by an examining physician necessary to determine health status. Results of the examinations, which include review of the veteran?s military service and exposure history, are entered into special, computerized databases, called registries. These databases assist the VA in analyzing the types of health conditions being reported by veterans. Registry participants are advised of the results of their examinations in personal consultations. Veterans wishing to participate should contact the nearest VA health care facility for an examination. The VA operates a toll-free hotline at 800-749-8387 to inform Persian Gulf War veterans about VA programs, their benefits and the latest information on Persian Gulf benefits.

Persian Gulf veterans who suffer from chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses may receive disability compensation from VA. The undiagnosed illnesses must have appeared either during active duty in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations during the Persian Gulf War or at any time since, through December 31, 2001. The following symptoms may be manifestations of an undiagnosed illness:

  • fatigue
  • skin disorders
  • headaches
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • neurologic symptoms
  • neuropsychological symptoms
  • symptoms involving the respiratory system
  • sleep disturbances
  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • cardiovascular symptoms
  • abnormal weight loss
  • menstrual disorders

While these categories represent the sign and symptoms frequently noted in VA's experiences to date, other signs and symptoms also could qualify for compensation. A disability is considered chronic if it has existed for at least six months. The VA operates a toll-free hotline at 800-749-8387 to inform Persian Gulf War veterans about VA programs, their benefits and the latest information on Persian Gulf benefits.

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