Need Help With Gulf War Syndrome? The VA Wants You to Attend This Briefing

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U.S. Air Force warplanes fly over burning oil fields in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. (US Air Force photo)
U.S. Air Force warplanes fly over burning oil fields in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. (US Air Force photo)

Despite a history of denying most Gulf War Syndrome claims made by veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs plans to hold an online briefing on treatments and solutions associated with the disease.

The webinar, which will be held on Oct. 29, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. EDT, will be coordinated and led by VA medical staff. It will advise veterans on topics related to Gulf War Syndrome and discuss treatments and solutions.

A 2017 Government Accountability Office report found the VA denied 83% of the 102,000 Gulf War Syndrome claims filed with it between 1994 and 2015.

Certain illnesses are associated with Gulf War service in Southwest Asia from Aug. 2, 1990, to present. Medically unexplained illnesses, commonly referred to as Gulf War Syndrome, are a significant concern for some veterans who served there.

Gulf War Syndrome is a medical condition that first appeared in many vets as they returned from the Gulf War in the early 1990s. It is characterized by several medically unexplained chronic symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders and memory problems.

Gulf War veterans may be eligible for VA benefits, including a Gulf War Registry health exam, the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, health care and disability compensation for diseases related to military service. Their dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits.

While there is currently no scientifically verified connection between a veteran's military service in the Gulf War theater of operations and any chronic illness, the VA offers eligible veterans a free health exam to find possible long-term health problems related to their service. If a medical connection is found at a later date, those who have enrolled in the Gulf War registry will be eligible for medical treatment or possible other benefits.

The upcoming online briefing will discuss:

  • Potential exposures
  • Research findings
  • Health effects
  • Available resources; and
  • Steps to manage symptoms

You must pre-register to be admitted to the course. To register to attend and receive further information necessary to participate, call the VA at 800-248-8005 or email NJWRIISCEDTEAM@va.gov. Veterans and interested guests are welcome to attend.

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Gulf War Veteran Benefits